By Luke Elisio
Brothers Tyler and Braden Handley have raised over $275,000 in funds aimed towards improving their “two-week tattoo” ink formula on Kickstarter after originally seeking only $20,000.
A startup based out of Ryerson’s Fashion Zone, Inkbox boasts new technology in the tattoo market that allows users to sport a tattoo that lasts only about 14 days, rather than the rest of their lives.
“We wanted temporary tattoos we could customize ourselves but it wasn’t feasible to do, the way they’re manufactured,” said 28-year-old Tyler Handley, co-founder of Inkbox. “We wanted a new way to get tattoos that meant something to us, that wouldn’t last forever.”
Inkbox’s Kickstarter campaign, which launched in July, showcased their patented ink formula, which derives from the pulp of the Genipa americana fruit as well as other natural ingredients imported directly from Panama.
“The new product you see on Kickstarter is an improvement upon the original formula that we imported directly from Panama,” Handley said. “We found a way to reverse engineer the active ingredients, optimize it, and create a different tattoo method that’s much more consumer friendly and scalable as a business.”
The $275,661 CAD that was pledged to Inkbox’s Kickstarter page will be put towards a new manufacturing process to keep up with the thousands of orders that they receive, as well as a new tattoo applicator.
“We’re also building a browser based tattoo studio that will allow you to easily create and upload your own designs and order it as a tattoo,” Handley said. “That will allow anyone to sell their designs in our curated marketplace.”
Handley credits Inkbox’s popularity to the unique way they apply their tattoos.
“The tattoo industry hasn’t had any major improvements in 50-60 years since the tattoo gun was invented, so when you hear about a product, a tattoo that lasts only two weeks, the fact that it looks like a real tattoo, I think the novelty of it is what originally lead to people pledging to us.”