Get to know Mary Kasnowski and how she satisfies her artistic ways through her business, tattoos and piercings at Pair-O-Dice
And there was plenty to see at Mary and Charlie Kasnowski’s shop.
One of the girls, Amanda Dickinson, said, “I’m so nervous!”
“It’s just a needle,” her pal said. “What do you want (them) to do?”
“Everything,” Dickinson replied.
The Kasnowskis opened Pair-O-Dice Tattoo and Body Piercing on Halloween 2001.
“I was tired of working for other people,” said Mary Kasnowski, who used to work with carnie and bikers.
She met her husband of 22 years when she was working at a tattoo parlor in Macon. Both share a passion for art. Almost every wall in their shop bears some piece of her artwork, including a painting of her bug-eyed dog and another of a curvy-figured woman with piercings.
“I always have to be doing something,” Kasnowski said. “I get bored easily. I paint. I draw. I even started knitting.”
But at work she’s always on the go.
Last Thursday afternoon, the group of friends who showed up asked Kasnowski to do their piercings. She greeted them at the counter with a smile. “Hey guys! How are you?”
She had met them before and already done several tattoos and piercings for them.
They chatted about life and what had been going on since the last time they met.
Kasnowski, who has an easy-going personality and a motherly smile, led her young friends back to the piercing room.
Dickinson went first. She sat in a plastic chair against the wall as Kasnowski swabbed her nose with an alcohol-based solution. Then the artist took a small pen and marked the exact spot on Dickinson’s nose where the needle would go.
“Is that where you want it?” Kasnowski asked, holding up a mirror for Dickinson to look.
Next Kasnowski grabbed some metal clamps to hold Dickinson’s nostril steady when she stuck the needle in.
“On the count of three,” Kasnowski said, gripping Dickinson’s nostril with one hand and the needle in the other. “And on three, I’m going to stick ya, OK?”
“One … two … three.”
In one fluid motion, Kasnowski pierced the skin and a three inch metal needle sat lazily in Dickinson’s nostril. Water brimmed in the corner of Dickinson’s eyes, but she didn’t flinch.
Kasnowski cleaned the just-pierced skin and slid in a small silver stud. Then she explained safety precautions and cleaning instructions for Dickinson to follow.
Later, Kasnowski said, “It was exciting starting our own shop. It doesn’t bring in a lot of money, and our artists make more money than us, but we love it. My husband and I weren’t able to have kids, so I kind of like to baby my young customers as if they were my own.”
She figures more than half their customers are students.
“We get a lot of girls in here wanting something pierced, or a small tattoo,” Kasnowski said.