David R. Cohen | email@example.com
In the summer of 2011, two friends set out to reinvent the way Atlanta celebrates events.
The idea wasn’t new, but the market was. Israeli Roey Shoshan witnessed an emerging trend of instant photo magnets at weddings and b’nai mitzvah in his home country and saw an opportunity to bring the same business to the Southeast.
The Bar-IIan University graduate and business partner Andrew Levison began taking photos at events and printing them on magnets as souvenirs for guests. Four years and 450 events later, Mag-nificent has grown into a full-fledged player in the Atlanta event industry.
Now the two are ready to take their business into uncharted territory.
“We want to expand,” Shoshan said. “We feel that Atlanta should be the home base of what we do because we’ve proven this concept works, but we want to go to more cities. In order to do that, we have to show that Atlanta and other places can be a success.”
Mag-nificent has developed a devoted following in Atlanta, and Levison and Shoshan have a plan to establish a national presence within the $280-billion-a-year event industry.
The business partners have started franchising their operation and are in the final stages of developing an app for event attendees to take their own photos and have them produced on printers while they wait. The app will also have an option to order prints of any photo and have them delivered to the user’s home.
The partners have expanded Mag-nificent’s operations beyond the original mix of weddings, birthdays and b’nai mitzvah to include corporate, sports and nonprofit events. Mag-nificent boasts an assortment of big-name clients, including JPMorgan Chase, Dunkin’ Donuts, Domino’s and the Atlanta Hawks. According to Atlanta native Levison, the shift is a result of the distinctive marketing opportunity that Mag-nificent’s branded photo magnets provide.
“These big companies have found that our service provides a really unique marketing opportunity,” he said. “There’s all sorts of giveaways out there, from T-shirts to stress balls, but to put your branding somewhere that people see every day and are going to put on their refrigerators, there’s really not much else like it.”
The colorful photo magnets that Mag-nificent produces come with event-specific borders that Shoshan, the current young-adult director at the Marcus Jewish Community Center, designs himself. Levison has worked full time on Mag-nificent since 2012 and operates the company out of DeskHub in Buckhead.
Recently, Mag-nificent launched its first franchise outside Atlanta in Washington, D.C. After they release their event photo app, Shoshan and Levison plan to help entrepreneurs across the country replicate what they have done in Atlanta.
“We feel that this app can take us to the next level and really make this business something that you can franchise,” Shoshan said. “That’s the top of the mountain for us. We want to be able to offer someone who is interested in operating their own business to come join our team and start in whatever city they want. The model has been proven to work in more than one city. There’s no reason that it shouldn’t work in yours as well.”