This earring subscription box is the perfect gift for tweens
Rowan offers monthly earring subscriptions and in-home piercing.
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I hear it all the time: parents wondering where to get their child’s ears pierced. Some are hesitant to take little kiddos into tattoo and piercing parlors, and although mall accessory stores like ’90s staple Claire’s are still around, a teen wielding a pressurized piercing gun isn’t always an appealing option.
Enter Rowan, a fresh take on the ear piercing experience that combines a subscription box with at-home ear piercing service.
Rowan sent a nurse to my house so that my 6-year-old could get her wished-for earrings in the comfort of home, and followed it up with a three-month earring subscription.
What is Rowan?
The main aspect of the company is the Rowan Earring Club subscription box. This is a fun gift for newly-pierced tweens and teens—or anyone who loves earrings, really. The box includes a new set of hypoallergenic earrings each month, and the first package comes with a pair of earrings in a microsuede pouch, an acrylic earring stand, journal, flashlight pen, stickers, and “mindfulness content” (discussion questions).
Each subsequent month includes a new pair of Rowan-designed earrings, plus little surprises like stickers, friendship bracelets, and conversation cards. Choose your metal—silver or the more expensive gold vermeil, which is silver dipped in gold coating—and your plan (three months for $78/$84, six months for $132/$144, or 12 months for $225/$249), and the first box ships right away.
Past earring designs have included rainbows, shields, sea turtles, owls, llamas, and stars. Tweens love the trendy designs, and the earring quality is quite nice, which parents will appreciate. As someone with sensitive ears, I’m relieved that we have these hypoallergenic, nickel-free options. My daughter Ruby can’t wait to try her next pair in six weeks when she can swap out the starter studs.
A magical ear piercing experience
Rowan may supply earrings, but they also provide an ear-piercing experience. Your child can get their ears pierced at home by a licensed nurse; just book a piercing appointment through their website. Currently, this service is available in limited areas—New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and North Carolina—but plans for expansion are underway (as part of research for this article, Rowan sent a nurse to my house in Los Angeles). Once you book your appointment, a nurse will come to your home for $95. The nurse gets to keep 100% of this fee, since Rowan makes their cut through the earring subscription box.
The nurse arrives with an assortment of 14k gold starter earrings, ranging in price from $55 to $199. I loved the options, which included stars, cubic zirconia and pearl studs, and even real diamonds. Ruby opted for tiny pearls, her birthstone, after her first request for diamonds was shot down.
Our nurse, Melissa, was sweet and patient with Ruby and her pal Amara, who wasn’t quite ready to get pierced. Nurse Melissa applied numbing cream to Ruby’s earlobes and carefully marked where the holes would go. When the big moment came, Melissa got out the piercing apparatus, which parents and kids will appreciate because it’s unassuming; no needle is visible. It’s not spring-loaded, like the piercing “guns” of the ’80s and ’90s; Rowan’s manual method is better for delicate little lobes. In fact, the company consulted with one of the top earlobe plastic surgeons in the United States to determine the best—and safest—way to pierce children's ears.
Nurse Melissa asked Ruby if she’d like a “3, 2, 1” countdown or if she should just go for it. “Just do it,” Ruby said. No tears! Ruby reported that it didn’t hurt as she braced for the second ear. Once done, she was beaming with excitement. The numbing cream is great, because my girl seemed to feel no pain.
After Ruby got her Certificate of Bravery—and posed for photos, naturally—Nurse Melissa went over aftercare instructions and gave us a saline solution for cleaning. It was a calm, gentle way to experience this special milestone.
What is the ideal age for Rowan?
At 6, Ruby is slightly younger than Rowan’s 7-14 target demographic, but the at-home experience is great for smaller kids. Rowan does charge more for kids under age five, and offers infant pricing for ages three and under. It’s not overwhelming like a mall visit might be, and the cozy home setting is reassuring. Special “piercing parties” at home are part of Rowan’s vision for marking this milestone, and the company offers “mommy and me” or “grandma and me” services as well. Rowan also offers second hole and cartilage piercings.
What we love about Rowan
We were already sold on Rowan thanks to the adorable subscription box and amazing in-home piercing experience, but we especially love that it was started by a mom.
Founder Louisa Serene Schneider wanted to create a way to make the ear-piercing right-of-passage truly special, and thus Rowan was born. She founded Rowan with the intention to celebrate all the special, unique, and sparkly moments of girlhood. She says, “I knew that I would prefer someone trusted, with some real medical training around anxiety, wound care, and precision with needles and medical devices to take care of my daughter, so it was really around the time of becoming a Mom to Fiona that I got the idea that ear piercing was a major milestone for girls that had totally been overlooked.”
As the mall experience wanes and on-demand, direct-to-consumer services expand, Rowan is poised for piercing popularity. And we’re here for it.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.