October 26, 2012

Local piercer cuts through client's tension with humor

Jessica Lane, Staff Writer,
The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — Randy Getman, owner of the Red Feather Gallery Body Piercing, likes to poke fun every once in a while.

When a nervous customer comes in for a piercing, Getman gets out a giant piercing needle and mammoth piece of barbell jewelry.

"It gets them laughing and breaks the tension," Getman said.

Getman has been piercing for 16 years. The Red Feather Gallery has been open in Chickasha for 12 years. Getman said he started piercing because his wife, Sue, who he was dating at the time, she was into body piercing.

With a needle and a piece of jewelry, Getman has made a lasting impression on his clients.

He said that he has former customers from Stillwater, Norman and as far as Houston come back when they want another piercing or just to say hi. After being around for 12 years, Getman has even seen former customers bring in their kids.

Locksmithing, piercing, oil painting, horse raising are just some of the trades that Getman has been involved in. The walls of the Red Feather Gallery are decorated with some of his oil paintings depicting wildlife and western life. Getman quit painting about eight years ago, he said, when he became disillusioned with the art world.

Getman said that he wants to keep the Red Feather Gallery a family-friendly place.  Before he picks up a needle, Getman said he explains to the customer what they're in for. Getman said that he's dealt with piercing customers who were not properly informed.

For example, two young women came in with dermal anchor piercings that they had gotten at another piercing shop. They wanted to get them removed, but Getman had to explain that it was not an easy process and not one that he could perform. Dermal anchors have plates with holes that the skin grows around. They have to be cut out, which leaves a scar.

For ear stretching, Getman recommends not going bigger than a finger width, because beyond that, plastic surgery is needed to reverse the process. Even then, he said, the ear lobe never completely looks the same as before.

Triple forward helix piercings are newly popular. This piercing features three holes in the upper cartilage of the ear.

Getman warns those who get the piercing that the healing process can be long and painful.

"They stay sore a long time," he said.

At the shop, belly button and nipple piercings are common, dermal anchor and surface piercings are less common.

However, surface piercings are often rejected by the body after a short period of time.

"If you get sixth months out of [a surface piercing] you're doing good."

"Sometimes I talk myself out of business," Getman said.

Getman will do most piercings, but will not do piercings on men below the waist, tongue splitting or other surgical mods.

Red Feather Gallery also sells motorcycle leathers, some for $68, Invox jewelry, and of course a plethora of body jewelry.

Getman said that one of the reasons body piercing remains so popular is because it makes a statement. It's not just for the young, however.

Getman had a 77 year old grandmother who came in for a bellybutton piercing.

"She asked, 'why should my grandkids have all the fun?'"