A piercing studio that also sells fine jewelry recently opened in Roanoke.
Akio Sagawa is the owner and head piercer of Sati Body Arts, located in the West End neighborhood. He moved to Roanoke about three months ago from Massachusetts, where he felt the market for his business was saturated. Sagawa said Roanoke presented a good business opportunity, and he also fell in love with the mountains.
In Massachusetts, Sagawa operated out of a tattoo shop. But Sati Body Arts will be focused exclusively on piercing.
“I wanted to go toward being able to focus on clients a lot more than being a tattoo shop that kind of just has piercing as an afterthought,” he said.
The shop will also sell fine jewelry, featuring gold or genuine stones, for example, that can be used for various piercings, Sagawa said. He hopes to one day make jewelry of his own.
Sagawa said he’s been a piercer for three years and in the industry for over eight years.
He chose the West End space formerly occupied by Star City Pizza because the prep room made for a good piercing room, which Sagawa said is required to be done in an enclosed area, and the neighborhood offered affordable retail space.
In the context of Buddhism, the word "Sati" refers to mindfulness and awareness, Sagawa said, which is what he brings to his work as a piercer.