The author watches closely as a forever bracelet is permanently welded onto her at Catbird in New York.
I watched closely as the forever bracelet was welded onto my wrist.Jordan Erb/Insider
  • The bracelets are permanently welded onto the TikTokers.

  • My mother and I went to Catbird in NYC to see what the hype was about.

  • The welding process didn't hurt and I love the look.

Since the forever bracelets trend began on social media, people have been flocking to Catbird, a jewelry store that specializes in forever bracelets.

A woman chooses a bracelet at Catbird.
Catbird, one of several jewelry stores now offering permanent jewelry, has many forever bracelets to choose from.Jordan Erb/Insider

On TikTok, permanent jewelry, which involves getting jewelry custom fit and welded onto you, has taken off.

Hundreds of millions of views have been generated by the #permanentjewelry and #permanentbracelet hashtags. There are hundreds of thousands of views on the videos I've seen popping up on my TikTok feed.

Catbird's New York City studio sees anywhere between 80 and 100 appointments a day, according to Sriya Karumanchi, the director of marketing. She told Insider that permanent jewelry's popularity has grown.

There are a lot of TikTokers who come into the Soho and Williamsburg stores. It has been a big driver of forever bracelet awareness.

The number of views each video can accumulate makes sense, as an employee told Insider that the recent sales have been fueled by the viral videos.

I went to Catbird with my mom to get matching bracelets because I was curious about the permanent jewelry hype.

The author poses inside Catbird in New York City.
When I visited one of Catbird's New York City studios, it was bustling with excited shoppers.Jordan Erb/Insider

I relived my childhood desire to get friendship bracelets. I made mine permanent.

I wanted to surprise my mom with a visit to Catbird because I had seen videos of people getting permanent jewelry.

I didn't think the process was as intense as it sounds, and I will be back for more.

The bracelets do not pierce or attach to your skin.

The welding process produces a flash of light, but it doesn't burn your skin.Jordan Erb/Insider

It's not quite what it sounds like.

The bracelet is not attached to your skin. It's possible to get a jeweler to fit a chain on your wrist and close it without a clasp.

You can cut the bracelet off if you need to.

My mom was worried she wouldn't like the bracelets enough to keep one on forever, but she ended up loving the options and her final choice.

My mom was a little concerned about the concept of "permanent jewelry," but she ended up really happy with her bracelet.Jordan Erb/Insider

When I told my mom I was taking her to get jewelry welded onto us, she looked at me like I was doing nothing.

She wasn't sure if she would like the style she picked forever, and she was worried about the commitment to permanent jewelry. She was concerned when we got into the shop to pick our bracelets.

My mom said after our appointment that she imagined handcuffs or something.

Matching, paper-clip-patterned bracelets that cost $144 each are in the middle of the range for a permanent bracelet at Catbird.

Depending on the style and where you buy it, permanent jewelry can be as high as $100. The welding service is free and the bracelets are the same price.

The longest part of our visit was waiting for our appointment, because Catbird was so packed.

Catbird's NYC studio was filled with people, even on a Saturday evening.Jordan Erb/Insider

When we went to Catbird on a Saturday, the jewelry store was full.

We had to wait for someone to check us in for our appointment because there were so many people shopping for jewelry.

We didn't mind because we had plenty of time to look around and pick out our jewelry.

The entire process took less than 10 minutes after we were seated.

I felt a little nervous but also excited as my jeweler prepared my bracelet.Jordan Erb/Insider

The employees helped us decide if we wanted the bracelets to be tight or loose.

They measured the length of the bracelet and then put a gold chain around it.

We chose which side to wear our bracelets on. We embellished our right wrist since we wear watches on our left.

The entire zapping took my mother about seven minutes.

My jeweler started over again to perfect my bracelet's fit, which took a bit longer than my mother's. The attention to detail was appreciated by me.

I was intimidated by the light and sound of the welding tool, but it didn't hurt at all.

Using pliers to hold the bracelet shut, the jeweler used a welding tool to close the two ends of the chain together.Jordan Erb/Insider

Before the jewelers went to work on our bracelets, they put on dark glasses, which made me think that maybe I shouldn't be looking at the light produced while welding.

The goggles are a precautionary measure because the jewelers are repeating the process over time, but it's completely harmless to look at the zap.

Even though I knew it wasn't supposed to hurt, I still thought it could burn me.

It didn't, so don't worry. It was over in a split second.

Customers don't have to cover their wrists because the welding doesn't cause an open flame.

In Catbird's five years of zapping, they have never had a problem with customers' skin.

I don't feel constrained by my bracelet despite my initial doubts.

My bracelet feels so light and dainty that I often don't even realize I'm wearing it.Jordan Erb/Insider

I was worried I'd be confined by having something around my wrist after reading comments on TikTok.

I barely notice my bracelet because it's so light.

I can wear it with any outfit for a long time.

My only regret is that I didn't get more, but the person who helped me assured me I would be back.

My mom and I agree that getting permanent jewelry together was a bonding experience.

Both my mom and I are thrilled with our new matching bracelets and our experience getting them together.Jordan Erb/Insider

I thought it was a great way to spend an evening with my mom, and she agreed.

We have a memory and a souvenir that we can keep for a while.

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