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A new body piercing shop is opening in West St. Paul after enduring a series of challenges and setbacks. Owner Jamie Weber has endured a knee injury, the death of a parent, and a car crashing into her building on a snowy night.
But despite the challenges, Weber is grateful to open Fraidy Cats Professional Body Piercing on March 7.
“I dealt with all the challenges by continuing to move forward and by taking one step at a time,” said Weber. “I am inspired by a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King: ‘Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.’ I didn’t look at the top of the staircase. I just took one step at a time.”
The shop will have to open with the front window still boarded up. The crash happened on December 23, but the insurance company didn’t approve the fix until February, and then glass delivery added another four to six weeks.
“It’s definitely not ideal that I’ll have to open with a boarded up window,” said Weber. “To be honest it kinda gets my goat a bit, but I have to let it go.”
“It may sound cliche but I learned to practice patience, to go with the flow, let go of what I couldn’t control and work on what I could,” said Weber. “I would think of all the things I have to be grateful for and did more of the things that brought me joy.”
Hours: Fraidy Cats will be open Tuesday through Friday by appointment only, with walk ins on Saturday.
Where: 887 Smith Avenue, just south of Annapolis.
Experience: Weber started piercing in 2001 and originally opened Fraidy Cats in the Maplewood Mall in 2010.
Why West St. Paul?
- Location: “My family and I live in the neighborhood,” Weber said. “I love the building and knew it was the perfect location.”
- Needed service: Weber saw a need and notes the shop aligns with the goals of the Smith Avenue Revitalization Plan.
- Local connection: “There is also the nostalgic aspect to it because I got my start in piercing at A-1 Tattoo Co. in West Saint Paul.”
“Personal expression can feel very empowering,” Weber said. “There are many piercings to choose from and the endless jewelry combinations create a way to personalize it for the individual.”
While body art once carried a negative stigma, that’s changing as it becomes more commonplace.
“Many people know at least one person with body art which has helped to demystify it,” Weber said. “People used to view it as rebellious and weird, where now it’s viewed more as personal expression and style.”
Jewelry, Art, & Tattoos
In addition to body piercing, the shop will feature body jewelry and showcase Weber’s mixed media art. She hopes to feature local artists as well.
In addition, Weber wants to return to her roots at A-1 Tattoo by adding a tattoo artist on site.
“I would love to support other artists in their careers by offering a space to work,” she said. The shop is licensed for both piercing and tattooing with a separate area available.
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