Bean Here, done
that: Naisha's photographic

In the bustling streets of Cagayan De Oro, there's a place where memories are captured, people are having fun and, sometimes, dreams are fulfilled. This is the story of Naisha Munder, the enterprising owner of ‘Bean Here Studios’, a unique photo studio that is making waves in the local community. Naisha’s journey is not just about photographs or photo booths; it’s about finding one's true calling and the courage to pursue it.

Capturing dreams

Initially pushed towards a traditional educational path by her father, Naisha pursued degrees in Financial Management and Accountancy. But her heart was always in the creative arts. Naisha: “Ever since I was young I was always drawn to cameras, videos, and editing. Everywhere I went I made short videos”. It was this passion that led her to switch paths after her studies, diving into the world of photography and entrepreneurship.

Her early experiences in a school publication club, where she filmed events and managed a school paper, laid the groundwork for her future endeavors. These activities, she recalls, were more fulfilling than her formal studies. They were a prelude to her true calling - creating a space where people could capture their special moments.

“Ever since I was young I was always drawn to cameras, videos, and editing”

Shop in shop with a vintage twist

The idea for ‘Bean Here Studios’ sparked during family trips to South Korea where Naisha was inspired by the self-photo studios there. Back home, she set up her studio with the support of her sister, who owns a café that is called ‘Bean Park Cafe’.

“After some thought we figured it would be cool to actually create the self-photo studio inside the café! We also hoped that it would be beneficial for both companies, because it could reinforce each other with visitors. The cafe has a very minimal design, yet the studio is very different,” shares Naisha.

What sets ‘Bean Here Studios’ apart is its vintage vibe. Using Fuji film cameras and filters, Naisha offers a nostalgic twist to modern photographs. “Our studio is like a journey back in time and a film simulation, it gives a vintage vibe,” she says. It’s a harmonious blend of a café’s coziness and a studio’s creativity, offering a unique experience to her clients. It’s a concept that resonates well with customers, blending the old with the new, for individuals, couples and friends and families up to sixteen people.

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“We figured it would be cool to actually create the self-photo studio inside the café!”

Embracing technology with Vev

Starting a business always has its hurdles. Naisha faced challenges in managing family expectations and navigating the competitive landscape of photo studios, as they are increasingly trending in The Philippines. Yet, she triumphed through innovation and adaptability, including integrating Vev’s booking system. “It was really easy to start using Vev. After choosing a template I only had to add my services, prices and availability. Then I put the Vev link in our Instagram bio and it was all set!

Soon after, the first customers made their appointments. Vev has made managing appointments so much easier,” Naisha says, highlighting the importance of technology in her business growth and in convenience. “Everyday I check the appointments via the Vev app, I love that!”

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“Everyday I check the appointments via the Vev app, I love that!”

Cultural changes?

Naisha hopes that more business owners and other professionals in the Philippines will use online appointment scheduling software, like Vev. Usually people are always late for appointments, therefore a system of ‘first come, first serve’ is very common.

As she highlights, “Sometimes one has to wait for a few hours and that can be very annoying and, most often, I consider it a waste of time. Tools like Vev may start to change this cultural habit, especially younger people who are keen on this kind of progress. I am actually thinking of telling my dentist to start using Vev as well!”

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“I am actually thinking of telling my dentist to start using Vev as well!”

Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs

Setting up her own business was a major breakthrough for Naisha. Her advice to budding entrepreneurs is poignant: “Start small, learn from friends and family, take everything one step at a time and believe in your idea. Having a support system is crucial. Without the help and advice of my sister it would have been much more difficult.”

Besides an expensive camera, Naisha did not have to invest much as her new business was literally and figuratively shoved into a well-run existing business. Saving costs that way, also helped her a lot to make a bold jump into becoming an entrepreneur. Last but not least, Naisha thinks that one should have some fun while running a business. Therefore, she recommends choosing a type of business that you are passionate about.

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“Having a support system is crucial”

Mobile studios

Now that her business has been running for a while, Naisha is happy to see many recurring customers. Customers keep coming back to ‘Bean Here Studios’ as it is well priced, the café is very convenient and when desired, a more sheltered environment with plenty of privacy is offered. This makes everyone feel comfortable and people also dare to take creative or crazy photos (of each other).

Looking ahead, Naisha will further develop marketing activities and she dreams of expanding to nearby cities. She’s also exploring the idea of a mobile photo studio, bringing her unique blend of nostalgia and modernity to events and gatherings.

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