How did a registered dietitian start a side hustle? She focused on something that makes people smile—cameras! Kaleena Clarkson is the founder of New York-based Regal Photobooth, a portable photobooth company for events and parties. We asked Clarkson, an Elevation Tribe member, to share how she launched her business, and she gladly obliged. Below, she outlines the key moves she made to develop her brand.
Photography was a longtime hobby:
“Regal Photobooth was born out of an idea that I toyed around with 3 years ago. I never had a desire to be a business owner or thought I would be an entrepreneur. I am a registered dietitian and have been working in healthcare my entire professional life, almost 15 years. Photography became a hobby for me over 10 years ago as a way to get over a bad breakup, but nothing I planned to do professionally. I always preferred to be behind the camera instead of in front of it and was usually the “unofficial” photographer at friend’s events.”
She noticed photobooths were becoming a “thing”.
“I started noticing that at many of the social events I was attending, there was a photobooth. It dawned on me that owning a photobooth could be a great side hustle that could incorporate my love of photography and having a good time, without being behind a camera. And, people love a good selfie opportunity.”
She did some market research–and then jumped.
“I started doing my research on photobooth companies and what it would take to venture into this business. I was terrified because I never ran a business and did not know where to start. This was also going to be one of the biggest financial decisions I have ever made. However, I had so many people in my corner telling me I was fully capable, so I jumped in head first. And so Regal Photobooth was born in 2018.”
Now, she’s enjoying her new journey.
“I enjoy having a side hustle that is so fun. It’s definitely hard work but seeing people engaged and enjoying themselves really gives me such a feeling of satisfaction. I still have so much to learn when it comes to running a successful business, but I am enjoying the ride so far and look forward to my growth.”
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