Sadu - traditionally spelled sadhu, referring to the
holy men of India who frequently pierce the inner cartilage
area of the ear - is a word which "inspires what
tribal shamanism means to us. Our studio reflects the
need for tribalism in a community where our tribe
flourishes. Everyone that is connected to this studio
has a sense of tribe in them," says piercer Amee White
of Sadu Body Modifications in Charlotte, NC.
which opened its doors in 1999 under the ownership
of Corinna Arlington, is located on Central
Avenue, a hip alternative strip in the heart of
With a combined 16 years of body modification
experience under their belt - Corinna has seven years
experience, Natalie Phillips has five years, and Amee
has four years - Sadu's all-female staff is highly knowledgeable
in proper jewelry placement, size, and
implant grade metals. In addition, they are all trained and certified in CPR, first aid, and blood born pathogens.
Although there are no certification requirements for body piercing in the Charlotte/Mecklenburg region, the
staff at Sadu uphold their own strict guidelines, closely following the APP's recommended standards and OSHA regulations.
Natalie, who is originally from Wilmington, NC, and Amee, a native Floridian from Ft. Lauderdale, have both
worked in regulated shops, while Corinna brings 10 years of medical background as a phlebotomist to the studio.
Sadu carries a full line of aftercare products, and takes
the time to educate each client with the proper way to heal
their piercing. "When you specialize in an area, that's exactly
what you have the time to do. We can individualize each person,
taking into consideration skin types, diet, lifestyles and
medical background," Amee says. "We do a great job documenting
each client's piercing history from the first piercing
they ever received from us to the most recent. We also verbally
go over all the dos and don'ts as well as sending home
printed instructions. We believe education is key because
some people just don't have any clue."
They also have a great relationship with their more heavily
modified clientele and use their creative capabilities to
create custom piercings. "There's not much out there that
we haven't been asked to perform on a client. We are proud
to see our work on people we see every day in our community,"
Sadu carries North Carolina's largest selection of
body jewelry from simple to ornate styles. They have
internal and external implant grade stainless steel
(316MLV), Titanium, 14k gold, FDA approved acrylic, and
pyrex. They also carry larger gauges in organic materials.
There are over 15 different stones to pick from as well as
bone (white and black), amber, walrus tusk, and wood. Sadu
is Charlotte's only professional body modification studio specializing
in exotic, surface, and larger gauge body modifications.
In addition to body modification, the women of Sadu have found alternative outlets
to channel their creative energy. Amee just finished her schooling as an aesthetician, and is receiving her state board certification. There are future plans for her
to set up shop inside Sadu. She will be offering a wide range of wellness treatments
like Chinese cupping, detoxifying therapies, aromatherapy, facials, reflexology and waxing.
"Corinna took a big chance hiring someone not from her tribe," says Amee, "but
I quickly showed her my capabilities, and over time became part of the family. I have
been in Charlotte for three years now and I feel I have made great contributions to
the body mod community with my performance art - which involves body modifications
- called Plush Pincushion. Sadu has helped tremendously with that through their
continued support and involvement." Her favorite piercings are her 4g Sadhus from
Corinna. Her favorite tattoo is the Indian hands that hold cherries on her chest by
Chris Stuart of Ace Tattoo in Charlotte.
Also in Sadu's future is the return of branding, with Corinna more confident in
more current techniques and more spectacular outcomes. They expect to integrate
branding as a service to their clients by next summer. Corinna, who is originally
from Florida, has lived in Charlotte for 15 years. She enjoys researching all points
of body modification, especially tribal aspects. Her favorite piercings are her 8g
Sadhus, and her favorite tattoo is the Genishe (an Indian god) on her calf by Rodney
Raines at Ace Tattoo.
Natalie has found a love of metal and plans to study metal workings as well as
how to apply it to jewelry making, with possible aspirations of her own custom jewelry
company. Both Corinna and Natalie plan to add permanent makeup to their
field of expertise with classes in the fall, which they will be offering at Sadu as well.
Natalie developed her roots at Sadu, receiving her apprenticeship from Corinna.
Her fianceť Nick is also a piercer but has temporarily retired. Her favorite piercings
are her 14g cheeks, and vertical bridge. Her favorite tattoo is her lower back
piece by Collin Le Roque.
Visit the tribe at Sadu for your next piercing experience, and check out the
expanded array of body modifications and services coming soon.