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Spicing up selfies

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A client taking a selfie with one of Catarina Rocha’s flower walls (Photograph supplied)
Backdrop business: Catarina Rocha is capitalising on the selfie craze
A mobile photo booth from Catarina Rocha’s new company Depicbooth (Photograph supplied)

The average millennial spends at least an hour a week taking, editing and posting pictures of themselves on social media.

To help them spice up their selfies, Catarina Rocha started Flower Wall Bermuda, earlier this year, renting flower walls to parties, weddings and other events.

“That is a luxury flower wall backdrop business,” Ms Rocha said. “The flowers are made from luxury silk. I have five different walls. I plan to add four more.”

Ms Rocha intended to launch Flower Wall Bermuda in April to complement her luxury camping experience business Glamping on de Rock, but Covid-19 intervened.

“That affected me a lot, especially on the financial side, because I just invested into a whole business,” she said. “I didn’t have any income coming in.”

But she made it through. Almost as soon as lockdown lifted, and Bermudians were able to have small parties again, Flower Wall Bermuda took off.

“I have just been booked and busy,” Ms Rocha said. “I was sold out for three months. I made my money and more. That was such a blessing from God. I am so grateful and appreciative of all the support people have shown me.”

She also started another business, called Depicbooth.

“I thought it was a perfect add-on to Flower Wall Bermuda,” she said.

The photo booth offers photos, videos, filters and the ability to text or e-mail pictures and videos, among other things.

“People here in Bermuda had photo booths but it was more like those big photo booths that take a lot to set up,” she said. “I did my research and found a really good piece of equipment. Ever since this got here, it has been out there rented. People enjoy it because it is mobile.”

At the moment, she is focusing on the home market, but when Bermuda opens up more, she hopes to take part in much large community events such as city festivals.

Ms Rocha said people often think that a new business happens overnight.

“It took me months of hard work,” she said. “There were points where I didn’t sleep. I would be working day and night doing research and planning out things. It is not easy at all.”

She learnt a lot of valuable business skills from taking part in Ignite’s first cohort last year. And it was with the help of Ignite that she saw another business opportunity and started Floatie on de Rock in May, renting out fun flotation equipment for the beach and pools.

In 2017, she won the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation’s Rocket Pitch competition for Glamping on de Rock. The next year, she won their new business of the year award.

“This year, I applied for the BEDC’s small business loan,” she said.

She also took advantage of their Covid-19 relief programme.

“I want to say thank you to them,” she said. “That helped me get back on my feet. Once I pay this off I will go back for more and keep building my business utilising what is offered. In business you have to seek things to assist you to grow.”

Through the process of setting up four businesses she has learnt to get a loan, whenever possible.

“Investing your own money can be a bit dangerous,” she said. “I invested all my money into Flower Wall Bermuda and didn’t have any income for months.”

Her next move will be to buy a van. Until now she has been using her own small car to transport everything to event venues. After that, she would like to have her own warehouse.

“Right now I am storing everything in my own home,” she said. “Everything comes in phases. Everything is not an overnight success. Everything takes time and discipline.”

She said in the beginning, there were times when she could have quit and gone back to a regular job. She previously worked in the hospitality industry.

“I didn’t have any glamping experiences all winter,” she said. “But I continued even during the hard, rough patches.”

Her advice to other people starting a business is to have a solid business plan and do your research.

For more information e-mail hello@elagroupofcompanies.com or call 705-1550. Also see floatieonderock.com, glampingonderock.com, flowerwallbermuda.com and depicbooth.com

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Published October 23, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated October 23, 2020 at 4:02 pm)

Spicing up selfies

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