Tribute tattoo - My friend Allan..
Long before Tattoodo was even an idea, my friend Allan was a big fan of Ami James. He had watched all the shows, and was very much into tattoos. You can imagine his surprise when I, one day at football practice, told him I was starting a company with Ami.
Allan followed the project with great interest, and I obviously loved talking about it :)
He took part in brainstorms, came up with ideas, and was almost as much in love with the company as I was.
One day my phone rang and I got the tragic news that Allans beloved brother Frank had passed away the day before. Out of nowhere he had suffered heart failure at the age of 36, in the local gym. The news were almost unbelievable and the entire soccer team was devistated. We all knew Frank. He was one of our (few) steady spectators, and the greatest guy in the world. Needless to say, Allan took a major hit, and it was frustrating not being able to do anything. We all tried to be as supportive as possible, but at the end of the day nothing really matters in a situation like this. Everybody from the team who knew Frank came to the church for the funeral. It was jam packed and very very quiet. Allan gave the best speech I have ever heard, and as he stood there and said what everybody wished they were able to say, it struck me that Allan was bound to get a Frank tattoo..
By this time we were almost ready to begin the test phase of our custom made tattoo designs. We had about 50 designers signed up, and most of the small technical isuues were fixed. The weekend after the funeral we went to Paris for the Tattoo convention, and we were ready to start testing. Without telling Allan about my plans, I asked him if he had thought about getting a Frank-tattoo.. His answer was quite clear: ”An old school eagle carrying a heart with a banner that says Frank”. I immediately created the contest, and a few hours later the designs started coming in. The next day I saw Allan was online on Facebook, and I just sent him the first couple of designs without saying anything. He was pretty surprised and asked if I had made them.. I guess he was still in shock :) I told him about the contest and during the next couple of days we went over every one of them. One day the design from Nayla Cirik landed in the contest, and I loved it right away. I sent it to Allan and he was 100% sure. She had to change a bit so it would fit his arm, but there was no doubt that we found the winner.
After returning to Copenhagen we slowly moved on to setting a launch date for Tattoodo. We still had a million things to do, but the Copenhagen Ink Festival was coming up, and that just seemed like the right moment to launch.
I called up Ami, and he was thrilled and made the arrangements for coming to Denmark. Everything fell perfectly into place, and a week before the event all tickets were booked. I sent Nayla’s drawing to Ami and he loved it. He came up with a few ideas and changes of his own, but it was a long time ago since he had done any old school tattoos, so he really looked forward to it.. we were good to go.
I invited Allan for lunch and broke the news. Ami was going to do his Frank-tattoo.. He was of course super excited, and it became a very emotional moment for both of us.
When the day came, Allan helped us setting up our booth at the convention. We had a perfect morning with breakfast, coffee and a slight hangover. Just like real irresponsible teenagers we of course ended up going out for drinks the night before the busiest 4 days of our lives.. smart move!
However the morning was great and we were really enjoying ourselves. It was amazing to see Allan smiling again, and we all looked forward to the convention.
Finally the moment came, and I have to admit I was a bit nervous. I don’t know why, but I just wanted everything to be perfect. Ami and Allan clicked immediately, and everybody was gathered around them. Allan’s girlfriend, all the guys in the booth and a few other friends including Henning Jorgensen and Aaron Bell all followed this moment.
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To cut a long story short, it turned out exactly as it should. Allan got an amazing tattoo, and everybody had a fantastic time. And most importantly, Frank was the center of the entire experience.
The rest of the convention also turned out just like we hoped, and we ended up with a blast of a party on saturday night.
Now we are on our way with Tattoodo, and things are going great. Hopefully we will enjoy many other great adventures. But this was just a small moment I will never forget. Somehow it told me that we are off to a good start :)
Mik, Co-founder of Tattoodo.