CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A Cleveland company is turning tattoos and other body art into timeless treasures that last longer than a lifetime.
Charles Hamm owns Save My Ink, the company that preserves tattoos after the owner passes away.
"We've got two embalmers now, a doctor, tattoo artist, and technicians and we put this thing together over the last two years," Hamm explains.
The National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art is the only non-profit membership association in the world that, much like planning for your funeral, allows you to make plans for your loved ones to keep your body art after you're gone.
"Well basically what happens when you sign, you register on the site, you register a picture of the tattoo, who the artist is, where it's located on your body and upon your passing, you've already designated the beneficiary," Hamm says.
That beneficiary calls Save My Ink within 18 hours of your passing. The company then sends a kit to the funeral home with instructions on how to remove the tattoo.
They remove it, place it in that kit that has a temporary preservative in it.
The kit is then sent back to the company to be preserved.
The result is a unique keepsake that's gaining popularity. The company is already reaching out to local funeral homes and others across the country
to do the job.
Patrick Mahoney is the funeral director at All Ohio Cremation And Burial Society in Brook Park, just one of the funeral services eager to be a part of the latest trend of preserving tattoos.
"Just like a keepsake urn, or a headstone in a cemetery. I thought to myself that what an outstanding way for a family to keep a memory and preserve a memory and a keepsake," Mahoney said.
23-year-old Rona Lohry is getting her fourth tattoo at the Voodoo Monkey Tattoo in Cleveland. She says it never really crossed her mind to preserve her artwork, but she thinks it's a cool idea.
"I think that if I had kids and they wanted something like that I would do it, since I'll be dead anyway, but, it might not be for everyone," Lohry said.
Tattoo artist Lauren Vandevier doesn't think a tattoo lasting longer than she's alive is for her.
"Probably not, I just, uh, you know, it's the nature of the art, it goes with you," Vandevier said.