We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Jackie Shope. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Jackie below.
Jackie, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Can you talk to us about a risk you’ve taken – walk us through the story?
Buying my business a little over five years ago was a huge risk! I was an educator and always taught full time. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with our second child that I realized that the cost of child care for two children was going to be more than my monthly income. That was when I decided to take a risk and purchase PhotoFunBooth! This would allow me to stay home with my children, and still help provide for my family. I had worked for PhotoFunBooth as a photo booth attendant and knew how to run the photo booth at parties and events, but being a business owner, hiring people, and all of the legal side of creating an LLC was all foreign to me. I quickly learned a) getting a business loan was close to impossible b) the internet and YouTube have endless amounts of helpful videos and articles and c) hiring is pretty easy if you know what you’re looking for and the job itself is fun! After several applications and no’s, I was finally able to obtain a business loan to help secure my dream of being a business owner.
That first year in business, I believe we did a little over 60 photo booth events. Year two that jumped up to just under 100. And our biggest year to date 2019 was 237 events! I cant’ wait to see what we do this year.
Our risk has clearly paid off and I am now already dreaming up another business venture. Hopefully next year I will be telling you about that one as well!
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Jackie Shope and I am the owner of PhotoFunBooth. I purchased PhotoFunBooth in 2016 from the previous owner as a way to work from home, and be with my small children.
We currently have three photo booths that bring the fun to any type of event or party; birthday parties, weddings, corporate events, school dances, you name it! We provide this memorable experience that allows people to capture a candid keepsake of their memorable event. I love seeing people have fun and laughing in the photo booth.
My favorite story to tell is in fact the first photo booth event I ever booked. It was a wedding and I remember we asked the bride’s elderly grandpa to get in the booth and take a photo with her, while wearing a crazy hat! He was not amused, but obliged. They took the cutest photos. Two weeks later, the bride emailed me to tell that her grandfather had passed away and that those photos in the photo booth were the only photos she had with him!
Any advice for managing a team?
I love my team! They are the backbone of my business, so without them PhotoFunBooth is nothing. I try to keep morale high by offering a competitive pay. I want my team to feel valued and appreciated so in addition to competitive pay, we regularly host team parties or BBQ’s and even do coffee or lunch runs during busy days. We love spoiling them!
How did you build your audience on social media?
I love using social media to build our business. First off, its’ free! What’s better than free advertising? Second, everyone has it! So you are potentially in front of thousands of people for zero dollars.
We use social media to showcase the events we are at, specials and promotions, as well as highlight some client photos. We also use social media to introduce our staff members so our clients know who is working their special events.
One of my favorite ways we built a large following was by hosting a contest. We had people nominate engaged couples for a free photo booth at their wedding. Our post engagement and number of followers increased significantly from that one contest. We can’t wait to do it again.
- Website: www.photofunbooth.com
- Instagram: PhotoFunBooth
- Facebook: PhotoFunBooth
Jenn Roberts Photography