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Photo booth startup hit hard by loss of live events pivots to gift boxes to try to ‘Keep Your City Smiling’

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Photo booth startup hit hard by loss of live events pivots to gift boxes to try to ‘Keep Your City Smiling’

A Keep Your City Smiling field created by the crew at The SnapBar. (Keep Your City Smiling Photo)
Sam Eitzen’s Seattle-based photograph and video sales space startup The SnapBar is within the enterprise of constructing folks smile for the digicam at a whole bunch of occasions and events. As that trade has been decimated by the coronavirus outbreak, the corporate is pivoting like many to attempt to keep alive — and to maintain folks smiling.
Coronavirus Live Updates: The newest COVID-19 developments in Seattle and the world of tech
Eitzen and his crew have launched Keep Your City Smiling, a brand new enterprise aimed toward protecting his workers working whereas making an attempt to assist small companies survive. The concept is reward packing containers, full of 5 to seven native gadgets crafted by struggling companies within the Seattle space.
A “Keep Seattle Smiling Box,” as an example, sells for $75 and comprises merchandise throughout a spread of classes together with style (snacks, chocolate); artwork (stickers, playing cards); drinks (espresso, tea); life-style (candles, notebooks); and skincare (lotions, soaps).
Boxes comprise gadgets from native distributors together with snacks and artwork. (Keep Your City Smiling Photo)
Boxes themed for Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles are deliberate within the coming weeks after they get traction in Seattle and show the idea works. They’re additionally working with company accounts in different cities across the U.S. for bulk orders of customized reward packing containers.
Some of the distributors Keep Your City Smiling is working with embody Hey Atlas Creative, Gig Harbor Candy Company, Riverdance Soapworks, San Juan Sea Salt, Girl Meets Dirt, Olympic Candle Company, Storyville Coffee, and extra. Eitzen mentioned the listing is rising quick and so they hope to accomplice with as many firms as attainable.
Keep Your City Smiling says it might probably do company branding on packing containers. (Keep Your City Smiling Photo)
The SnapBar, which Eitzen began together with his brother in 2012, grew aggressively beginning round 2015 and has 18 full-time workers and about 30 part-time crew members who who run photograph experiences at occasions in markets that embody Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Austin.
“This March we have been anticipating round 140 to 160 occasions. That would translate to about $180,000 to $200,000 in gross sales,” Eitzen mentioned. “On the sixth of March, we had about 99 occasions scheduled in whole for the month (we are inclined to ebook a number of occasions final minute). So far, 65 have canceled and bookings have merely stopped coming for this month in addition to April, May, and now even summer time is being affected”
The SnapBar was capable of full about 20 to 30 occasions within the first week of March earlier than authorities regulation on occasions set in.
The SnapBar crew. (Keep Your City Smiling Photo)
So far the corporate has been capable of hold its complete crew. Eitzen and his co-founder reduce their salaries by half and different management members volunteered their very own wage reductions. They’ve negotiated cheaper lease on workplace area and are doing no matter belt tightening they’ll to increase their runway to about six to 9 months, if attainable.
“We’re not there but, and we’ll take extra drastic measures if we have to, however minimizing bills and producing any money move we will is all serving to!” Eitzen mentioned through e-mail. “We don’t know when in-person occasions are coming again, so we’re needing to pivot and be artistic till they do.”
Eitzen mentioned they’re making an attempt different issues to maintain The SnapBar crew employed together with dashing the launch of on-line photograph sales space software program for digital occasions within the subsequent two weeks. They’ve additionally created their first-ever “mega-sale” permitting folks to pre-book The SnapBar’s Selfie Stand product for as much as 50 p.c off and use it anytime this yr.
“We’re doing every part we will to shore up bills and generate income in a time that simply doesn’t look good for the in-person occasion trade,” Eitzen mentioned. “We hope, deeply, that the financial fallout affecting small companies is a ‘speed-bump’ we will all recover from collectively with out bottoming out.”

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