Before they left their adopted home of Austin, Philadelphia expats Jordan Denny and his wife wanted to find a way to commemorate five great years in Texas.
What better way than a tattoo? She wanted the image of a tree that she loved in Austin’s Zilker Park on her arm, while he mulled the idea of the Austin skyline in black and white on his wrist or his side.
But Denny, 28, isn’t the type to jump impulsively into something so permanent. He wanted to find a way to test the tattoo out, see what he liked. But he couldn’t find any service of the sort. So he started his own company that could do just that. It’s called Momentary Ink.
Users send tattoo designs to Momentary Ink, which works with a U.S. temporary tattoo company to make temporary versions. Then, Momentary Ink sends over the tattoos (they’re $15 a pop) with a sealing and matting solution. Denny said tattoo shops have been impressed by how realistic they look. They last between anywhere between two to ten days, depending on where you put them. (If it’s on your shoulder, it’ll likely come off sooner from friction, compared to, say, your ribcage, Denny said.)
Denny and his wife moved to Austin five years ago to immerse themselves in the tech scene. The Temple grad worked most recently at ecommerce software company Edgecase, while his wife, Lindsay Denny, worked at BazaarVoice, the startup founded by Wharton investor Brett Hurt. (She still works remotely for BazaarVoice.)
They decided to move back to be closer to family. Denny grew up in Harleysville, Pa., and the couple now lives in Rittenhouse Square.
The most striking difference between the two tech scenes, at least in the few months that Denny has been back? There’s a lot more space in Philadelphia, whereas in Austin the tech scene is more concentrated, so it’s easy to run into startups. You can’t really get away from it over there. In Philly, you have to seek out the tech scene, Denny said he’s noticed.
As for their tattoos, the couple didn’t end up getting them. They wanted to get them in Austin and just kind of ran out of time. Somewhat ironically, Denny said building Momentary Ink got in the way.