WHEN Edinburgh Napier University friends, Mark Le Boudec and Jordan Kay banged together two ikea cabinets they had no idea that they were in the process of creating an innovative half a million pound business.
The entrepreneurial duo first came up with the idea of creating photo booths when Jordan was completing his final year of study for a product development degree.
Mark - who completed three years of the same course said: “I went travelling through Australia and Thailand and when I came back he (Jordan) pitched this idea of a photobooth. I wasn’t sure how much help I could be but we got together and made the initial product.
“It was actually just two Ikea cabinets put together, an old school monitor, a camera and printer. We then had a couple of friends weddings where we tried it out for free. The photobooth queue was twice as long as the buffet queue, everyone was loving it and we got really good feedback.”
Now, with their photobooths being used at 600 events in a year, the pair are planning their latest expansion of their product portfolio, the world’s first ever portable photobooth system: Lunabooth.
Two and a half years on after their first foray into business with Blushbooth , the company has 18 full time staff and have worked with some of the biggest corporate names in the world, including MTV, Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Coca Cola, Scottish Power, BAFTA’s, STV, Guinness, YSL, Sky and Shell.
Every single penny we got from the bookings we put back into the business. The big idea was that we would make this into a large company.Mark Le Boudec, Co-founder of Blushbooth.
However crafting their initial idea into a viable business did not happen overnight.
Mark explains: “Setting it up was pretty hard, especially at the beginning when Jordan and I were putting every penny into the business.
“We both worked 9- 5 Monday to Friday in normal jobs, then every night we’d be out at coffee shops or at each others flat and discuss emails.
“It was tough, working seven days a week for a year and a half - it had its ups and downs. “Every single penny we got from the bookings we put back into the business. The big idea was that we would make it to a large company and be able to offer different products.”
Discussing plans for the future Mark said: “Lunabooth can be shipped anywhere in the UK which is quite exciting because Blushbooth is kind of limited to the Scottish market - because obviously you need someone there to go and set up the booth and the printer on the night but with the Lunabooth it can be shipped anywhere in the UK.
“The concept is born as a sister company- it’s a mini portable photobooth system that we designed ourselves which weighs about 15kg. It’s equipped with custom software and a range of different photo effects you can choose from aimed at being more of a social media booth as well.
“But like the Blushbooth, the photos can be customised with logos and special effects.
“We also offer a print service once we receive the booths back. We put them into an online gallery, were you can select 100 free prints to be sent to your house as well.
“The other huge pulling point is the worlds first portable photobooth that you can take abroad. It comes in a small box and it only weighs 15kg so it’s small enough to take with you on a plane. If you were getting married anywhere in the world - London, Paris - you can take it with you as well.”
As well as these, the company also offers more unique photobooths, like the video booth, a Volkswagen caravan booth, a green screen booth, and gif booths - as well as being able to hire event photographers.