Bevel owners Nate Janke and Cole Radermacher had both been piercing long enough to know what they didn’t want in their shop.
They were over high-volume shops.
A piercer’s goal at a lot of shops is to turn-and-burn clients. Janke used to push himself to do more and more piercings when he worked at Saint Sabrina’s, a former piercing and tattoo shop on Hennepin Avenue. Once he removed his ego from the process, he said, he just focused on making the piercing experience a special one for his clients.
“It’s not about us, it's about the person in the shop,” Janke said.
Radermacher and Janke started working together at Leviticus Tattoo and Body Piercing and noticed they treated clients similarly.
“We both have struggled,” Radermacher said, as he described trying to make the typical 15-minute appointment with clients feel like a great experience. That 15-minute time limit doesn’t exist at Bevel.
Even during those short appointments they both tended to give people “a high-end experience,” Radermacher said.
When they started planning their business together, Radermacher said they built the business so they didn’t have to do “30 piercings a day” to make money. Running a piercing-only shop is also pretty rare in the body modification industry, according to Janke.
Bevel's piercers have a goal of being available to a client through the whole piercing and healing process, which can take up to six months. Bevel sends clients an after care email and requests clients to visit the shop six weeks after the piercing to get the piercing checked out.
Appointments are spaced out with plenty of time for clients to choose jewelry, ask questions, try out different placements for their piercing, and get pierced.
“We are very flexible with clients when it comes to scheduling," Radermacher said.
The shop does not take deposits.
“I only want to handle client money after the service is done,” Janke said.
One of the more unique aspects of the shop is the piercings they specialize in. Thoughtful placement, jewelry styling, and creating a cohesive look with multiple piercings is what Bevel focuses on.
Content warning: Descriptions of getting pierced with a needle
I had the opportunity to get a Bevel piercing and styling in January with Janke. I already had my septum pierced by Janke at Saint Sabrina’s in 2019 with jewelry from Leviticus in 2020. I also had my nostril pierced but had no jewelry in it. I brought in two turquoise studs that I bought at Leviticus and knew they could be used in nostril piercings. With only one nostril piercing, what to do with the other turquoise stud?
That is where Jenke’s expertise came in. I was open to an additional nostril piercing but wasn’t sure about the placement. He suggested stacking a piercing above my existing piercing. I approved of the styling and he got to work.
After Janke confirmed I was sure about my new piercing location, I laid down on the table and he set up the sterilized tools needed for the piercing. Janke asked my consent to touch my face numerous times, asking in a calm and friendly voice, “Ok if I touch you?” He talked me through some deep breathing as he first installed the first turquoise stud in my existing nostril piercing and pierced a needle through my nostril higher up and swapped the needle out for the second turquoise stud.
Tears streamed down my face without me having much control over them. It was a pretty typical reaction after so much activity in my nasal cavity.
True to their word, Bevel was flexible with me multiple times regarding this piercing appointment. I had to reschedule twice, both for medical reasons, and they kindly rescheduled without any hassle or attitude. If you are familiar with tattoo and piercing shop culture, this approach to rescheduling is not a given.
A month after my piercing appointment, I managed to rip out my top piercing and lose the turquoise stud. When installing studs in freshly pierced ears and nostrils, piercers will put a longer backing on the jewelry to allow for some swelling. After my piercing healed some, I kept catching the longer stud on my glasses. When this happened, I emailed Bevel and within two hours someone replied and told me to stop by without needing an appointment. This time, I brought in a gold stud I also had from Leviticus and worked with Radermacher. He worked the stud safely into my new piercing and installed a shorter backing. He told me to drop by in six weeks to get an even shorter backing to ensure no more glasses mishaps.
Bevel’s location is intentional.
"We did this for the clients," Radermacher said, knowing where most of their clients are located.
Janke said he was stoked to be back in the Uptown area after Saint Sabrina’s closed a few years ago. Growing up in rural Minnesota, Uptown was his first exposure to the city. The shop is technically in East Isles, but the shop owners referred to the area as Uptown.
Uptown is a central location for many of his clients and he said parking in the area isn’t too bad.
Bevel has also found a lot of support in the East Isles and Uptown community.
"We are feeling super supported by the neighborhood," Radermacher said.
Bevel is sandwiched between Les Sól and Legacy, two clothing boutiques, and they have all become fast friends.
"It’s creating a sense of community," Radermacher said. “Small businesses are moving in and taking over.”
The shop is also queer-friendly but you won’t see a LGBTQ+ flag hanging in the window announcing it.
"I want to create a safe space to be pierced by a queer person if you want that," Radermacher said. His name gets thrown around online as a person that queer people feel comfortable getting pierced by but he doesn’t advertise that the shop is queer-owned.
Bevel is located at 1610 Lake Street and is open daily from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. You do not need an appointment to enter the shop. You can book an appointment online or in person. There is street parking and parking spaces behind the building. Janke pierces children’s ear lobes starting at 5-years-old. All other piercers pierce children’s ear lobes starting at 8-years-old.