Come one, come all. Lomography has partners all over the world to help serve your analogue needs. If you're from Taiwan then it's your lucky day! We're featuring our Taipei-based stockist Karen of the Lomography Embassy Store in today's instalment of Lomography Partners.
Can you introduce yourself to the Lomography community?
Hi Lomographers! I’m Karen, from the Lomography Embassy Store Taipei. I've been here for around 10 years, first as the store manager, and now as the owner, working with a group of great film lovers.
What’s the story behind your store? How did it all start?
It’s a long story! Ten years ago after I had my gap year in the States, I was waiting for a good new opportunity, and got an interview at the Gallery Store Taipei as a store manager. I kept working there until it became an Embassy store and then I took it over myself. The reason I want to keep running it is that I can’t give up the lovely customers who I know from the store. They all love Lomography products a lot and need a place where they can exchange the film experience.
Why do you choose to work with Lomography?
A lot of people have asked me this question. I am always proud to say I admire the spirit of Lomography, which is innovative, to go against traditional photography and to combine analogue and the modern world. It is also the only brand to keep developing in the analogue market and announce new products continually.
Do you have a favorite Lomography product and why?
It’s difficult to choose one because all of them are unique. But if I had to only have one always with me, I would pick the Lomo LC-Wide as a pocket friend. It takes impressive pictures and never disappoints me. It can shoot three different photo formats and its light metering function allows me to focus on shooting itself.
Do you think there are any specific advantages or disadvantages to being a female business owner?
I think in photography, especially film photography, the stereotype is that it is very complicated and difficult to learn for the general public. As a female shopkeeper, when we approach walk-ins, they feel comfortable asking questions. On the other hand, some people also feel females don’t know as much as male photographers.
Do you have a favorite memory from running your business over the years?
I always think we are like parents, watching the growth process and improvement of beginner photographers. Over the years I’ve seen a lot of young and shy students go on to become professional photographers. Lomography’s products always get the attention of beginners and bring them into this world. And some of them really find their careers because of us.
What excites and energizes you the most about your work?
The most exciting and motivating thing is customers deciding to purchase the cameras we recommend and when they feel thankful that we could help them make a good decision.
Do you have any plans or future projects you're working on for the store?
I hope we can create related services such as instant portrait photos or hold more workshops and exhibitions.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to start their own creative business as you have done?
Don’t feel afraid about not being able to balance your private life and career. In my experience, while having this shop, I got married and had a new baby. Even when shop affairs and family make me exhausted, I find my motivation is still there. You will only find out if you can do it after you start!
Official Name: Lomography Embassy Store Taipei.
Address: Taiwan, Taipei City, Da’an District, Lane 51, Section 1st, Da'an Road, Lomography Embassy Store - Taipei.
Services: Lomography cameras, gear, and film sales, film development and printing.
Want to see your favorite store featured in our magazine? Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will check them out!