TikTokers flock to jewelry stores to have bracelets permanently welded to them forever.
To see what the hype is all about, I visited Catbird in NYC with my mom to get matching bracelets.
I was nervous about the welding process and durability but it didn’t hurt and I love the look.
People flock to jewelry stores like Catbird that specialize in bracelets forever since the trend started popping up on social media.
Permanent jewelry, where jewelry is custom made and welded to you, has been booming on TikTok lately.
Hashtags like #permanentjewelry and #permanentbracelet have amassed hundreds of millions of views on the social media platform. And the videos I’ve seen popping up on my TikTok feed, each only a few seconds long, have hundreds of thousands of viewsif not millions†
According to Sriya Karumanchi, Catbird’s director of marketing, New York City studios see anywhere from 80 to 100 appointments per day. And since permanent jewelry debuted on TikTok, its popularity has only grown, she told Insider.
“We have quite a few TikTokers that regularly hit the Soho and Williamsburg stores,” Karumanchi said. “It’s been a huge boost to forever bracelet consciousness.”
An employee also told Insider that the viral videos fueled many of the store’s recent sales, which makes sense given the number of views each video can garner.
I was curious what the permanent jewelry hype was all about, so I visited Catbird with my mom to buy matching forever bracelets, and we’re definitely going back soon.
This month I relived my childhood sweetheart to get friendship bracelets. But this time I decided to make mine permanent.
I had seen TikTok Videos of the people who got “permanent jewelry” – necklaces or bracelets that someone professionally read on their body – so I surprised my mom with a visit to Catbird.
While words like “permanent” and “welding” were intimidating at first, I didn’t find the process as intense as it sounds, and I’ll be back for more.
Although the bracelets are permanent, they do not adhere to your skin or penetrate.
While “permanent jewelry” may sound extreme, it’s not quite what it sounds like.
The bracelet does not adhere to your skin at all. Instead, a jeweler fits the chain you want around your wrist and welds it shut so there’s no clasp.
While this will ensure that the jewelry is permanently sealed, you can trim the bracelet if necessary.
My mom was nervous that she wouldn’t like the bracelets enough to want to keep one on forever, but in the end she loved the options and her last choice.
When I told my mom I was taking her to have jewelry welded to us, she looked at me like a mom like, “We do what?†
She was concerned about the dedication to permanent jewelry and wasn’t sure she would like the style she’d chosen forever. But once we got to the store and picked out our bracelets, her concern quickly faded.
“I was imagining something big and bulky – like handcuffs or something,” my mother laughed after our appointment.
We chose to match Bracelets with paper clip pattern those cost $144 each, which is in the middle of the price range for a permanent bracelet at Catbird.
Permanent jewelry can cost upwards of $100 depending on the style and where you buy it. Forever bracelets at Catbird cost the same as those with buckles, and the welding service is free.
Catbird was so packed when we visited on a recent Saturday night that the longest part of the process was waiting for our appointment.
We were surprised to find that the jeweler was full when we visited Catbird at 5:30pm on a Saturday?
There were so many customers shopping and getting permanent jewelry that we had to wait a while before someone could check us in for our appointment.
But we didn’t mind, because it gave us plenty of time to look around and sort out our jewelry.
From measuring to welding, the whole process after we sat down with our jewelers took less than 10 minutes.
Once we were seated, the staff helped us decide if we wanted the bracelets to fit loose, tight, or somewhere in between.
Then they measured the length of the bracelet and unwound the gold chain from a spool, like ribbons in a craft store.
Then we chose which side we wanted our bracelets to be. Since my mom and I wear a watch on our left wrist, we chose to embellish our right wrist.
From start to finish, the whole zapping – Catbird’s name for the welding process – took about seven minutes with my mother.
Mine took a little longer than my mom’s, but only because my jeweler started over to perfect the fit of my bracelet. I appreciated that attention to detail.
I was a little intimidated by the flashing light and crackling of the welding machine, but it didn’t hurt at all.
Before the jewelers started working on our bracelets, they put on dark glasses, which made me think maybe I shouldn’t be staring at the flashes of light produced during the welding.
“(The jewelers) repeat the process over time, so the goggles are a precaution, but it’s completely harmless to look at the zap,” Karumanchi said, which is good because I did.
While I knew it wouldn’t hurt, there were brief moments when I thought the zap would burn me.
Do not worry; it didn’t. And it was over in a flash.
Karumanchi explained that because the welding does not cause an open flame, it does not hurt and customers do not have to cover their wrists.
Karumanchi said they’ve never had a problem with damaging customers’ skin in the five years Catbird has been zapping.
Despite my initial reluctance to have something wrapped around my wrist forever, I don’t feel constricted by my bracelet.
After reading comments on TikTok like, “My claustrophobia could never be,” I was worried that I would feel limited by always having something on my wrist.
But my bracelet feels so light that I barely notice it.
And I think it’s timeless enough that I can wear it with any outfit for a long time.
Actually I only regret that I didn’t get more – but the person who helped me assured me that I would come back.
Overall, my mom and I agreed that putting permanent jewelry together was a close-knit experience that we will cherish forever.
I thought it was a fun and unique way to spend an evening with my mom, and she agreed.
Now we have a memory and a memento that we can share for a long time to come.
Read the original article Insider