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20 Year Journey of a Pierced Belly Button

Helene Holtsbaum

Posted on December 13 2016

20 Year Journey of a Pierced Belly Button

I first had my belly pierced back in the 90's when it was barely even fashionable to do so. My mother nearly died a hundred deaths when she saw my freshly pierced belly button for the first time. 20 years on and I'm still pierced (in fact re-pierced twice over!) and now I am the owner of Australia's belly ring stores, TummyToys® and The Belly Ring Shop. That's how far my passion for belly rings has spanned!

Does getting pierced hurt?

Not much has changed with how body piercing is performed since I was young, they used the clamps back then and they still do today. Does it hurt? Well perhaps not as much as you'd think and pain means many things to different people. I recently got a tattoo on my back and thought that would hurt but to my surprise it wasn't so bad. My tattoo artist explained that men are usually the ones who need to 'lie down' and that as women we actually have a much higher pain threshold then the boys, he said it was in our makeup to prep us for child birth. Go girls!! We're tougher than you think. So if you've been a bit um and argh about that belly piercing, take a deep breath and dive on in, you'll be fine! We have hundreds of belly piercing stories on the TummyToys website that you'll enjoy reading if you're still prepping up the courage to get fitted with a cute little belly ring.

Does it get infected?

No. Never. Proper hygiene and choosing the right kind of belly jewellery goes a long way in keeping your belly piercing healthy and happy. The only time I've experienced discomfort since having my navel pierced decades ago was 12 years ago when I was pregnant with my first baby. My tummy protruded so far that my belly button elongated and my tight 3/8" 10mm belly bar no longer fit comfortably. Back in those days maternity belly rings were not around and I had no choice but to sadly remove my belly ring in the final trimester. Hence the reason why I got re-pierced. And then baby number 2. Same, same. I felt naked without my belly ring and it was a priority for me - even before I was mentally aware that one day I would be running my very own belly ring shop.

You can wear ANY belly ring. So what do you choose?

It's true, as a pierced babe (be it an older not-so-babe these days) I am spoilt for choice when it comes to belly rings being that I run my own shop full of them! I don't change my belly piercing daily (as many people would suspect lol) but rather whenever I'm off on a holiday or when the warmer weather comes back after winter I'm looking for a change. New bikini, new belly ring! Since being introduced to the TummyToys® range 9 years ago I mostly tend to stick with them. They offer the durability and day to day comfort that has let me keep my belly piercing so long. They are also designed for the more mature women, a high end range of designer of pieces. I live an active lifestyle and the TummyToys® belly rings hug my piercing perfectly and prevent any unwanted snagging during my yoga sessions and pump classes. That said, I still love to put on the occasional banana-bell belly ring. I love a nice long belly dangle sometimes too - especially with a cute tiny weeny bikini. The premium choice for belly jewellery is the solid gold belly bars so if it's in your budget, these are definitely worth considering. I have the white gold ruby pave TummyToys clasp and it's a definite favourite of mine.

Highlights of Being Pierced and Running a Belly Ring Shop

After a couple of babies and a few trips around the sun, my tummy isn't the tight six pack, flat bellied example of the younger generation but being able to dress it up with pretty little jewels and unique belly rings has been something I've enjoyed throughout every step of my journey. I even encourage the older women to just do it if it's something you've ever wished for.

One of the biggest highlights of my job is when I meet girls with belly piercings and I'm able to throw a few freebies their way. We also enjoy throwing free gifts in with every order! I love the smiles and seeing/hearing the delight!!! My pierced staff and my cousins are equally spoilt.

Recently I was on a yoga retreat in Bali and one of the girls there was so excited to hear that I was the owner of TummyToys. She had lost her belly ring ball and was still precariously wearing her belly ring, hoping that she didn't loose it - just trying to keep the hole open. Unfortunately I didn't pack any banana-bell style belly bars (or spare balls) because I knew I would be doing yoga and LOTS of surf time and needed my huggies. Thankfully I did have a few spare TummyToys clasps. I had packed about 8 (for 7 days lol) ! Some new, some old favourites! So I introduced her to the TummyToys snap lock style of piercing jewellery and she squealed with joy when she saw the TummyToys mermaid clasp. How fitting for Bali!! She ended up loving it and commented that she now preferred the huggy to the old style of banana-bells. That was fantastic being able to save her belly piercing with jewellery she adored, 7 days of yoga without a belly ring ball was going to get challenging! Nusa Lembongan doesn't have many shops, certainly not any body jewellery stores, so she most definitely would have been stuck. Take this as a caution girls to always pack a spare belly ring ball for your holiday or better yet, wear a huggy belly ring! You might not be lucky enough to run into me on the beach! But if you do, I'll happily throw a free belly ring your way.

Article by Helene Holtsbaum - Owner TummyToys and The Belly Ring Shop
Meet our Team of Belly Ring Addicts here.

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