At Tattstr, we pursue a vision of excellence through imagery and wordy designs. All that we do is about having fun, where work is play, and our inspiration is about making the best product possible. By doing this we hope to make people happy and smile through art. And we believe that, whether for grown-ups or kids that want to dress up their skin, at the core of everything we do at Tattstr lays on our principle pledge of causing no unnecessary harm to the planet.
As grown-ups, everything Tattstr can do to reduce, reuse and recycle will have a fundamental impact on the next generation of fun lovin Tattstrz who will inhabit this planet and enjoy the natural environment.
We care about every small detail of each product we make, whether it be to source temporary tattoos printed with vegetable-based inks, use solar energy to power our office, have a worm farm in our garden and use minimum packaging that is 100% recycled. These things matter to us.
As a member of 1% FOR THE PLANT our commitment to this pledge goes one step further - with every sale, 1% of profits go to environmental groups around the globe. Look for this logo on other products and know that you’re supporting companies that share your values. @1percentftp
The story behind Tattstr is intense! Our journey, a believe-in-yourself-and-follow-your-passion journey, has come full circle. My creative bug bit early in life. Growing up in the 1970s in Taree on the New South Wales mid-north coast of Australia, I watched my mum work in textiles, fine art, and ceramics as a potter. After graduating high school in 1992, I left Taree and moved to Newcastle to pursue a bachelor of visual arts degree majoring in plant and wildlife illustration and printmaking. I landed a part-time job working as an embroiderer /digitiser and assistant in the screen print shop. Following my passion for fashion, I got my first designing break with Hot Tuna, a street wear clothing company. Working as a graphic designer I was able to relocate back to my hometown of Taree. I'd taken my dream job, combining the love of fashion, art and surfing…Yay!
It was here that I was exposed to a variety of material from flocking to heat transfers, dye sublimation, advertising and designing for children’s, men’s and women’s fashion lines. I was continually pushing myself too hard to meet deadlines. I ignored the warnings of my body and started getting RSI (repetitive strain injury) in my arms. Over several jobs, it only continued to get worse and I was advised to leave design in 2001 if I wanted to recover.
Needless to say, I was gutted. My creative dreams were shattered and I became depressed for a period of time. Fortunately for me, I had a great support network of family and friends. Over time, I was able to pick myself up with a hard look in the mirror and became a busy bee in the corporate world.
For the next 14 years, I held on to hope that I would return to design one day. Ideas seemed to leak from my mind like water dripping from a tap that could not be turned off. I continued to design when I could, copying ideas down on paper and filing them away.
By 2014, my loving wife and I had three beautiful children all of whom seem very creative. As a parent, you encourage your children to pursue their hopes and dreams and me not pursuing mine, became hypocritical. I wasn’t being true to myself. For 14 years, my artsy, hippie mother continually asked me when I was going back to design. The question sunk in and I thought, I need to get back into design! But how? How could I apply my designs, incorporate my printing background, and do something my kids would enjoy too?
From struggle comes incite and clarity. We had a mini crisis at home when my five year old daughter insisted on getting her ears pierced. A little reluctantly, we decided to do it for her. After the piercing, she continued getting ear infections and it became a bit of a trial until her ears settled down. We also have a toddler girl who no doubt would want earrings soon enough too, and the longer we could put that off the better! I got to thinking of a solution, an alternative to real piercing.
With the idea of temporary ear tattoos on my mind, I started investigating the production and process of temporary tattoos. If I was going to put anything on my child's skin, I needed to make sure it was safe. Months of research led me to vegetable based inks. I designed three prototypes - a cupcake, an owl, and a ladybug, as requested by the kids! - and ran them through the printer on tattoo laser paper.
The kids loved them and at this point, something remarkable and completely unexpected happened. Our family and friends were asking if they could buy what I created! I threw myself into it with a passion. I researched the marked, talked to industry professionals, and after work, would spend 4-5 hours per night working on this project. Most nights, well after midnight, I'd crawl into bed covered in marker pen and graphite.
With my wife working full time and me working at home, managing three kids, it was obvious that to be successful, we needed an online store. The store launched on the 16th of February 2016 with 30 original designs and this is where we have been ever since.
Who am I? Just a Dad with the coolest job in the world.