Yng in her Tattlys. (Photo: Ace Boothby/Tattly)
Yng-Ru Chen is the head of partnerships at Tattly, a company that makes artful, fun and often elaborate temporary tattoos. (We had one made for our first TueNight birthday party.) Her Tattly partner work even brought her to an easter party at the White House!
We wanted to ask Yng-Ru what it was like to work for one of the coolest Brooklyn-based teams, and quiz her, Prosustian-style, on her work essentials and career history.
Tell us in your own words: What are Tattlys exactly?
That’s a fun question to answer. Tattly is a temporary tattoo company that adults seems to love as much, if not more than kids. All of the designs are by amazing artists who receive royalties from the sales.
What exactly do you do for Tattly?
As head of partnerships I work on developing clients for the custom Tattly side of the business, I oversee the events we do, I manage our large licensing properties and I create relationships with partners so that our tiny, 12-person company can have the largest brand impact possible.
How did you start in this business of making Tattlys?
The company was founded by Tina Roth Eisenberg five years ago. It was a bit of a joke as, back then, her sole objective was to never see the ugly, clip art temporary tattoos her daughter would bring home from birthday parties.
How did you score this awesome job?
My lovely friend, Oliver Jeffers, introduced me to Tina. He wrote to her the nicest email about me, and I met Tina the next day. No résumé, just good vibes!
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Establishing relationships with our partners. We’ve been fortunate to have worked with such kind people at great institutions and companies.
Favorite Tattly project?
This is hard to narrow down, but the highlight has to be our partnership for the White House Easter Egg Roll. We have done it two years in a row, and it’s always incredible being on the President’s lawn, putting Tattly on the 35,000 attendees. I’ve now been in the Oval Office twice because of my work with Tattly!
Do you have any great hobbies or side projects?
My hobby is wishing I had time for amazing side projects.
Ok, best job ever:
Being a mom.
Worst job ever: An internship at an art gallery in Boston one summer. It made me dislike art so much, I almost changed my major from art history.
I had two violin students when I was in high school who would come to my parents’ house for private lessons. But if we’re going waaay back, my first paid job was walking three third-grade boys (I was in fifth grade) from our elementary school to Hebrew school once a week. I have no idea why their parents selected me. The kids had no respect for me, so I’d bribe them with five-cent candies from the candy store. Shalom!
If you could do anything else in another life and be GREAT at it…
I wish I was an amazing dancer and could spend my career moving and creating. Two of my dearest friends are professional dancers, and they inspire me profoundly.
Favorite office accessory?
My business card. I have one taped to my monitor because it has an adorable picture of my son modeling a Tattly. Life-work balance for the win!
Lunch in office or out of office?
It’s nice to get out. But sometimes my son joins us for lunch at the office after he gets out of preschool a block away, so that’s wonderful.
Pets in the office, yay or nay?
Best productivity hack?
Productivity is a state of mind for me. I can have all the apps and tools at my disposal, but if my mind isn’t set to get it done, it probably won’t get done as efficiently.
Best career advice?
When I was pregnant with my first child and stressed about how it would impact my career at my then very demanding job at an auction house, my mentor, the late Susan Tifft (the renowned journalist and professor), reminded me that I have decades to go in my career and that I can focus on what makes sense in the present. She was right, and since then I have never been afraid to veer off any career “track” that might be expected of me.
I walk to work.
Best weekday breakfast?
Eggs fried over-medium with a crispy roti that we get in the frozen section at the Asian supermarkets in Sunset Park. You throw that frozen roti on a pan over medium heat for five minutes, and it’s the flakiest, most delectable thing ever. My kids love it.
Would you want your kids to do what you do?
Sure! My daughter already makes herself right at home at Tattly. She spends her time at the office drawing with everyone in the creative department.
What’s the strangest skill you use on the job?
Applying temporary tattoos on people. Never, ever thought it would be something I’d do in my career.