Smile! The IW Lottery helps the Island Photo Company to grow with a £15,000 interest free loan
Island photographer Robin Crossley is expanding his business. He’s launched the Island Photo Company, investing in an innovative mobile studio, described as an “open air photo booth”, designed for use at events like weddings, parties and corporate functions. The new kit has already opened up lines of business for Robin and he was able to purchase the booth with confidence, thanks to the financial backing of the Isle of Wight Lottery, which has loaned him an interest free £15,000.
“The Island Photo Company is a brand new business for me,” Robin explains. “I wanted to buy the photo booth and the props, as well as investing in a website, branding, insurances and all the things that a new business needs. Without the Isle of Wight Lottery, I would be six months to a year away from bringing this booth to the Island, whereas I’ve now had it running now for a good few weeks and I’ve had some big bookings already.
“Without the lottery loan it would have been very difficult. I didn’t want to go down the personal loan route and the fact that the repayments are interest free gives me freedom and security, which allows me to flourish and to really push the business.”
Robin’s new set-up has already been seen at Island outdoor events this summer, including the Chamber’s Cowes Week Barbeque, and some corporate parties. The technology is easy to operate for the user, with a touchscreen and a selection of props. The new kit moves away from the traditional enclosed booth, allowing for bigger groups and more control of the image. Prints are instant, with customisable layouts, including logos and corporate branding.
“It’s a promotional opportunity for businesses really,” Robin says. “Everyone loves it so far. It’s a good fun piece and people can be as silly as they like. I can fit up to 25 people in an image, with a choice of backgrounds, including a real-life backdrop of your venue or setting.”
The Isle of Wight Lottery’s business loans are designed to create and sustain Island jobs, encouraging new business start-ups. Robin is ambitious and is already making plans for the future.
“The new booth opens up the photography market for me. It’s going to be very popular at weddings and corporate events and I won’t be able to be in two places at once! As the bookings grow I’ll be bringing in a trained operative for the booth, creating work and boosting the business.”
Hire packages start at £595, with three tiers including unlimited prints on the night. A mobile app allows users to choose and keep their 100 favourite images.
“The Isle of Wight Lottery really got me moving,” Robin says. “Applying for the loan makes you fully aware of what you’re taking on financially and you have to make a strong business case to the loan panel, with forecasts and projections. The whole process got rid of any of my doubts and I was over the moon with the feedback that came from the review panel. It validated all of my ideas and the hard work that I put in to get to that point.”
The Island Photo Company is just one of the many businesses helped by interest-free loans from the Isle of Wight Lottery. Since its inception in 2001 the Isle of Wight Lottery has helped create thousands of local jobs by giving financial support to growing businesses. Whether your business is a new start up or an established business looking to move to the next level, you could get even bigger with the support of the Isle of Wight Lottery.
Isle of Wight Lottery loans are interest free.
Repayable over 1-3 years.
For any amount between £500 and £50,000.
The loaned money has to be used to create or sustain Island jobs.
Please complete both forms when submitting your application.