Warren Struhl has helped start 30 companies. Among his products: Popcorn, Indiana, a brand of prepopped kettle corn, and Sheets Brand (launched with basketball’s LeBron James), a line of energy strips that dissolve on the tongue.
Now, the 49-year-old serial entrepreneur has another startup: Polaroid Fotobar, a retail store where people can upload photos from digital devices (smartphones and tablets) and popular social platforms (including Facebook, Instagram and Picasa). Using one of the store’s bar-top workstations, customers can edit their images, then choose from a variety of printing and framing options to create wall art. The finished products can be shipped worldwide to a customer within 72 hours.
“These cool, hip, experimental stores will make the process of turning people’s best pictures into cherished pieces of art both rewarding and fun,” said Polaroid in a news release. As reported in this Inc. article, Struhl — who serves as the new company’s CEO — pays Polaroid a licensing fee for the use of its iconic name.
So what inspired this business idea? “There are currently about 1.5 billion pictures taken every single day, and that number continues to grow in tandem with the popularity and quality of camera photos,” said Struhl in the Polaroid statement.
“Unfortunately, even the very best of those pictures rarely ever escape the camera phone with which they were taken to be put on display around our homes and offices,” Struhl continued. “Why? Because turning those pictures into something tangible, creative and permanent is neither easy nor fun. Polaroid Fotobar stores are going to change all of that.”
Polaroid Fotobar has plans for at least ten stores. The first one, set to open next month in Delray Beach, Florida, will feature a multi-purpose room for photo classes, private parties and studio portraits. A staff of experienced “Phototenders” will help guide customers through the product making process from start to finish.
Other locations will include New York, Las Vegas and Boston.