The husband and I have owned a photo booth business since 2008. When we started the business we were only the second photo booth business in town and we quickly built up business. We quickly had two photo booths four other employees and work every single weekend. We were flying high. We made enough money to redesign our booth (designed and built by yours truly) and upgraded to the best equipment. We had and still have the best booth and pictures in the business. We truly stand by that promise. We even encourage couples at bridal shows to go and test out all the booths and we really think they'll come back to us. Most of them do.
Soon everyone owned a photo booth. They were easy to buy over the internet. (And looked like giant tents. Would you want that sitting at your wedding?) Everyone wanted a piece of business and prices dropped. We were not making much money, as evidenced by the fact Dave and I both kept jobs, and we wondered how these other businesses were actually in business. But what we had found out in the wedding industry is that everyone wants a bargain. I was probably asked by 80% of people if I could offer a discount. People wanted cheaper and were willing to sacrifice quality. We decided to go down to just one photo booth and stop having employees besides just the two of us.
For a while, this was great, but we quickly grew tired of working on the weekends in addition to all week long. I began hating the weekends. I, literally, would throw temper tantrums as time grew later on a Saturday and I had to go work yet another wedding. Don't get me wrong, I usually enjoyed myself at the wedding, but I longed to sit at home in my pajamas by 8:00pm.
Late in our pregnancy, I knew I didn't want to do it anymore. We still had lots of events planned for 2013 so obviously the business was going to have to continue after Anderson was born. Our first event was 5 weeks after he was born and it was actually great to get out of the house. But it was tough to work until midnight or later and know that we were going to be woken up two or three times during the night. Plus anything that we scheduled had to be run by my parents for their availability to see if they could watch the baby.
Finally, in October of 2013, I said enough. I started turning down requests and contacted my accountant telling her we would be done as of January 1st, 2014. Yes, we have closed our business officially.
It was a great five years. We have attended 100s of weddings, met cool and powerful people, we have worked with charitable organizations, and we even got to have the MLS cup and championship Columbus Crew team in our booth. We would have loved for this business to go on forever. The reality is, though, that our life was changed when our son came along. We want to spend our weekends with him. We want to be able to say, "hey I want to do a 5K this weekend" and not worry that we will be up until 2:00am working the night before. As I've gotten older I've lost a little bit of competitive spark from my younger years and I just don't want to compete with the other photo booth companies. I just don't think it is worth it.
This decision was bittersweet but I also feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Dave and I can now be normal people, with normal Monday through Friday jobs, and spend our weekends with our family. Thank you thank you thank you for your years of support. We have loved being part of your lives.