Earring Personalization Company Studs Raises $3 Million

By Annie Baker ● November 21, 2019
  • Ear piercing and earring personalization company Studs announced it raised $3 million in funding

Studs — a new ear piercing and earring personalization company — announced it launched nationwide and also opened its first brick and mortar location in New York City’s Nolita neighborhood. With this round of funding, Studs is planning to expand its physical retail presence to additional locations in 2020.

Launched by Anna Harman and Lisa Bubbers, Studs was created to modernize the traditional “mall piercing” experience. And by combining healthy ear piercing services with omnichannel retail operations and a wide assortment of accessibly-priced earrings, Studs offers consumers a seamless path for navigating the previously bifurcated piercing and jewelry landscapes.

“With traditional piercing retailers losing popularity and failing to meet the needs of today’s consumers, there’s a lack of brands in the piercing and retail landscape that prioritize healthy needle piercing, offer a trend-driven product assortment and accessible pricing,” said Harman. “By having a singular focus on the ear piercing experience from start to finish, we’re confident that Studs can close the gap and deliver a service not only centered around-ear piercing but optimized for every possible need related to either piercing or jewelry in a way that no other brand is doing today.”

Over the last few decades, the ear-piercing industry has been defined by two types of offerings including antiquated mall brands that are fast and cheap — but use dangerous piercing guns — and local tattoo parlors that often utilize needles, but don’t focus their services specifically on ear piercing and only offer a limited assortment of piercing jewelry.

Studs also announced it raised $3 million in funding led by First Round Capital with participation from Lerer Hippeau as well as additional angel investors. And the funding will be used for building retail locations, enhancing the e-commerce experience, and expanding the Studs team.

“Gen Z has evolved beyond mall brands like Claire’s and is uninspired by getting pierced at their pediatrician’s office. With the increasing demand for multiple piercings and jewelry styles becoming particularly trendy amongst this age demographic, tattoo parlors, which can be intimidating, expensive and limited in selection, have become more or less the default,” added Hayley Barna, partner at First Round. “I was fortunate to lead Studs’ first funding round and invest in two remarkable founders tackling a large market ready for a new service paradigm and brand voice. This is a unique investment for First Round and we couldn’t be more excited to be breaking into the space with a brand that is so tapped into the mind of today’s consumer and ready to deliver to their high standards and ever-changing needs.”

Studs essentially combines the best of both models and reimagines the piercing process from start-to-finish by prioritizing the customer experience, focusing on safe and healthy piercing practices, and connecting with its customer’s individual style expression. And Studs also offers an online retail destination where customers can shop curated earscapes, single earrings, collections and access after-care.

“Anna and Lisa are the perfect team to bring to life a reimagined retail experience around-ear piercing and enable self-expression through adornment,” explained Caitlin Strandberg, Investor at Lerer Hippeau. “We’re eager to watch consumers fall in love with the unique Studs experience and excited to see the brand help usher in the future of retail.”