Tattly Takes a Stand Against Ugly Temp Tattoos

There’s a new craze, and it’s one your mother would approve. Tattly is making temp tattoos cool again by partnering with über-talented designers like Julia Rothman, James Victore, Jessi Arrington and Blanca Gómez for design goodness you can adhere to your skin, at least for a little bit. Tina Roth Eisenberg (@Swissmiss), creator of design studio and blog Swissmiss, and her talented team are freeing this world of rancid clip art, one temporary tattoo design at a time.

Tattly Temporary tattoo designsIn the words of Eisenberg: “Life is too short to drink bad wine and wear ugly temporary tattoos. Right?” We couldn’t agree more and had to dive deeper into Tattly, a collaboration that both kids and adults can appreciate.

HOW: I feel like this is one of those amazing projects with a very cool back-story, perhaps involving a horrid smiley face plastered on a child’s arm for a week after a birthday party. I’d love to know how the idea for Tattly started?

Tina: It was in fact my daughter that inspired me to start the project. In may of last year, she asked me to help her apply a temporary tattoo she got at a birthday party. It was your usual, cheap looking, badly designed temporary tattoo — an insult to my swiss aesthetic. While applying the tattoo I caught myself complaining and realized that I need to either let it go or change it. And so I took matters in my own hands. I reached to some of my wonderful designer friends and asked them if they’d be interested in designing temporary tattoos for kids AND grown ups.

Little did I know, that soon my inbox would be flooded with Tattly design submissions. I didn’t realize that designing for skin would be extremely exciting for designers and illustrators. The skin as a canvas seems to be enticing. Two months later tattly.com went live and orders kept coming in. We got remarkable press coverage and people welcomed us with open arms. Two days after launching, a very, very well known museum store in London emailed us and asked for a wholesale catalog. I realized in that moment, that I was on to something.

It’s now been eight months and we’ve shipped to over 85 countries all over the world, we won the Shopify new business competition and got a mention by our Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz at the state of the borough address a few months ago.

I think Tattly is a great example of believing in the power of side projects. And as James Murphy of LCD soundsystem puts it:  “The best way to complain is to make things.” And that’s what I did.

Tattly Temporary Tattoo DesignsHOW: Can you tell me about some of the fun collaborations Tattly has had with designers? Is it a new experience for these designers to see their work adhered to skin?

Tina: Every Tattly is an exciting collaboration with our designers. I think it’s safe to say that most of our ‘family members’ never designed temporary tattoos before. Being able to give them a new canvas to play with makes me happy. Also, knowing that with Tattly, I was able to create a passive income stream for these folks that I admire and look up to, is fantastic. The designer gets a cut of every sale of their Tattly. This gets them excited to come out with more designs.

HOW: What makes a great tattoo design?

Tina: I think we could categorize the successful Tattly design into either funny/playful or conveying a deeper message. The “You’re Late” watch by Julia Rothman is a big hit for its humorous design and message. And “What To Focus On,” by Marc Johns reminds us of what is important in life.

HOW: Who do you think these designy temporary tattoos are for?

Tina: Our temporary tattoos are for everyone. We like to think that the are perfect for kids and kids-at-heart.

HOW: We have to ask: Are you sporting a Tattly right now? If so, which design

Tina: YES! My current favorite is Julia Rothman’s Love Watch!

Tattly Love Watch by Julia Rothman

“Love Watch” and “Popsicles” are designed by Julia Rothman. “Sun” is designed by  Blanca Gómez.

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