For My US Readers:

Business is not just Business

Tattly = 5

Tattly turns 5

Today’s a big day! It’s been exactly 5 years since I announced the birth of Tattly. My team made me look back and share 5 things I’ve learned:

It takes a small village to run a physical product company.
When I started Tattly I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Being a User Interface Designer, I knew nothing about selling physical goods. I assumed that at the most I would end up with a company that I could feed with two pizzas, meaning 6 people max. False. We are currently 12 full-timers and 4 part-time helpers. We could easily hire 4 more folks but have to hold out until our sales allow us to. Tattly is an entirely bootstrapped company and every new hire is a milestone. Just like raising kids, it takes a small village to run a company like Tattly.

Trust breeds magic.
From the beginning days of Tattly I hired young, motivated smart folks, that were as excited as I am about developing a physical product company. None of them had any prior experience. But they had some serious HUSTLE. We all learned as we went along. I trusted them with building Tattly, sometimes with things I probably shouldn’t have trusted them with. But that’s ok, because trust is the biggest compliment of all. Over the past few years, this theory of mine has proven successful: Hire young folks that thrive when asked to figure stuff out, that are motivated and self-driven. Then, simply step out of their way. Let them know you trust them and watch them embrace the challenges and watch them over deliver. Trust breeds magic!

You have to embrace inventory tracking. And sales.
When you sell a physical good you need to know how many you have in stock. At all times. Seems trivial? Well, it took me a few years to finally implement a inventory management system (Netsuite). Best thing we’ve ever done. And, then just this year, I finally embraced selling as an art form. Guess what, your product doesn’t sell itself. You have to tell people about it. I had to learn that you can do see in really elegant, tasteful and fun ways.

The extra layer of love gives the product soul.
At Tattly we try to sprinkle a possibility of a smile into everything we do. How? If you subscribe to our newsletter, you might have noticed our love for puns! Ever ordered something online? Then you might have come across the messenger pigeon coordinates on our invoice! Did you ever stumble upon our Error 404 page? You should! Or my favorite: A few years ago, when we launched an invisible Tattly on April Fools day, designed by Mario The Magician. Just thinking about it still makes me laugh! I believe that these little possibilities of a chuckle are what give our brand soul.

Never underestimate the power of confetti.
I firmly believe that every business needs a confetti drawer. When you order on Tattly.com you have the option to add confetti during the check-out process. And sometimes we randomly add some to orders, because we think the customers would appreciate it. But don’t worry, when we do add confetti, we do it respectfully, and include a “CAUTION CONFETTI INSIDE” sticker on the package. Because, you know, messy.

Team Tattly

I am excited to be celebrating this 5 year milestone with my team. They are a fantastic, fun, hardworking group. Let me raise my confetti canon and say: Happy our Tattly birthday to you!

If you have followed my blog for a while, you might know that we have a birthday tradition at Tattly: We celebrate our birthday by giving our customers 50% off. Use discount code TATTLYTURNS5 for 50% off your order, this week only.* This only happens once a year so be sure to place your order before 11:59pm EDT 7/15/2016.

Blog-iversary! 11 Years Today!

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11 years ago today I started this blog, not knowing it would become the catalyst for so much good in my life. Here’s my first post ever. All the feels. Happy my 11th blog-iversary to you! And, thank you for reading!

Broad Mic Podcast

The lovely Kelly Hoey interviewed me for Broad Mic a few weeks ago. The podcast just went live!

Note to self: Must talk slower!

What Would Happen?

Empowered by MailChimp: Tattly

A few weeks ago I got a call from my friend Mark at MailChimp in which he asked: “What would you say if we made a commercial on Tattly for Viceland TV?” Needless to say, I nearly fell off my chair. Sure enough, a few weeks later, Vice and their huge crew showed up at Tattly HQ and filmed a day straight. And above is the end product, which you can also see here. How cool is MailChimp? For a small bootstrapped company like Tattly, generous PR gestures like this one are a big deal.

MailChimp was part of Tattly from the very beginning. In fact, when I started the project, almost five years ago, I ran out of money and didn’t have the funds to print the first batch of tattoos. Rusty who helped me at the time had the idea to add a sponsored bonus Tattly in every order. We pitched the idea to MailChimp and they said yes, which allowed us to get production going. Interesting fact: MailChimp knows the pain of being a bootstrapped company. They are still, years later, privately held, which I think you can sense when you pay a bit of attention. They are and have been generously supporting creative projects around the world. (I myself fall into this category also with CreativeMornings. MailChimp was our first global partner) I consider them a “angel investor of the creative world” not just with Tattly but with many other conferences, magazines, experimental-creative-you-name-it-proejcts. Their generous support is making a real difference.

