My family (including my wife and two crazy daughters) and I were having dinner at home one evening, early in October, 2008. The obligatory, newly minted holiday catalogs were strewn about (funny how those companies remember us during the holidays, but forget us the rest of the year), when my younger daughter started pointing at all the things she was expecting for Christmas.
Rather than respond with, "ARE YOU TRYING TO PUT ME IN THE POOR HOUSE?!?" I instead asked how we were going to pay for it. After all, she had racked up an impressive $1,200 worth of items that she insisted she, "must have," but really couldn't come up with any sound business case to support her request. She wouldn't even agree to doing the dishes that evening... and we have a dishwasher!!!
We threw ideas around. Some were absurd. Some were beyond our comprehension (I'm convinced that 7- and 12-year olds live in a parallel universe with no laws governing physics or finances). Most were... annoying. Spying one of several nude "Barbie" dolls laying on the floor, I asked, "What about doll tattoos?" I had been working with decal paper earlier that day, trying to find a unique application for it, so I'm guessing that's why the two ideas met.
I looked to my 12-year old for an immediate rejection of the concept... and I pretty much got it. But, she's 12, what does she know? 12-year olds naturally reject what their parents tell them. "If I can convince her it's a good idea, I can convince anyone," I thought. After filling out the idea a little more, citing trends in temporary tattoos for children (schools are handing them out!) and shows like, "Inked," I wondered why dolls hadn't reflected this ancient socialogical trend.
After a short pause, the 12-year old nodded her head and said, "Yeah. That would be cool." When both of our daughters started fighting over who's designs (they were enlisted to provide sketches of tattoos they would want, if they were permitted to have them) would be more popular, I figured we should give this concept a try.
The next morning I prototyped a pair of tattoos and applied them. The girls responded enthusiastically. But, eBayers did not. Just selling the tattoos wasn't enough. And, as my brother pointed out, my product descriptions were just too dry and technical. "People want the finished product, not the adventure of wetting a tiny piece of paper to get a thin piece of film off it to stick on their doll!" I thought to myself. (A, "Duhh..." moment, for sure!) My brother's enthusiastic support of the concept, however, was, and still is, one of the driving forces behind this project.
For the first time in their short lives, my daughters found themselves being dragged to Toys-R-Us by their father to go shopping for dolls - for him! They weren't as enthusiastic as I'm sure they thought they might have been, all those times they casually asked (while innocently fluttering their eyelashes), "Daddy, can we go to Toys-R-Us???"
So, here we are.
We know we won't appeal to everyone. We're not trying to. Tattoos, and dolls with tattoos, aren't for everyone. But, for those of you who have them (or wish you could have them) and enjoy them, we hope we have something here you like.
For what it's worth, no one here is even thinking of Christmas presents anymore. And, all the catalogs are in the trash.
Ugh! Do a search of Google Images for 'tramp stamp barbie' and what do you think comes up? Our tramp stamp Barbie image! For some reason, people think they can just lift the image and not give credit. Well, we're not going to prevent folks from using them. Nope, not at all. Instead, we're going to encourage it.
But, we are capitalists and we are trying to teach our girls that our work is NOT public property. So, the prices:
Charges are per image/per month or any fraction thereof, payable in United States funds. We still retain the rights to the images.
There. Now everyone can be happy!