Rethinking the ink: Austin company aims to be leader in tattoo removal industry – Austin American-Statesman

See how to remove a tattoo

Watch a technician at Tattoo Removal Ink apply laser treatment to client Matthew Hayhow's tattoo.

Video courtesy of Tattoo Removal Ink

Austin-basedRemovery hopes you love your tattoos.

But if for any reason you don't, the company is ready to provideremoval, changeand fade services using laser technology.

The fast-growing company is backed by a $50 million in investment from New York-based Elliott Investment Management,which has holdings in public companiesincluding Twitter and Duke Energy.

Removeryrecentlymoved into a new headquarters in offices on South Congress Avenue that were formerly occupied by the Kendra Scott jewelry company. Removery's headquarters is on the second story and it has opened a tattoo removal studio on the lower floor.

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The companywas formed in 2019 through the merger of four tattoo removal companies. Removery now operates 60 locations in the United States and Canada.

The founding team formerly carried out a similar model with dental roll-ups in Australia, which eventually grew to more than 600 locations.

"We were looking for the next opportunity and we were really attracted to tattoo removal," CEOTom Weber told the American-Statesman. "It's a relatively unknown thing. There's no large player doing it. It's like dental was 20 or 30 years ago."

A recent report from New York-based Kenneth Research predicts that the global market for tattoo removals by dermatologists, medical spas and laser technicians will grow to $4.8 billion by 2023.

According to the report, North America is currently the leading market, and Removery said it plans to grow to more than 200 studios in the next five years. The company also sees global expansion opportunities, Weber said.

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We believe Removery has significant growth potential ahead as the company expands to meet the needs of an underserved market, Elliott said in a statement in January when it announced its investmentin the company.

A typical tattoo takes 10 laser treatments to remove completely, according to Removery. For those looking to fade a tattoo for a cover-up piece, a partial tattoo removal option can remove as much ink as possible in one to four sessions.

Laser tattoo removal works by applying concentrated energy to the ink particles. This breaks up the large particles of ink into smaller ones, allowing one's immune system to flush it out. Each laser treatment works at a different depth in the skin, so multiple sessions spaced six to eightweeks apartare needed to get all the ink.

Complete removal packages start at $990 for a ring finger tattoo removal and can range to $1,690 for a wrist tattoo removal and $3,990 for removal of a chest tattoo, according to Removery's website.The age of the tattoo, its density and size are all factored intopricing, the company says.

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Weber said Austin was a good fit for the company's headquarters. "We could have chosen anywhere, but Austin is a great city, a great vibe, a great talent pool, and conducive to tattoos and tattoo removal."

He stressed that Removery is not anti-tattoo, and said "a lot" of the company's 220 employees have tattoos.

"Our typical client is anyone who has a tattoo and is interested in either removing it or fading it or covering it up to do something else," he said. "Millennials, 25 to 45 are our core client. It's the soccer mom or dad who got one when they were 18. Now they want to make a change."

Weber said Removery gets many business leads from relationships it has developed with tattoo studios.

"We are very much pro-tattoo artists, there is no judgment," he said. "We get 25% of our business from referrals from artists. They have clients who are interested in doing another tattoo or want to change something."

Removery has also launched INK initiative, which is a community-based program designed to remove tattoos for free for those who have been formerly incarcerated, including gang members, survivors of human trafficking and those who want to remove hate symbols.

"That's the sort of work that really matters," Weber said. "It's a wonderful program that means a lot to us."

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Rethinking the ink: Austin company aims to be leader in tattoo removal industry - Austin American-Statesman

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