New piercing shop opens in Grass Valley |

New piercing shop opens in Grass Valley

Sam Corey
Staff Writer
Mel Garcia and Gary Cassano started a body piercing business in Grass Valley in September. The two were engaged the day after opening it.
Photo submitted by Cary Cassano


What: Divine Piercing

Where: 470 S. Auburn St., Suite A., Grass Valley

When: 1 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays; closed Tuesdays; noon to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; noon to 6:30 p.m. Sundays;

Their story began with a piercing.

Well, a piercing removal.

Gary Cassano got a dermal, or body, piercing for his friend who was practicing the art in an advanced course. The piercing, placed on his upper arm, was done well, said Cassano. But it nonetheless caught on his clothes.

On a visit to San Francisco from Seattle, he went with his friend to Haight Street to get the piercing removed.

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Although Cassano couldn’t see his piercer’s face (she was wearing a mask), he took a liking to her.

Returning to Seattle, Cassano realized he hadn’t offered a tip. Having a common friend on Facebook, he uncovered some information and mailed his piercer a Christmas card, including a tip. He also asked her out on a date.

Cassano and Mel Garcia quickly noticed they had a few things in common. Garcia was living in Auburn, California, and Cassano had lived in Auburn, Washington, for 25 years. Cassano’s nickname in high school was “Mel,” short for melon. (His head was so large his football coach had to order him a special helmet from the Oakland Raiders.)

From there, things fell into place.

Ten months after meeting Cassano and Garcia moved to Cascade Shores together, opened a Grass Valley piercing shop on Sept. 19 — Divine Piercing — and were engaged the following day.


Before they opened a shop together, Garcia was piercing on San Francisco’s Haight Street, a space which she said is the height of piercing and tattooing.

“That’s when you know you’ve made it,” said Garcia.

Garcia studied under Fakir Musafar, an important figure in the body piercing world. She said he believed “our body (is) our playground.” If you believe our body is a temple, she said, one should decorate it as such.

“You begin to love that part of your body because you adorn it,” she said.

As of last month, Cassano and Garcia have been running their shop together. Garcia does the piercing and Cassano does everything else, talking with customers and ensuring things runs smoothly.

Garcia only uses single-use needles. She says piercing guns are bad for the body, particularly peoples’ ears.

The shop also offers tooth gems, crystals and gold pieces that Garcia affixes to teeth much like braces.

Garcia said she teaches people to heal themselves after piercing them, as to prevent infection.

“I really have a lot of information about how they can heal,” she said.

The business owners said they are also very cautious with children under the age of 18, requiring their birth certificate, identification from both the parent and minor and engage in lengthy discussions about piercings prior to making any pokes.

“We are not going to talk anyone into anything,” said Garcia.

To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey, email or call 530-477-4219.

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