Polaroid’s clever idea to open a chain of retail stores didn’t come from within the company. Instead, it came from serial entrepreneur Warren Struhl.
Struhl launched his first business in the 1980s called PaperDirect, which sold decorative printing paper. After finding great success with PaperDirect, he sold the company to Deluxe Corporation in 1993 for $120 million.
Struhl is also the man behind the kettle corn brand Popcorn, Indiana, which is now sold in 100,000 stores and brought in $63.7 million in revenue in 2011. But you might be most familiar with his company Brand Sheets, a line of energy strips that dissolve on your tongue, that he launched with LeBron James in 2010.
Now, Struhl is on to his next venture, Fotobar.
He came up with the idea a couple of years ago when he realised just how many people were using their phones to take photos, Struhl said in an interview with Inc’s Issie Lapowsky. He would ask them if those photos existed in the real, physical world, but more often than not, those people would say no.
He started thinking of ways to turn those photos into art, but didn’t approach Polaroid with his idea until 2012, after Instagram really gained traction.
Come next month, the first Polaroid Fotobar will open in Florida.
“We’re going to make it a real destination for the growing number of people who really love taking pictures,” Struhl told Lapowsky.