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Summer 2013 Nailing a New Market

Nail-art machine eyes shopping center market for expansion.

Tat’z Nail’z, a concept featuring an innovative nail design printer, is mostly used in nail salons but looking to expand. The machine can “tattoo” any image on a customer’s nail in just seconds, creating a completely custom nail look.
Brett Boyer, co-founder of Fashion Tec USA, the company that operates Tat’z Nail’z, said he and co-founder Fred Schweser have been developing the technology with partners in China for several years and just launched in January.

Tatz5-copyThe machine prints full-color designs, just like a printer would on paper, right on a customer’s nails. “There’s a book you can look through to pick out an image,” Boyer said. “You also can scroll through a touchscreen and find one of 3,000 preloaded images on the unit. Or, you can put a USB in the machine and upload your own images. You can plug your phone in as well with a USB port.”

A camera on the front of the machine also allows customers to take a snapshot to print on their nails. Preloaded images range from hearts and patriotic designs to animal prints and more.

Once an image is chosen, the customer’s nails are prepped with a special polish to make the ink adhere. Then the customer simply puts his or her hand in the machine and it prints the image one nail at a time. Tat’z Nail’z works on either natural, gel or acrylic nails, and the machine also can print two full sets of artificial nails at a time.

It takes the machine two minutes to print a full set of nails and about 7 to 10 seconds for one fingernail. Nails take about 10 minutes to dry. “You feel nothing, and it lasts as long as polish,” Boyer said. No special polish remover is required to take the images off.

Polished program

Shopping center kiosks plan to be set up with a prep station and two Tat’z Nail’z units. “We offer everything for the retailer such as branding and signage. Since every mall has a different demographic, we help our retailer by giving them our designs and letting them choose [what suits their mall],” Boyer said.

Leases start at $199 a month or the Tat’z Nail’z unit can be purchased outright for $4,995. Supplies such as ink cartridges, prep polishes, and artificial nails are purchased from the company. Boyer said a kiosk owner could expect to spend “max a few hundred dollars a month to replenish supplies.” Tat’z Nail’z offers a tech support service program and the machine comes with a one-year warranty.

Boyer said they prefer a licensed nail technician to run the machine, but it can be run by anyone who has been trained properly. Tat’z Nail’z operators must attend a full-day training at the company’s headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska, but a video is expected to take the place of the one-on-one training.

Suggested retail for a full set of nails is $19-39, or $5-10 for one nail, which Boyer said is the most popular kiosk option. The cost to the retailer is about 14 cents per nail, making for an attractive markup.

The Tat’z Nail’z kiosk was launched at SPREE this year. “We saw there was a huge business and opportunity in the kiosk industry, and malls are looking for a way to drive clientele in,” Boyer said. “We have other countries that are interested, but we want to focus on the United States and we’re looking for partners in the kiosk industry as well as distributor partners.”

For more information, please visit www.fashiontecusa.com.

Kristin Larson Contino

Kristin Contino is a freelance writer and copy editor based in Philadelphia. She writes for a variety of print publications and blogs, and also covers women's fiction for examiner.com.

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