Irven is a single mother and former oil and gas executive who was looking for a way to strike a balance between work and being there for her 10-year-old son when she discovered the magic of being a part-time entrepreneur.
Last year she started a DVDNow Kiosks business – a self-serve movie rental business that allows her to earn passive income as people rent or buy movies and games from her kiosks.
This year, she launched her TapSnap business – a special event phototainment system that has revolutionized the photo booth for the social media era.
“I think work should be fun. I spent years working all hours as an oil and gas executive. Now I want to do work that makes people happy, provides entertainment and adds joy to their lives,” says Irven, who lives in Peterborough, Canada.
Both her DVDNow Kiosks and TapSnap businesses are part-time, flexible and require limited hours, so Irven can concentrate on what matters most – being there for her son.
A chartered accountant by trade, and former VP of finance for an oil and gas marketing firm, Irven’s movie rental company Express Cinema operates three movie rental kiosks in Peterborough – one at Charlotte’s Pantry bakery/grocery store in downtown Peterborough, another at MacEwen convenience and gas bar, and a third at Daisy Mart. She also has a fourth kiosk in Ottawa at a new MacEwen location.
“Peterborough had almost nothing for a year when Blockbuster and Rogers shut down,” she says. “So now we’re giving people a chance to rent discs again – for a fraction of the cost.” Her main competition is the corporate giant Redbox, which has said it would add as many as 2,500 kiosks in Canada during 2013. So far there is only one in Peterborough at the Walmart Supercentre.
Her main advantage over the Coinstar (CSTR)-owned Redbox and video-streaming services like Netflix (NFLX) is that she is able to offer new releases up to 28 days sooner than the competition because she isn’t bound by studio distribution contracts.
When she heard DVDNow Kiosks was launching TapSnap, she was among the first to get on board with the new franchise.
“As a former event planner, I could immediately see the potential TapSnap has to add a huge boost of excitement to any party or event – from graduations and milestone birthdays to bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings and more,” says Irven.
TapSnap will be at the Peterborough Flavours Festival at the Morrow Building downtown from April 28, 2013, from 12 pm to 6pm.
The TapSnap phototainment system is a giant 42-inch screen instantly connected to social media so it actively encourages event guests to create a social media profile for an event by sharing their pictures – a tool Irven says is useful for event planners who want to give their event a social media profile.
With a touch of a fingertip on the screen, guests can compose and take their photos like magic, draw and write personal messages on them, and add digital props like googly eyes and funny hats.
Each TapSnap kiosk comes with a minimum of one staff person to manage the machine, and is priced in packages from two to six hours or more.
Irven’s TapSnap franchise is serving the Peterborough market, as well as Pickering, Oshawa and Whitby and the Toronto area. “TapSnap brings instantaneous fun to any event, especially corporate events where sometimes people are a little nervous or they don’t know everyone,” she says. “It removes people’s inhibitions and helps them loosen up. Unlike a photo booth, it’s out in the open and spontaneous. And the real-time social media aspect is huge.”
Contact TapSnap for information about franchise opportunities.