In Seattle, Washington, brothers Joe and Sam Eitzen have been running the uber successful SnapBar, a company that supplies high end photo booths, selfie stands, backdrops, props and more for brands and events of all kinds. Until the cancellations started coming in due to the Corona Virus, they were poised to have their best year yet. Last year, in fact, they made Inc. Magazine’s list of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies.
"Corona hit just has the company was expanding into its fifth hub city of Austin, Texas," says Events Director, Rachael Lowery. “We all kind of said, ‘what are we going to do?’ We knew we had to look for something beyond the world of events.”
Owners Sam and Joe knew they had to act fast. After brainstorming, they came up with Keep Your City Smiling gift boxes chock full of high-quality products sourced from now struggling Seattle businesses.
“One of our core values is care, serving others and our clients, and we knew there were a lot of small businesses forced to close –from coffee shops to boutiques—that had no way to market themselves and we knew we could help,” says Lowery.
"After selling nearly 500 Keep Seattle Smiling boxes in the first week, they launched Keep San Francisco (SF) Smiling, while Los Angeles and Portland can be pre-ordered.
The immediate success is in no small part to the 18 full-time staff members who have a wide array of talents in customer service, web development, distribution, project management, branding, marketing and social media. They also have a warehouse from where they ship photo booths.
“We had a website launched in five days. We knew we could source products and produce beautifully branded boxes that people could ship anywhere and each box contains a card with information on the small businesses being supported,” says Lowery.
The company, adept at social media, then put the word out on all their social channels and their extensive client base. “The boxes resonated really quickly with people,” she says.
Just this week the company launched a gift box specifically for healthcare workers that may include an array of items like healthy snack bites, coffee or tea, vitamin packets, bath bombs and face masks.
"And while jobs have been saved by pivoting to create Keep Your City Smiling," says Lowery, she’s quick to add, “We’ll be ready to go when the market for photo booths comes back!”
Check out Keep your city smiling here