How Inkbox Revolutionized Temporary Tattoos and Built an 8-Figure Business

Can you have your tattoo and change it too?

That was the too good to be true idea that sparked the beginning of Inkbox.

“It was actually Tyler’s idea,” said Braden Handley, who co-founded Inkbox along with his brother Tyler Handley in 2015. “He wanted tattoos and didn’t know how to test it and have it feel real to truly experience a tattoo.”

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The siblings and business partners worked with a chemist to find a formula that allows Inkbox tattoos to look and feel permanent for up to two weeks.

A black and white photo of Inkbox founders, Tayler Handley (left) and Braden Handley (right).
Tyler and Braden Handley are both siblings and business partners behind Inkbox, makers of tattoos that look and feel permanent for up to two weeks. Inkbox 

“We found this fruit from Panama that was imported since 2012,” Braden said. “We went down to Panama. We were deep in the Darien Gap, staying with the tribes, meeting them, understanding what their needs were, and how we can support them if we’re buying the fruit.” 

Once their vegan formula was developed, the duo validated the idea on Kickstarter by surpassing their $20,000 goal 10 times over. But they really took off, Braden said, after a write up on BuzzFeed. 

“We had 100,000 people on our site in one day,”

Braden said. “We were just like, ‘This is crazy.’ I think we did $50,000 plus [in sales] that day on our site alone.” 

A flat lay of various Inkbox tattoos against a brown table backdrop.
Inkbox’s initial milestones of success were surpassing their crowdfunding goals are a viral feature on Buzzfeed. Inkbox 

In addition to crowdfunding and press coverage, Braden also credits the company’s Instagram community for its success. 

“When we started on Instagram it was a lot easier to grow your following, and a lot more important of a channel back then,” Braden said. “[Now] TikTok is where you can actually acquire consumers, especially if they’re in that demographic of 18 to 24 year olds.” 

One model in a neon green top and sunglasses leaning against another model in the background, both showcasing tattoos on their hand and arms by Inkbox.
With an ever-changing digital landscape, Braden Handley believes that the go-to acquisition channel is shifting from Instagram to TikTok. Inkbox 

Commenting on how future brands will be created, Braden said, “They’ll be built by a community first, and that community will bring products to light.” 

How to build a brand and a community through social media is just one of the topics Braden covered in our Shopify Masters podcast. Tune into the full interview to hear details on Inkbox’s $65 million acquisition by BIC and Braden’s take on how web3 will be a place to launch brands.