Two weeks ago many members of the Infinite staff left for the piercing industry's biggest event: the Annual Association of Professional Piercers Conference and Exposition. After a week in Las Vegas—and a few days back in Philly, spent catching up on sleep and going through our purchases—we're just starting to make sense of the entire manic, crazy week.
This year's event was six days of classes, roundtable discussion, social events, and workshops. (To see the full schedule, check out the 2015 APP Conference Program.) Kellan held his own with Elayne Angel teaching the Female Genital Piercing Class, Ed oversaw several hands-on piercing workshops, and Andru spent his week working the APP booth. The rest of us balanced socializing, classes, workshops, and shopping the massive jewelry exposition.
This year marked the APP's 20th anniversary, so much the curriculum focused on the history of our industry and the APP's role in it. This year they introduced the APP's archive project, chronicling the various people and projects that have been part of the organization. There was a display showcasing the history of The Point: The Journal of the APP through its various editors. (Both Kimberly Zapata and I spent many years between us overseeing the publication.)
I had the honor of participating in a panel titled 20 Years: An APP Timeline, consisting of APP founders and board members who were influential in shaping the organization. The panel included (from left to right in the photo) Fakir Musafar, Jim Ward (not pictured), Elayne Angel, Blake Perlingieri, Melisa Kaye, Joey W Bennett, Allen Falkner, Sky Renfro, Steve Joyner, Patrick McCarthy, Alicia Cardenas, me (James Weber), John Johnson and Danny Yerna. (If you have the time, the entire discussion is up on YouTube in four parts: part one, part two, part three, and part four. (The audio isn't the best, but you can hear me on part three at about 28:35 in.) Needless to say, it was an honor to be considered part of such important company.
But the week wasn't all work! The entire Infinite crew managed to catch a few scattered moments together recharging by the pool, and we had a blast at the party thrown by Nick Martin from Body Vision. We put on our fanciest outfits for the APP banquet dinner. (Jon even wore his formal flip-flops, as seen in the picture at left.) Whenever any of us had a free minute, we tried to catch up with our peers from around the world. It was an incredible week, and an amazing time with friends, but it can, and was, an exhausting six days.
All that being said, the biggest part of the Conference (and least for our clients back home) is all the merchandise we bring back! This year we have an amazing haul of new items, ready for display in the studio and online. We managed to get a few of our favorite manufacturer's items up on our online store while we were still in Las Vegas, and we're almost finished getting the rest of it out and posted online. By the time you read this, most everything should be on the shelves at the studio and also available on our online store. Here's some of what we picked up and brought back with us:
Maya Jewelry Maya showcased several new lines at APP this year: the Ace of Pentangles and Royal earrings; two more Punk styles; and our favorite, Black Magic Weights. We got new items, and restocked some of our favorites.
Quetzalli We've restocked Quetzalli's always popular ammonite weights and picked some of their Indian-inspired press-fit ends and hinged septum rings. We also grabbed several more of their hanging designs.
Scylla Scylla is a newer company, specializing in fine gold jewelry. We brought home some hinged septum rings, along with some amazing genuine stone press-fit ends (available in topaz, black spinel, and genuine diamonds).
Sacred Symbols We now have even more designs available from Sacred Symbols. Handcrafted in Mexico, they make gold jewelry that is affordable for anyone. Check out their hinged clickers and seamless rings in our online store. More We restocked our collection of earrings from Eleven44, including some new designs. (These will be going up online in the coming weeks.) We picked up some beautiful new plugs from Bishop Organics, including some striking teardrop plugs. We brought home new septum pieces from Buddha, and we're still working on going through our huge new inventory of jewelry from Diablo Organics. So stop in our studio, and keep checking our online store to get first pick at what we brought back! If you've never been to an APP Conference, search #APP2015 on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr to see some of what what this year was about. Lastly, for those of you who weren't lucky enough to be at the annual banquet dinner, one of this year's streakers recorded their run: