Tommy’s Supplies: Innovating the Tattoo Industry for 20 Years


Spearheaded by Tom Ringwalt, the trademark owner, Tommy’s Supplies has made a significant mark in the industry, especially with its renowned StarBrite Colors ink line. Over the past two decades, the company has evolved from humble beginnings to becoming a global leader in tattoo supplies.

Tom Ringwalt’s journey in the tattoo supply industry is a testament to resilience and vision. Taking over the reins from his father in 2003, Ringwalt transformed the struggling business into an internationally recognized brand. He attributes this success to a combination of his marketing acumen, his father’s sales expertise, and a dedicated team that’s passionate about the tattoo industry.

Tommy’s Supplies is not just another name in the vast tattoo supply market. What sets them apart is their deep knowledge of products, exceptional customer service, and a comprehensive product range that includes their flagship product, StarBrite Colors. This range of tattoo inks is not only vast in color choices but also meets stringent FDA guidelines, ensuring safety and authenticity.

The upcoming launch of StarBrite Colors’ Master Black ink, mixed by artist Javier Eastman, is a testament to the brand’s commitment to innovation. Ringwalt’s excitement is palpable as he talks about this rich, dark black ink, set to debut on Black Friday weekend.

Reflecting on the changes in the industry, Ringwalt notes the increased health department standards and the shift from coil to rotary machines as significant developments. These changes mirror the evolving landscape of tattoo artistry, where innovation and safety go hand in hand.

The origin story of StarBrite Colors is as colorful as the inks themselves. Born in a basement, the brand was the result of Ringwalt’s experiments with various mixes, striving to create unique and vibrant colors. As the brand grew, they invited artists to contribute, allowing for a diverse range of hues that cater to different artistic styles.

Ringwalt’s foray into organizing tattoo conventions stemmed from a desire to showcase the myriad of tattoo art styles under one roof. His insight into the future of conventions points towards a saturated market, a stark contrast from the scenario two decades ago.

The New England Tattoo Expo, a joint venture with partner Steve Tefft, is another feather in Ringwalt’s cap. The expo’s success, drawing over 12,000 people and 400+ artists, showcases his acumen in understanding and catering to the needs of the tattoo community.

Looking ahead, Tommy’s Supplies is poised for further growth, with plans to introduce more high-quality products and build user-friendly, feature-rich websites. Ringwalt’s journey from a brief stint as a tattoo artist to leading a premier tattoo supply company is inspiring.

For new artists in the industry, Ringwalt emphasizes the importance of professional training, practicing on fake skin, and investing in high-quality tattoo products. His advice underlines the significance of quality and reliability in honing one’s craft.

Tommy’s Supplies, under Tom Ringwalt’s stewardship, is more than just a supplier; it’s a brand that embodies innovation, quality, and a deep understanding of the tattoo industry. As they venture into the future, their commitment to excellence and fostering talent remains unwavering, cementing their place as a pillar in the world of tattoo artistry.

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