Have you heard of… PICKTHEINK

“Have you heard of” is a business and innovation blog series that highlights the amazing work that York Hillel students are doing outside of school. Our first article comes from Benjamin Hantsis who started his company after finding a gap in the tattoo market. If you would like to write an article showcasing your great idea, contact Jeremy Starr at jeremy.starr@hillelontario.org
Written by Benjamin Hantsis
A faster, easier, simpler way of picking your tattoo artist.

The idea for our start-up sprung from a conversation my business partner Shawn had with his girlfriend. Shawn’s girlfriend found a tattoo artist on Instagram that specialized in the style of tattoo she wanted. The problem was that the tattoo artist lives in Tel-Aviv, and his girlfriend lives in Toronto. Shawn asked: “why can’t you just find a tattoo artist that specializes in the style you want, in Toronto?” and she replied saying that she wouldn’t know where to look.


Together, my business partner and I developed an idea that is picktheink.com: a platform where you can find a tattoo artist that specializes in the style of tattoo you want, in the city you are. We found that an individual will spend hours looking for an artist using Instagram and Google searches but are left settling with an average or worse tattoo. This was unacceptable. Tattoos are art, more importantly, tattoos are art on your body permanently.


We started with research. We wanted to know everything there was to know about tattoos. We learned who the best artists were and who were reasonably priced. Next was the name. We spent weeks going through names that were all taken. Once we had the name we were ready to work on our vision. We worked alongside developers, an analyst, and photographers to build the idea. We presented what we had to some of our current tattoo artists and slowly our dream became a reality. We grew by continuing to ask ourselves “what can we do better”.


We launched our site on January 3rd, 2018 and saw people getting tattooed from picktheink.com in the first month.


Building a start-up is work. None of this would be possible if it weren’t for everyone that contributed. For this, I am nothing but thankful.