Thank you MailChimp. Tattly (and the rest of the creative world) loves and appreciates you.


In this same series, Vice and MailChimp also made one on FLO+THEO, Jane’s Motorcycles and Heatonist. You can see them all here.

Come Work With Me

Work with Tattly

Come work with my team and me at Tattly! We are hiring a Sales Manager.

Today Show features Tattly

Today Show Tattly Feature

What an absolute honor to have been featured on The Today Show! NATIONAL TV EVERYONE! My heart! I am having all the feels! For a small bootstrapped company like Tattly, this is huge! I want to thank all the people involved in making this happen! I wish I could hug you all! Watching the segment made me tear up, here’s why.

Remarkable Humans

Please Support Our CreativeMornings Kickstarter

Full disclosure: I am not someone that asks for help easily, writing this post has me feeling all the feels:

On Friday my team and I launched a Kickstarter campaign to support and celebrate our 1,500 CreativeMornings volunteers around the world. Every month, they pour time and heart into each and every event, which are open to anyone, at no cost. They passionately and tirelessly fuel this engine of generosity.

Just last year alone, we hosted over 1,600 events, in over 50 countries. Did I say CreativeMornings events are free? As in ZERO DOLLARS? And come with free breakfast? Free coffee? And even hugs?

We often try to imagine how many lives CreativeMornings must have touched. How many people found new jobs? New friends? Spouses? Or simply a place where to feel safe and understood. My team and I believe in the power of meeting up, in the power of creating a safe, kind space to share and connect.

Have you ever been inspired by a CreativeMornings event? Or watched our talks online? Then please, consider donating to our Kickstarter which will help us put on our bi-annual Organizer Summit. It’s a two day chance for all volunteers around the world to get together and compare notes, learn from each other and make your local events better.

We put together some pretty neat rewards, have a look. If you have ever been touched by a CreativeMornings event, please consider giving back.

And, if your company might be interested in sponsoring our Summit, and in that case, be invited to participate and meet our hosts from around the world, please email us!

Thank you! (/ Exhale)

A Celebration of Ravi’s Life

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In 2014, my friend Maggie Doyne saved a little baby boy’s life and allowed the world to cheer her on and follow the heartwarming rescue story along. Maggie named him Ravi and became his legal guardian. And then today, she shared this Instagram update. Ravi passed a day ago in a tragic accident. With a heavy heart I put together a fundraising campaign to celebrate Ravi’s life.

My heart!

Following Maggie’s Instagram and Facebook updates, as she was fighting for Ravi’s life showed me a new side of Social Media: The world rallied and poured their hearts into Maggie’s mission to save this little fragile boy. The love shining through the comments was incredibly powerful.

Now, let’s put our hearts together one more time and give Maggie strength. If you can, please consider supporting the Fundraiser I set up in Celebration of Ravi’s Life. All money raised will go to his brothers and sisters.

Go to Ravi’s Fundraiser.

(In case you’re wondering, I got the approval of Maggie’s BlinkNow Team to run this Fundraiser)

Tattly Parlor in The New York Times

 A Temporary-Tattoo Parlor With Ink for the Whole Family

What an exciting last day of 2015 for team Tattly! Our Tattly Parlor is featured in The New York Times! Here’s the article. (Not to brag but we made the Style’s section twice in 6 months! Here’s the article from just a few months back.)

Team Tattly killed it in 2015: We moved offices, were part of the Easter Egg Roll at the White House, launched collaborations with Naughty Dog (of Sony) and Sesame Street, we were part of Art Basel, we brought old Masters back to life at Christie’s and opened a Tattoo Parlor. And we paid over $750,000 in royalties to our artists.

Time to celebrate! 2016 here we come!

Happy 5th Birthday TeuxDeux

TeuxDeux

Five years ago today, Cameron, Evan and I announced TeuxDeux, a simple, design-y to-do app. (Cameron’s very first product video still puts a huge smile on my face. Keep in mind, the app UI has changed since then…)

TeuxDeux was born over a lunch conversation where I shared my vision of a calendar based to-app and 3 days later we had a working prototype. 5 years and several updates and revisions later, TeuxDeux is helping keep thousands of happy user stay organized.

