The idea of cameras and developing photos dates way back to as early as 1888 when George Eastman had the first sale of his Kodak camera, a project he started in 1885.
The invention, however, has gone through a series of new developments and today, it’s more sophisticated, fast and exciting than ever before.
Rachel Bashabe, a 29 year old multifaceted lady who has ventured into the fashion industry and events business both in Uganda and London where she lives, brings you a whole new adventure into the world of photography with the latest trend of the Magic Selfie Mirror Photo booth.
If you are reaching for your google assistant to check what this is, you don’t have to. Chimpreports’ Patience Natukunda had an interview with Ms Rachel about this ‘machine’ and here is what you need to know about the project she intends to bring close to you.
For starters, who is Rachel, where does she hail from and where is she based right now?
My name is Rachel Bashabe (she pronounces Bashabe in a British accent which adds a wow second to the moment), I’m 29 years old. I was born in Uganda and lived there till I was 19 years then left for London where I did my University studies.
I have a clothing line which is predominantly African print that I operate here in London so I outsource all the material from Uganda. Though I don’t permanently live in Uganda, I visit at least three times a year because it’s my motherland and I love it.
I run, together with my team, a company called FYNEframe through which i want to extend this new idea to the Kampala, Uganda events scene and expand further with time.
For the benefit of everybody, please give us an insight into how this magic selfie mirror works.
The magic mirror is the latest edition of all the photo booths that have been manufactured and it works in such a way that after it is assembled at the spot where photos are to be taken, the user interacts with it.
It’s touch screen so a tap away and you have a photo of your choice. It also provides elements for personalized photos like frames and inscriptions onto the photo. It enables the user to take full length ‘selfie’ photos.
The machine also prints the hard copies (if the user so wishes) in 10 minutes and also enables social media sharing instantly.
It uses power and in scenarios where power is unavailable, a generator can be of help.
You intend to run this magic mirror hiring business in Uganda, how viable do you think it is and how is it doing so far in the UK?
We have been running the business for a year and so here in London and I must say it has picked up as very innovative, entertaining for the people at events. It’s doing amazingly brilliant.
The entertainment and events industry has become really big in Uganda and that’s what I’m targeting. Also, there is nothing like this business in Uganda and East Africa yet so I believe our services will bring more fun at events and quick access to photos, which is what our generation is into.
With technology advancement comes ease of duty but considering doing business here, how is the operation going to be? Do you have a personnel team on the ground to take on the duties?
I have a team of people I know who are going to run the business with me. Like I said, I’m always coming to Uganda so I will still be hands on with the operation.
As business catches up, we will employ more people and also offer training to those who need the skill.
Since we are talking about the hiring business, how much is it going to cost a local person to have this mirror at their event?
When it comes to cost, we have different packages for different services. We have broken it down to bridal services, corporate functions, birthdays, baby showers and some major events that are bigger so based off that, we have different pricing depending on what someone wants.
The quotation is also on our social media pages so a customer can decide on whether or not to have which package and service and for how long. The minimum operational time we have is 2 hours.
The mirror set requires trained personnel to move, assemble and operate, are you considering employing Ugandans since you are bringing the skills you acquired back home?
Yes, I will definitely have Ugandans involved. I am Ugandan so why not bring the innovativeness home and help the youths who are done with school but can’t find something to do.
With my clothing line, like I said, it’s to do with mostly Kitenge so apart from getting material from Uganda, I also employ some people who tailor some of the outfits right here.
Why did you choose this particular business idea considering all the other sectors of investment that you could have ventured into?
I chose this particular business because there is need for it among people. You could call it narcissism but everybody wants to take selfies, look good, have a big function, they basically want to make the event ‘pop’.
Basing on the experience in London, this business is not age oriented. Young or old, everybody loves to have fun and interact with the mirror. The fact that you can print the photos and have them right at the function makes it even better.
As we wind up, what advice do you have for the youths who are trying to be self employed?
I would genuinely want to remind the youths that some of these degrees we got are not off of our skills but what our parents wanted us to do and it’s hard to find and keep a job you don’t like to do.
So I would advise the youths to “do what you love, harness your talent and take time to learn new skills from all these social media platforms.”
I basically learned how to tailor and that took me about six months of practice. That’s how I came up with my clothing line.
“Don’t be overly focused on the traditional jobs, think outside the box,” she concluded.