Piercing shop lives up to prestigious expectations

“It’s like the difference between a titanium hip replacement joint and a spoon.” – Anthony Watts

Prestige Piercing, a piercing and fine body jewelry studio, is located a few blocks from Marshall University’s campus, making it a popular place for students.

Anthony Watts, owner of Prestige Piercing, found his inspiration for piercing in high school.

“When I was in high school, I really wanted stretched earlobes,” Watts said. “I turned 18, stopped in a tattoo shop and had my ears punched at a six gauge, then I had my lip pierced, and then my nostril. I loved it. I loved piercings. I wanted to do them.”

Watts is the only local authorized retailer of actual hand-polished professional implant grade titanium jewelry, which is considered industry standard.

Watts laughed as he described what implant jewelry is like.

“It’s like the difference between a titanium hip replacement joint and a spoon,” Watts said. “One is specifically manufactured and certified to be biocompatible and implantable, and the other clearly is not.”

Marshall student Jorden Lucas has multiple piercings by Watts and said she is satisfied with all of them.

“I go to Anthony because he really knows what he’s doing, he takes care of his shop and all of his customers really well,” Lucas said. “I’ve already recommended him multiple times. I’ve never had any trouble with any of my piercings he’s done.”

Watts said he cannot stress the importance of the safety of piercings enough, which is why he is a registered certified professional piercing technician in West Virginia.

“The best part of my job is when my client looks in the mirror after the procedure is finished and sees their new addition. It’s a good feeling to make a stranger happy.” – Anthony Watts

Watts said he practices excellent cross-contamination prevention techniques. He has Red Cross blood borne pathogen, adult first aid and CPR and Occupational Safety and Health Administration exposure control training.

“It’s so very important to be pierced by a professional because unfortunately we live in a day and age where we have blood borne pathogens like Hepatitis, MRSA and HIV,” Watts said. “Reputable professionals will always be highly trained to prevent cross-contamination and have appropriate medical grade autoclaves to process and sterilize equipment and jewelry before it ever comes in contact with a client.”

Rikki Meckstroth, former Huntington resident who goes to the University of Tampa, always comes back to Huntington to get her piercings.

“The cleanliness of the shop and the professionalism Watts has is unmatchable,” Meckstroth said.

Watts said the most common piercings among students are nostrils, navels and septums, in that order.

“The best part of my job is when my client looks in the mirror after the procedure is finished and sees their new addition,” Watts said. “It’s a good feeling to make a stranger happy.”

Watts said he does not hesitate turning down a client for a procedure if his or her body does not have the correct anatomy for the particular piercing they want.

“That’s the worst part of my job, having to turn down a client for a procedure,” Watts said. “If it’s at a high risk for rejection or in an area that won’t heal properly or look bad, I won’t do it. I put my name on every single piercing I do. A lot of businesses would just take your money, but I care about your health and safety and if a piercing is going to be problematic to you, I’ll decline to do it or show you some other options.”

Prestige Piercing is located on 834 Sixth Ave. and is open noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Karima Neghmouche can be contacted at [email protected].