Tats for tots: Temporary ink lets Brooklyn kids look like Brooklyn adults

DUMBO designer Tina Roth Eisenberg sticks a rainbow on daughter Ella’s arm — one of many temporary tattoos available at her faux-ink wonderland, Tattly.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Brooklyn parents want the best for their kids — even when it comes to tattoos.

DUMBO designer Tina Roth Eisenberg is on a mission to transform tacky temporary tats into designer accessories, bringing a bit of class to the quarter machine staple with her brand Tattly.

“Temporary tattoos are just part of being a kid,” said Eisenberg, Tattly’s Swiss-born founder and the mastermind behind the design blog Swiss Miss. “Why not have really cool ones instead of crappy ones?”

Thanks to the mom-of-two’s trusty network of graphic designers, children and commitment-wary adults alike are flexing biceps adorned with popsicles, mustachioed rocket men, and diamond-encrusted boom boxes — all without going under the needle.

It all started six months ago, when Eisenberg’s 5-year-old daughter, Ella, nettled her mom’s inner typography snob when she came home with a “hideous, sparkly pink and purple” temporary tattoo.

Eisenberg found herself wondering why there weren’t any classier emblems that look real enough for adults, but cute enough for kids.

So she consulted her fellow illustrators, who instantly flooded her inbox with ideas for fresh ink.

The end result is an offbeat assemblage of ink that wouldn’t look out of place on a sunny day on Bedford Avenue; classic cameras and coffee cups by Brooklyn designer Julia Rothman; a swing set and a brown rabbit smoking a pipe by Canadian Marc Johns; and computer cursors and feline faces by the borough’s Josh Smith.

Tattly took off in flying colors, even getting a nod last month at Borough President Markowitz’s “State of the Borough” address.

Eisenberg dispelled the notion that her faux anchors and hearts might turn tots into future Dennis Rodmans or Kat Von Ds.

Her art is meant as an accessory — especially for adult commitment-phobes.

“I know I will never get a tattoo, but I love my temporary one,” she said. “It all comes down to self expression. You can dye your hair, wear big earrings, or you can get a Tattly.”

Eisenberg’s daughter, who’s become Tattly’s one-kid focus group, agrees.

“They’re pretty,” said Ella, flashing a fake red wristwatch. “We should make one with a beautiful princess swan, with a crown on it.”

Tattly’s tats comes in pairs for $5, or themed menageries starting at $15. For info, visit Tattly.

Reach Kate Briquelet at kbriquelet@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-2511.

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