Before You’ve Scheduled
First things first is research and decision making: what do you want done? Where do you want it done? If it’s a tattoo, what color or style are you looking for? If you’re going to be getting a piercing, what kind of jewelry were you hoping to use? If you can’t 100% figure out all of the answers, don’t worry, Primal’s staff will be more than happy to help you through the process.
For tattoos we always start out with a consultation between you and the artist. This allows for a discussion with the artist on design, size, placement, and any other specifications needed. This is also prime time to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have. Consultations are generally between 15-20 minutes, however it can take a bit longer when discussing multiple large pieces or if there are multiple people involved. Once the consultation is completed, and if you’ve decided to schedule an appointment, we will need to take a non-refundable deposit, the amount of which is half of the estimated final cost of the tattoo. Once the deposit is taken the artist will help you find a date and time that works best for both of your schedules.
For piercings we only require a consultation for male genital piercings, Christina piercings, dermal/surface piercings, or if a minor aged 11 or under is getting their earlobes pierced. For the former two consultation types, we need to make sure we have jewelry in stock of sufficient size, and if we don’t we will special order the proper jewelry (you will need to place a deposit that is 50% of the jewelry cost to proceed). Once we have your jewelry in stock we will give you a call to schedule your piercing appointment. For the latter consultation types an appointment can be scheduled immediately following your consultation, granted the piercer has given their approval.
If you want a piercing that does not fall into the aforementioned categories you are free to schedule at any time, whether by coming into the shop or by calling in. If your appointment is estimated to be an hour or longer we will need to take a $25 non-refundable deposit. This deposit will be applied to your purchase when you are checking out after your appointment. We tend to fill up a few days in advance, so unless it’s a Wednesday we rarely can accommodate walk-ins! Do note that if a piercing is for a minor we will need to speak to a parent before we can schedule an appointment.
Preparing for Your Appointment
The big day is coming up! Soon you’ll be decked out with some fresh ink or a new dazzling piece of jewelry. As with any appointment we’re sure you have questions on what to expect, what do to, etc., so hopefully we’ll be able to answer most of your questions below.
All piercing and tattoo appointments require a valid state or federally issued ID. This includes driver’s licenses, state IDs, tribal IDs, military IDs, and passports. To be valid the ID cannot be expired and must have a photo and proof of age.
For minors we have a few options. If the minor has a D.L. or a state ID, as long as the last names and addresses match the parent’s ID we will only need those two IDs. If the last names/addresses don’t match we will need a certified, original birth certificate along with both IDs. If the minor does not have a state issued ID we can also accept a passport, school ID, or (if they are 10 years of age or younger) a family photo including the minor and accompanying parent. If any of the previously listed forms of ID are used we will also need a certified, original birth certificate.
If you arrive for your appointment and do not have a valid form of ID we will have to cancel your appointment and if a deposit was placed it will be forfeit. For parents accompanying minors we need the parent to remain present for the duration of the piercing (i.e if two people are being pierced but only one is your child, you only have to stay for the one).
We always request you eat within 90 minutes of your appointment, however if it’s been a bit longer than that there’s no need to panic. We’ll only push candy and juice on you if it has been four hours or more. If your appointment is early in the morning and you’re not a breakfast person try to have a hearty meal the night before and, if possible, a light snack beforehand. Snacks are also a good bet if you’re prone to nausea or fainting. We do not recommend any shots of “liquid courage” as it can thin your blood and potentially complicate the procedure. Staying well hydrated with water is good not only for your skin, but for keeping your body comfy during an uncomfortable procedure.
If you’re especially worried about pain, feel free to take Ibuprofen or Naproxin Sodium, both of which help with swelling and discomfort. Avoid any medications that would cause blood thinning, such as Advil.
