Alan Ashworth Akron Beacon Journal
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Tiffany Roper is the founder of "Oh Snap", a selfie museum where people can take photos in specially decorated theme rooms. The themed rooms include a "Game of Thrones" set as well as a bubble room, a '90s vibe room with retro props.
Stepping off the elevator to suite 501 is like stepping into a different world, and that's the way OH SNAP Photo Lab owner Tiffany Roper planned it.
The doors open to colorful artwork that announces the new downtown Akron business, a selfie museum crafted by local artists and the brainchild of entrepreneurial-minded Roper.
The "museum" is an invitation to the generations of young folks to take the selfie experience to another level, posing with backgrounds that can't be found anywhere else — 6,300 square feet of uniqueness.
There's the cloud chamber, where cotton clouds dangle from the ceiling, illuminated by rice-paper lanterns. It was designed by Leah Brow and Paul Beaver of Elyria, expanding on one of their most popular concepts.
"There's something about the way the light goes through the cotton," said Beaver, who attended Saturday's preview of the South Main Street business.
There's the TV studio, where TikTok enthusiasts can video themselves giving a newscast or reporting the weather.
Another room is stocked with glamour items, some retro, including a landline phone.
"We thought it would be interesting to have some props the kids have never seen," Roper said. Floral theme room flips script on 'Game of Thrones'
There's the Game of Thorns room playing off the epically popular HBO series "Game of Thrones," where patrons can pose on the Rose Throne while capturing a fifth-floor view of the Akron Civic Theatre across the street.
There's a feeling of currency to the Money Room, where prop cash lines the floor and walls. "They can take the money off the floor [or] load up the money gun," said Roper.
Backdrops burst with creativity Nearby, a wall of affirmation, the work of Affirmed Artistry's Randi Mull, is lined with phrases designed to lift patrons' spirits.
Mull said Roper approached her to expand on her artwork for OH SNAP.
"I paint," Mull said she told Roper. "She said, 'Perfect, I have a job for you.' "
Mull said she has always had an interest in art — from the time she could hold a pencil — and reconnected when she was battling insomnia.
"I [couldn't] sleep at night, so I grabbed my supplies and started painting," she said. "The whole concept is that people like art, but people need to be affirmed."
A few steps away is the Phoney Booth, an upcycling work by Mentor artist Ryan Kinney.
"It's an infinite doorway," he said. "You go in and you come out in another life."
Kinney used doors and other objects from his home to create the spiritual space.
Other areas: A bubble room, a '90s vibe room with retro props, a fashion room with a tribute to Andy Warhol.
An alien abduction wall offers a chance for selfies with a fun twist, Roper said.
The gem of OH SNAP might be the Emerald Lounge, with an expansive view of Lock 3 and enough room for 35-40 people. It's designed as an event space for parties and can be rented with or without alcohol.
Newest venture on an entrepreneurial streak Roper also owns Eat Speak Love, an Akron business that supports women- and minority-owned businesses; and 1st Time Shine, a mobile detailing company.
Roper worked for Summit County as a program analyst when she developed a yearning to start her own businesses.
She retired from the job and found she was a natural businesswoman.
"I am a serial entrepreneur," she said.
OH SNAP developed from her awareness of cultural trends and is targeted for young people, with 14- to 24-year-olds her core customer base.
"Selfie museums are popping up all over the country," she said. "[I thought,] why not provide a space where they have photo opportunities that are fun?"
Roper plans a grand opening Saturday and will officially open Sept 28. For more information about OH SNAP, go to https://bit.ly/3hLoewS or https://bit.ly/2XxZUqE .
Roper said she created OH SNAP to give young people a fun and safe activity.
"In our community any more there's not a lot of entertainment opportunities for kids," she said. "After-hours, you have to be buzzed in. That was really important to us that we provided a safe space."
At a glance Business: OH SNAP Photo Lab Owner: Tiffany Roper Founded: 2021 Where: 209 S. Main St., Akron Phone number: 330-678-7884 Website: https://www.facebook.com/OHSNAPAkron
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.