Shadowing for Piercers in the Industry

Cherry Sutherland
1st April 2020

This is a very tricky topic, and yet it is one that I feel I must go into; and not only provide a simple answer on, but also provide a more in-depth answer to as well.

So if you are after the short answer, you’ll get it in one word. But for others that would like to a greater understanding of reasons, read on.  

Q: Does Cherrycore offer shadowing to piercers from other stores/states/countries?
A: No
So that’s the short answer.

Now here is the long answer:
I’m going to explain why I don’t agree with shadowing in general. It's not to say that shadow learning is bad; its not. It's fantastic, but it's only fantastic for the person shadowing.

- I personally think my clients deserve more respect than having unfamiliar faces appear here and there. Our clients know and trust our team and our brand. Consistency is security, and security is safe.
- It is confusing for clients to see someone standing about without clear direction or ignoring them when they enter the studio and they are in sight. It is unprofessional and is simply rude. The shadow-er can not assist, and the client does not know this.
- Shadowers are not part of the team, and therefore cannot interact with clients, in case they cannot and do not provide correct information, or uphold the same communication standards as we do.
- We have strict training on professionalism, dress code and speech. I cannot guarantee persons asking to shadow will meet this, and I cannot take time away from my clients to ensure individuals are workplace ready for our practise.
- It's a safety liability, as shadowers have not been trained in our studio policies and protocol. Many of our team members have a medical background, along with other qualifications. If you do not meet this education level and experience level, we cannot be sure how you will react in any given situations.
- Shadowing interferes with our clients experience. Our clients come to us for our dedicated focus on them and their needs alone. It's our aim and responsibility to ensure that our clients have a positive experience that is all about them, and them feeling fabulous.

Now with all that being said, that is not to say I don’t offer help to other piercers and that I won't; because I do, and I do so regularly.
I just will not offer my clients as a learning playground. 

My advice to you if you made it this far:
Be respectful and patient above all!

Develop a relationship of mutual benefit and respect, before you ask to shadow. And if you get told no, don’t be rude or throw shade. Simply wear it and move on. You can always ask again later, or ask if there are alternative ways that a piercer can assist you.

Be respectful of time. A lot of high end studio owners are working 6-7 days a week, doing 12 hour days as standard. You are not a priority over their clients or team, however you may get prioritized over their sleep and dinner. So be respectful in your communications and the time of day you are sending them, along with how many questions you are sending. Don’t blow up their inbox and don’t message after 9pm.

For me; those that have been respectful over the years, I have welcomed into my Studio to have one on one time with me, where I give my time openly. I have assisted with setting assessments and providing tools for practicing and perfecting aspects required, along with providing self published materials and regular check ins. I have offered piercers struggling with a piercing to bring a friend to pierce where we can go over it together, away from involving my clients. I have offered my years of experience as an educator at no cost. 
So, no, I’m not a mean person that is unwilling to help younger generations, I just believe that help can take place in other, better forms, and no one is entitled to my time.

"Please" and "thank you" go along way, and in that I will leave you with a "thank you for reading", and I hope that this perspective has helped you understand why you may have been told "no" from studios before without reason, or it may help prepare you before you enter discussions on asking for assistance with a piercer in the future.