These days, temporary tattoos are pretty well known. Several companies have sprouted out of the temporary tattoo trend, and countless people, celebrities included, have debuted these non-committal markings all over their bodies. Normally, these tattoos have followed a do-it-yourself method. People purchase the tattoos in a store or online, peel them off and using a wet towel, apply them in the comfort of their own home. Sometimes people might choose to invite a few friends over so they can tattoo each other. Beyond that, it hasn't been a very public event, until now.
Enter Tattly, a temporary tattoo parlor in Brooklyn, New York. Tattly has been around for four years, but just like other temporary tattoo companies, their sales have been strictly online. In November, the company decided to set up a pop-up shop in Brooklyn that offers tattoos to willing customers until February 2016. Temporary tattoos are a lot more popular now than they were four years ago, which makes this a very smart move for Tattly.
"Currently, Tattly offers a catalog of almost 700 designs."
A booming business
Though Tattly was one of the first companies to come out of this trend, there are several in the game now. Yet Tattly may have a little more credibility than others – not only does it offer countless designs, but all of the creations come from professional designers and tattoo artists. Essentially, it's the closest thing to a real tattoo that people can get, without the permanence. Currently, Tattly offers a catalog of almost 700 designs. Now, these designs aren't just being placed on the young and hip. Instead, families are coming into the pop-up shop interested in letting everyone get in on the action.
From 3-year-olds to grandparents, the pop-up shop doesn't discriminate. The parlor willingly tattoos all who come into the store using bottles of water and sponges for application, and Scotch tape for removal. However, removal usually isn't necessary as, like all temporary tattoos, the ink will fade in three to four days. Children and adults can even get sleeves, if they're so inclined, for a fraction of the cost of a real sleeve – $25 for children, and $40 for adults.
Most often, those who choose to get temporary tattoos don't have any real ones. Temporary tattooers will note that they simply don't have the desire to invest in a real tattoo, or they don't have an image that they would want on their bodies for the rest of their life. Many appreciate temporary tattoos because they are fun, cheap, painless and best of all – short-lived.
However, while the tattoos are temporary, will customers' views on tattoos have a lasting impression?
A permanent impact
Though they are temporary tattoos, Tattly's process is fairly similar to the real thing. People enter the shop, pick out a design and work with an employee to determine the perfect placement of the tattoo. Though these tattoos only last a few days, they tend to look very real. This realistic process and imagery may begin to blur the lines between real and fake tattoos, and encourage younger generations to believe tattoos are OK. Tattoos already have a strong influence on young generations – around 20 percent of all Americans have at least one tattoo, and that number is nearly doubled among the millennial generation. It's clear that tattoos are much less taboo than they used to be, especially among younger people. Now that taboo is decreasing even more with the rise of temporary tattoos, which give people the same look even though it's pretend.
Yet temporary tattoos may have the largest influence on young children. At Tattly, one of the most common customer's is family members, such as a mom and a daughter. When a child and his mom get the same faux tattoo, it's a bonding experience. However, it also is a way that parents are consenting to their children getting a tattoo. Though the ink may be temporary now, it might become permanent later.
Adam Suerte, the co-owner of Brooklyn Tattoo, certainly thinks that's the case.
"It actually impresses upon the younger kids that tattoos are cool or O.K., and gets their minds starting," Suerte noted. "So maybe they'll be future clients."