By Zach Schepis
Photos courtesy of Selfie on a Stick.
We’ve all seen them by now–hovering above crowds at concerts, suspended over groups of smiling friends, eagerly wavering to snap remote pictures of vacation hideaways.
No, not drones. Try the Selfie on a Stick for size.
The extendable arm allows users to take selfies (and other photos) with a newfound range that eliminates the burdens of short reach. The craze is only beginning to grow, as more and more selfie fans of all ages are taking to this newfound convenience.
We take a moment to chat with Selfie on a Stick Co-Founder and CEO Jacqueline Verdier about the hype surrounding her new product.
BreakThru Radio (BTR): Your company has seen an immense growth since the end of last year. Did you have any idea that it was going to garner the kind of popularity that it has?
Jacqueline Verdier (JV): We definitely had a lot of growth at the end of last year. It was great–we were featured in a lot of media and Good Morning America. So that really boosted our sales quite a bit, and we’re not really seeing it slow down. There are just more and more retailers interested in working with us.
It’s Fashion Week here in New York, so we’re working with some shows for Fashion Week and just really getting our name out there and getting the product in the hands of everybody that wants it.
BTR: So did you discover the selfie stick, or did you conceive of it on your own?
JV: Great question! So my business partner and I were in Asia last year. He was there for work and I was there visiting on vacation and we saw people using these sticks in Hong Kong. I was like, “oh my God this is so funny, I have to have one!” And I spent two weeks there looking for one and couldn’t find it.
He was there for a few more months after I left and brought one back for me. We were playing around with it, taking some selfies, and we thought it would really fit well in the American market. We thought people would go crazy for it, and it seems that’s been the case.
BTR: Clearly they have. So there are a lot of different types of selfie sticks, I was wondering what makes this one unique?
JV: Sure, so there are other brands out there. We spent a lot of time working with our factory to really focus on a quality selfie on a stick; we really want to be proud of what we sell and comfortable with the quality. I think that really sets us apart from some of the others out there.
BTR: So there’s been news that museums across the nation are starting to ban selfie sticks, and some people view it as sort of a narcissistic behavior. What are your thoughts on that?
JV: There are definitely some different viewpoints on the selfie–taking selfies in general, you know. What I really like about the Selfie on a Stick, is that it’s actually not narcissistic–you can get so many more people in your photo. You can take a self-we!
It really makes taking a selfie a lot more interactive, which is fun. I mean, take one of those sticks out to a bar tonight and see how many people try to photobomb you.
BTR: Make some friends along the way.
BTR: In all your experiences with selfies, what are some of your favorites you’ve seen other people take?
JV: A lot of our customers will send us photos, and there are so many to choose from [so] it’s really hard to pick a favorite! In general I just love that it really helps people capture a moment in their life. And a picture says a thousand words, right? So it’s just a really great way for people to express themselves and to show what’s happening in their life at that moment.
One of my favorite selfies my business partner took. It was around the holidays with his family, and they had some props from a Christmas-themed photo booth. All of the family members were holding up different props. His mother had reindeer ears, somebody had a Santa beard… (laughs). Everybody’s in this picture and it just really shows how much fun they were having. You can check it out on our Instagram: Selfie on a Stick.
BTR: Are there any other practical uses for this selfie stick?
JV: Oh definitely, it’s great for taking videos. If you’re at a concert you can really extend your reach and get above the crowd. We’ve seen people take some pretty amazing panoramic shots. The part of the Selfie on a Stick that holds your phone actually does detach and you can use a standard digital camera on there as well. It really increases the functionality.
BTR: Yeah, I’ve seen people even at the protests in downtown Manhattan using these for videos too, to just document that kind of bird’s eye view that you normally wouldn’t be able to get with any other kind of tool.
JV: Yeah, exactly. It extends out 42 inches, so you know, no matter how long your arm is 42 inches is still a pretty big extension. You can get a very different perspective on things, which is nice.
BTR: So where do you think the future of selfies is heading to?
JV: Well, you know, I don’t think selfies are going anywhere anytime soon. I think it’s a really great way for people to express themselves, and just really show whatever they’re feeling. And with social media and Facebook and Instagram, I don’t think it’s possible for it to fade away. But we’re just happy to help people get a better angle and share more pictures with their friends.
To hear the rest of our interview with Jacqueline Verdier, tune into this week’s episode of Third Eye Weekly.