It’s that time again. Infinite piercers and select staff will be heading to Las Vegas this weekend to attend the 24th annual Association of Professional Piercers annual Conference and Exposition. We’re off again to a week of lectures, classes and roundtable discussions mixed in with social events, all specifically for piercers and body modification professionals. From May 12 to 17, we are off to APP 2019!
The Association of Professional Piercers is a California-based, international non-profit organization dedicated to the dissemination of vital health and safety information about body piercing to piercers, health care professionals, legislators, and the general public. The annual APP conference is an important event for all of us in the industry, as it’s the biggest piercing-only event in the world. It brings body modification practitioners together from not only all over the United States, but from all over the globe for five days of classes, lectures, roundtable discussions, meetings, and workshops. It’s the most extensive and intense week of continuing education our industry has to offer—and that’s why we take as many people from the studio as we can.
Not only is the week full of continuing education for the staff, but it’s also home to the APP’s jewelry exposition, the biggest collection of body jewelry vendors in one place. We’ll be coming back to Philly with our heads filled with new ideas and our bags filled with an amazing selection of new stock, including special, one-of-a-kind pieces we don't have the opportunity to buy any other time of the year. For us and many shops like us, the year begins and ends with the annual APP Conference and Exposition.
This year I’ll be there again (for my twenty-third trip to the conference) along with our entire piercing staff, John, Andru, Zach, and Anna, with apprentice Jade, and Infinite’s operations manager, Jes, rounding out the crew. So who’s minding the store while we’re gone? Noorann and our dedicated counter staff will be taking care of the shop during the week, and we’ll have a few guest piercers taking over for us while we’re away.
For yet another year, we have the amazing Paul Espinoza coming to Philly for the week. For years now Paul has been our go-to guest for help during Conference week, and we’re confident that our clients will be in good hands. Joining Paul will be Derek Gregston. Derek has been living (and piercing) in Texas for the last nine years, and will be making his first trip to Infinite. (Derek describes himself as a “dog uncle of three” who likes to spend most of his off time hanging out with them, discovering new things to eat, and being lazy while watching movies.) Paul and Derek will both be here and working their piercing magic from May 11 to 17, and we’ll also have our new part-time staff member Brandon here the weekend of May 17 to 19.
This year’s APP Conference promises to be a memorable one. With Fakir’s passing this past year, the APP’s Body Piercing Archive has set up an exhibit showcasing his life and contribution to body modification. Tours through the exhibit will take place all week, with people who were close to him offering an intimate view of his life, including numerous Fakir Intensive instructors, Paul King, and the amazing Annie Sprinkle!
[Annie Sprinkle photo by JulianCash.com]
Annie Sprinkle started as a porn performer and sex worker in New York in the late 1970s, and through the years has been a filmaker, writer, visual artist performance artist, sex educator, and activist. She first met Fakir in the early 1980s, and their friendship and work intersected in many ways, as modern pornography and body piercing were both in their infancy. Her talk this year is titled “Take a Walk on the Wild Side: an Exploration of Annie Sprinkle’s NYC Underground Piercing Scene,” and it promises to be an exciting one.
Then, there is the vendor exposition. Each year, the best of the best of body jewelry manufacturers show off their products on the expo floor in Las Vegas. All of us will be visiting and re-visiting the exposition during the week to select the best production jewelry and unique pieces to bring back for our East Coast clients. Not only do we get to stock the studio, but we get to talk to all our sales representatives (and company owners) face-to-face, which is a welcome change from correspondence usually limited to email (or phone) during the rest of the year.
Lastly, Conference is the time when we unleash our new t-shirt design! Featuring Philadelphia’s favorite hockey mascot (and unlikely Antifa icon) Gritty, this years shirt lets you show your Philly colors (and politics) while repping your favorite piercing studio. Drawn by Philadelphia artist Bruno Guerreiro, these shirts are printed with white and orange ink on Bella + Canvas 3001 unisex black tees. We’ll be bringing some to give away to our industry friends in Las Vegas, and for everyone who isn’t attending the event, they will be available for purchase from our online store.
As an extra bonus, we have new stickers too!
We’re all back to the studio and back to our normal schedule by Monday, May 20. It usually takes us about a week to recover and get all the jewelry we brought back checked in, photographed, and put on display in the shop and online store. Keep an eye on our social media for news from Las Vegas, and check back later this month when we have the biggest selection of products we will have all year. See you next week!