For clothing we recommend dressing comfortably and avoiding clothing that alters how your skin lies naturally (i.e. nothing too tight). While it is nice to feel fancy, it’s better to avoid jostling new piercings or suffocating new tattoos. An especially important factor to keep in mind for tattoos is location; not only do you want to be comfortable but the artist will need easy access to the area. If you’re getting an inner thigh, leg, or buttocks tattoo don’t wear pants; if you’re getting a breast/under breast tattoo don’t wear a bra or multiple layers of clothing; etc. Please note that clothing close to the tattooing area may get ink stains (which are not easy to remove!) so you may want to leave your silks or favorite socks at home.
Please come as clean as possible. For tattoos, coming freshly showered gives your artist a clean canvas to work with. Shaving any areas that are about to be tattooed is not required but recommended and appreciated. As for piercings, if you have a beard and want a facial piercing in the vicinity of your hair we request that you do shave (we can’t guarantee symmetry if the beard overlaps with the piercing location).
Nipple piercings: Bras are definitely a-okay! In fact, we recommend them because they protect your new piercings from being rubbed and agitated by your shirt. Sports bras and bralettes will be your best option, but be sure to avoid any lace. If you’re not a fan of bras a tank top will work as well.
Navel piercings: Yoga or low rise pants will help avoid bumping your new piercing.
Genital piercings: Loose and soft clothing is best! Don’t be too worried about blood, as the piercer will offer you a sanitary napkin to wear home. If you are on your period you are still free and safe to get pierced, but do note you should wear a tampon or diva cup. Prince Albert piercings tend to bleed quite a bit so wear loose comfortable pants or shorts that you are not attached to. Shaving is not required but it is helpful as it allows for the piercer to make placement marks without any interference; if you are not a fan of shaving trimming is also an option.
We welcome questions! All of our staff are ready and willing to answer any questions they can, and if it is something they aren’t properly informed on they will do their best to find another staff member who can answer your questions. There’s no need to feel shy or like you’re being too picky. We are here to make your vision a reality and the more questions you ask or specifications you give the easier that becomes!
While it is obvious in certain scenarios when an appointment is meant to be private, sometimes in less obvious instances the artist or piercer will allow for staff members to enter for work purposes or picture taking (generally signaled as okay by leaving the door open). If you would like complete privacy please feel free to communicate that with your artist/piercer. We will not let non-staff members into the room without asking you beforehand regardless of the appointment being private or not (the exception being if that person was seen accompanying you at an earlier point).
For longer tattoo appointments we recommend bringing entertainment, snacks, water, and, if you’d feel more comfortable with them, pillows and comfy blankets. While the tattoo artist will be fine with conversation, clients should feel free to use their phones, tablets, gaming devices, etc. during the session. If during the tattoo you need to use the bathroom or simply feel like you need a break be sure to let the tattoo artist know; the sooner the better, that way the artist has time to plan a proper stopping point.
When it comes to tipping any amount is appreciated, so please don’t feel stressed about this part of your transaction! What one of us may tip could be completely different to what you may tip. As such, we cannot recommend an amount for your tip in good conscious without knowing such factors as how you felt during and after the appointment, satisfaction levels, personal financial situation, etc.
We won’t pierce you with jewelry we cannot guarantee the quality of, so unless your jewelry was bought from us you’ll have to pick up something new when you come in. However, if you already have approved jewelry that would work for the piercing you’re about to get, if you bring it into the shop at least three days beforehand we can sterilize it for a small fee. This is a wallet friendly option that allows you to reuse old or over-sized jewelry! For insertions we prefer to use our jewelry, however it is up to the piercer if they will put in outside jewelry for you (depending on the age of the piercing we may not need to sterilize the jewelry beforehand).
You are free to bring moral support! Trust us, plenty of people like to bring a friend or two with them to hang out during their appointment, either in our lobby or in the room with them. Please note however that our rooms aren’t especially big and it can start to feel a bit cramped when there’s more than three people on the sidelines. We do allow little ones but we request that they be accompanied at all times, as not every area of our shop is “kid friendly”, due to hazardous materials.
If you have any questions we didn’t answer here please be sure to give our shop a call!