The secret is to keep TeuxDeux as your browser landing page, so every time you open a browser window you are being reminded what you should be working on. Organize your to-do’s on our simple, list based calendar view. Cross off what you’ve completed and whatever you don’t cross off, will automatically move to the next day. You can also create your custom ‘someday’ columns on the bottom area for the things that you just need to get out of your head. And, take your to-do’s with you on the go, with our iPhone app.

Happy 5th birthday TeuxDeux. I don’t know what I would do without you.

Freunde von Freunden

Freunde von Freunden

I am thrilled (and a bit stunned) that my ‘world’ is featured on Freunde von Freunden. A big thank you to Shoko Wanger and Nicole Franzen.

Friends Work Here

(Big thanks to the talented Bas Berkhout for the above video. And to Tory Williams for the photos used within.)

Earlier this spring I opened a new co-working space called FRIENDS in the heart of Boerum Hill Brooklyn. It is the more grown-up version of my first co-working space Studiomates which I ran out of DUMBO, Brooklyn, just a few subway stops away.

As someone who puts great emphasis on surrounding myself with people that I admire and that inspire me, this new work home has been life changing. FRIENDS is attached to the artists in residence of the Invisible Dog and Tattly, right below us on the second floor. This beautiful old factory building is bursting with creativity and generous, kind people.

We have one desk available right now. Join us?

How To Draw A Person

My son Tilo (5) started a YouTube Channel teaching you how to draw. Current tutorials include how to draw a person, jaguar, bat, owl and a snake. My heart is bursting.

(It got him his first commissioned illustration over on I Love Typography for a post on First Printed Children’s Books . See the header illustration on the left.)

Shouting This From Rooftops Soon:

Thought of the day

Tattly in the New York Times

Screenshot 2015-08-06 21.25.08

Today was a big day for Tattly: We got featured in the New York Times’ Styles section. It’s a long and positive article. I can’t thank the writer, Courtney Rubin, enough for her kindness and generosity. Want to read it yourself? Here you go!

10 Year Blog-iversary

“In all Beginnnings dwells a Magic Force.”
– Herman Hesse

Exactly 10 years ago today, I started this blog with the above quote. Little did I know, that it would redefine my career and life. Happy my 10 year blog-iversary to you. Thank you for reading. Please consider yourself hugged.

Vintage Ice Cream Vendor Bike

vintage icecream vending bike

With a heavy heart I am parting with my beloved Norwegian Vintage Ice Cream Vendor Bike. Someone wonderful please give it a new home. Details here.

PS: You’re wondering why we’re selling this gem? We can’t fit it into our new space. Womp Womp

We are Studiomates. Soon we will be Friends.

FRIENDS

In July of 2008 I started a co-working space here in DUMBO that over the years has grown from a 4 people space into a 50+ creative force called Studiomates. With our office building going condo, this beautiful chapter is coming to an end.

Over the past 7 years I have learned so much about what it takes and most of all, what defines a thriving co-working space. I believe in keeping the community small and carefully curated. I believe in balancing out the trades and skills of that the community members bring to the table. To me, a co-working space is about community, about being surrounded by folks that are talented at what they do, passionate, kind and low in ego. Being around my studiomates elevates my game. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the support of my studiomates. They made me feel safe and gave me confidence in moments of doubt. They pushed me when I needed to be pushed. And they were able to connect me with accountants, lawyers, printers, you name it when I needed it. The value of a likeminded community like Studiomates is hard to put into words.

I gave the next chapter of Studiomates a lot of thought and am thrilled to announce that 17 of us are moving to a new space in Boerum Hill in beginning of April. We are taking a floor in The Invisible Dog in Boerum Hill, joining the impressive artist community Lucien Zayan has so masterfully curated over the last 5 years.

The new space will have a lounge, a full kitchen, phone booths, a conference room. We are going to feel so grown up! Yay! Construction is starting mid February and move in date is end of March. Doors will officially open on April 1st.

We are currently taking applications for the remaining desks. (If you’re interested, apply quickly, the desks are almost all gone. Psst… Developers are high on our wish list!)

At this point we are Studiomates, starting April, we will be FRIENDS.

A Bigger Boat

http://martinaflor.com/portfolio/pick-me-up/

With all that I have planned for 2015, I might need a bigger boat, metaphorically speaking, of course. Happy new year to you all. Thanks for reading and taking part in this little (blog) world of mine. Also, happy my birthday to you!

(Illustration by Martina Flor)