Serena Kerrigan Wants You To Buy Her Studs Collaboration “For The Plot”

Photo: Courtesy of Studs.
“I'm the Queen of Confidence, and I saved you a seat at my throne.” In the last two years, no creator has preached the message of self-love more than Serena Kerrigan. Since leaving her full-time job (at Refinery29!) to focus on her SFK brand, the confidence coach has launched the first Instagram Live reality show Let’s Fucking Date, which streamed Kerrigan’s virtual blind dates; created several card games; and garnered a following of 170K+ on her IG account, where the aforementioned message greets the uninitiated. Now, the dating guru is looking to spread her gospel of unapologetic self-confidence further by partnering up with Studs, a piercing studio with its own line of jewelry, on SFK x Studs, a collaboration that marks the brand’s first influencer partnership.
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It should come as no surprise that the partnership came about after Kerrigan walked up to Studs co-founder Lisa Bubbers at a party. “We didn't have a relationship, and I went up to her and said, ‘I love your brand. We need to do a collaboration together,’” she tells Refinery29. “I had no doubt in my mind that there was so much synergy here.” While Bubbers had no hesitations either, agreeing on the spot — “she laughed and then she was like, ‘Hell yeah!’” — Kerrigan “thought she was being polite.” Almost a year later, the six-piece collection is out.
“When you're confident in yourself, people believe you,” Kerrigan says. “So when I said to Lisa, ‘I love your brand, I love my brand; together, we would absolutely shut it down,’ she believed me. As she should. Because we are going to.” 
That type of confidence, according to Kerrigan, “set the tone for this entire collaboration.” Titled "Ear For You," the drop features pieces that could be worn separately or as a set: a silver and a gold pave hoop that has “Do It For the Plot,” Kerrigan’s famous tagline, inscribed on the inside ($44 each); a gold crown stud that nods at the influencer’s moniker ($26); a gold chain fringe huggie ($38); and a gold and silver stud that reads “fucks” in script font ($28 each), inspired by Kerrigan’s motto.
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“There are going to be [Studs customers] that have never heard of me before. So I didn't want to make anything that someone who maybe wasn't a fan of me or SFK wasn't interested in. Like, I wasn't gonna put my face on an earring,” she says. “[That said] I wanted to make something that that felt ‘me.’ My whole brand is about being the main character of your life. Like your sidewalk is the red carpet. So we needed earrings to kind of fit that vibe.”
Ahead of the drop, we chat with Kerrigan about designing her first jewelry collection, the one item of clothing that instantly gives her confidence, and why we should all do it for the plot.
Why did you want to collaborate with Studs?
I really loved Studs from the get-go. I've been wearing their earrings for two years now, and I just love that you can shower with them. That was major for me; I'm not taking my earrings off. I'm a busy girl on the go. Like much of my audience, we don't have time. We're working out or running to a meeting. We're Zooming, we're dating, we're seeing our parents, our family. 
I want to wear quality products that can speak to my personality or mood or outfit; that can withstand water, sweat, and tears; and that are really freaking cute. And I love that about Studs. You can buy individuals, you can buy pairs. I find the brand is made for this modern woman.
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Something that has always been really important to me with my card games and all the products that we do is that they are inclusive. It’s at an affordable price point. It's for every gender, sexuality, every type of person. And it’s something that exists with Studs as well.
What was the inspiration behind the line?
I don’t venture into anything unless I do it 100% right. But also, I don't want to create something that already exists because someone's probably doing an amazing [job of it]. So unless I can put my own spin on it, I'm truly not interested.
The collection is called "Ear For You." Like, I'm here for you, which I think is really cute, but more just like you're there for yourself. I want to make products that make people feel confident.
What's your favorite piece?
The hoop with the engraved message inside: "do it for the plot." It's a secret message in your ear, literally. We are the main characters of our lives. It's about seeing every moment of our life as an adventure, as a plot point. [Like me going] up to Lisa and saying, “Hey, I want to do a collab with you." If she says, no — whatever — it was funny. But now look what happened to your plot line: you have a collection with Studs.
That was the main message that I wanted in this earring: [the one] that you're having with yourself, this internal dialog. The way that you talk to yourself and the way that you hype yourself up, that's going to set the tone for everything else in your life. So we didn't need "do it for the plot" written across your ear. It’s the message to yourself to remember and to feel, and to take risks and to have fun. Like it's all for the plot, so just enjoy your life and celebrate.
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What do the other pieces mean to you?
We have the crown [to remind people that you are] queen of your life, royalty, king of your life. You're important and you can conquer whatever comes your way. I love this quote that I have on my mood board for 2022 — of course, everything manifests! — and it says “the only difference between a chair and a throne is attitude.” And it's true!
What I love about the Fringe [huggie] is that it's flirty and fun, a party in your ear. I love the idea of strutting and having a piece move with you. And when I think of SFK — the character, the persona of me, my brand — she's strutting down the sidewalk like it's legit Fashion Week runway or the red carpet. It's about walking into a room and owning who the fuck you are even if you don't know anyone, which I hope that these earrings will inspire.
Last but not least, we have the “fucks” [stud] because my brand was about taking something negative or seen as a negative, which is the word “fucking,” and turning it on its head and seeing it as empowerment. So saying “this fucks” is a good thing. This collection obviously fucks, you fuck, I fuck. It's about seeing life in a positive way and flipping things.
Did you feel a lot of pressure designing your first jewelry line?
No. I had a great intuition with Lisa and the Studs team. I knew that they were going to steer me in the right direction. 
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I also have a great team. It's very important to surround yourself with people who are passionate about your brand but who also say no to you. I'm not like a fashion influencer, so [when designing] there was a little part of me that was like, Is this even cute? And then then I asked everyone, “Is this cute?” And they said, “yes.” [laughs] I always ask this question: “Would you buy this? Would you shell out money for this? Will you give me your credit card now and I can charge it?” And if the answer is “no,” then we're not selling the product and we're not making it. For [this collaboration], I was like, “I would buy every one of these earrings together or apart, in a collection or not.” And everyone felt the same way. 
What is the one piece of clothing that instantly gives you a boost of confidence when you might not be having a good day?
100%, a power suit. During quarantine, my first TikTok that ever went viral was me sitting in my living room with a suit [jacket]. It literally blew up. And I just was like, of course, because there's just something so authoritative about wearing a blazer. 
But, honestly, it's not about what you wear. It's about having the internal dialog with yourself. Giving yourself the attention and love, and nurturing and hyping yourself up, like you do with everyone else that you love. We're not taught to have that dialog with ourselves. And if you started doing that the way that you would do to your friends, your parents, or whoever, that’s when you start to feel a real change in yourself and see yourself a lot differently.
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So it doesn't matter what you're wearing. As long as you're getting in front of your mirror and saying nice things to yourself, or just “good job,” that's really what will make you feel confident.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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