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Semi-permanent tattoo start-up makes any regrets temporary

Last Updated Jul 20, 2018 at 11:31 am EDT

Toronto startup InkBox Tattoos offers semi-permanent tattoos. CITYNEWS

They may look like real tattoos, except they’re not permanent and are pain free.

InkBox Tattoos is a Toronto-based startup behind the semi-permanent tattoos that gives consumers the look and feel of a real tattoo but only for a limited amount of time. The company’s slogan is “You can make your bad decisions temporary.” While the ink may leave a mark, any regrets would be temporary.

“We speak to everyone I believe,” said InkBox president Braden Handley. “People just wanted this product. There was nothing on the market to solve this need for people and we created that. We’ve allowed people self expression and confidence to get real tattoos.”

Handley and his brother Tyler, who are behind InkBox, say the main ingredient of the product is derived from the Genipa Americana plant, a fruit that can be found in South America. The authentic look is said to last about two weeks, and sinks into the top layer of the skin.

Consumers can either order one of the over 1,000 options in the catalogue that was created in-house, or they can even submit their own design. The prices range between $14 to $30. A complete kit, including the stencil and the applicator, will arrive straight to your door, along with instructions on how to apply your new ink.

Explainer: InkBox is a Toronto startup behind the semi-permanent tattoos. The ink may leave a mark, but any regrets would be temporary.

“A lot of people love it because you get to test the tattoo before you get it. But there’s also the opposite side — the hardcore tattoo people who don’t like us very much because they think we’re imposing on their territory,” Braden said. “We don’t believe that to be so. We think we’re expanding the market and allowing everyone to have tattoos for any amount of time.”

The brothers started the business back in 2015, and just recently, InkBox scored a $10-million investment deal. Currently, they are headquartered in Toronto and have about 60 employees, but there are plans to expand.

The products are made and shipped from the office on King and Spadina streets to over 150 countries in the world. There’s also a parlour attached to the office, where customers can come and purchase their tattoos. The company has already sold over half a million tattoos.

“I think it’s important to keep jobs here and to keep your products close, especially when it’s brand new,” Braden said.

The company has also partnered with 70 tattoo artists from all over the globe who submit their designs, allowing customers in one part of the world to get a tattoo designed by an artist on the other side.

Explainer: Reporter Faiza Amin asked Canadians about their tattoos and if they regret their ink.