Customer storiesSmall business

Reviving the 90s: How Nostalgia and Notes has seen great success with Photoroom

Sonia Acosta
Sonia AcostaJune 21, 2024
Reviving the 90s: How Nostalgia and Notes has seen great success with Photoroom

The challenge: As Nostalgia and Notes quickly grew from a hobby into a thriving resell, entertainment, and lifestyle brand, founder Aaron Dotson realized he needed to level up his visual branding across platforms. Specifically, a harsh, but well-meaning critique from a friend pushed Aaron to find a solution that would allow him to create high-quality, professional product photos easily, quickly, and affordably.

Our solution: Photoroom transformed Aaron’s product photos from amateur snapshots to stunning, professional images. Features like AI-generated backgrounds and advanced editing tools allowed Aaron to elevate his branding, showcasing the artistic value of his products. Aaron now uses Photoroom for online listings, social media posts, and auction thumbnails, streamlining his process and maintaining a consistent aesthetic across platforms.

Results: Since implementing Photoroom, Aaron has seen significant improvements in his sales, social media presence, and community engagement. The professional quality of his product photos has increased followers and engagement, helping to build a thriving community around Nostalgia and Notes. And the significant time savings afforded by the platform has enabled Aaron to focus on expanding his brand and reaching new audiences.

Aaron Dotson’s passion project turned thriving business (and community!)—Nostalgia and Notes—is a music-loving, nostalgia-craving 90’s baby’s dream. Based in Tennessee, the oldies-but-goodies enthusiast (along with his wife Richele) sells a combination of retro video games, musical instruments, and the current stand-out, Pokémon cards.

“In my early teens and into my adult life, I always collected retro video games, and it got almost overwhelming how many I had. So I thought, OK, it’s time to showcase this stuff to the world and try and get rid of some of it.”

Aaron’s journey into reselling retro collectibles started on eBay with video games and soon led the ever-evolving entrepreneur to Instagram where he regularly promotes his products and music, and has created a strong following of dedicated fans. After adding musical instruments and a handful of Pokémon cards to the resale mix, Aaron quickly started to gauge where the most interest lay and has continued to follow his fans’ lead.

The evolution of Nostalgia and Notes continued from there with a now heavy lean on Pokémon cards (a real fan favorite!), online auctions on popular social marketplace WhatNot (think radio talk show vibes), and even a booth at a brick-and-mortar store in town. “Just me playing guitar and selling Pokémon cards—that’s where it's at right now,” Aaron says with a huge smile on his face.

Enhancing product photography to match the energy of a growing brand

As Nostalgia and Notes continued to take shape and grow into not just a resell brand but an entertainment and lifestyle one too, Aaron quickly realized he had to up his visual branding game across platforms. In fact, while at breakfast one day, his day-job colleague called his product photography (think a really poor quality shot of a video game sitting on the floor) “the worst thing I’ve ever seen.” Harsh! But the mark of a good friend is one that tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.

Not a professional photographer in the least, Aaron knew he’d have to find a tool that would allow him to create compelling, high-quality product photography easily, quickly, and without breaking the bank. Soon after receiving that eye-opening feedback, almost like an extremely well-timed gift from the universe, Aaron was scrolling the internet one day when he came across Photoroom and decided to try it.

“Photoroom took my pictures from like a kid took it with an old Nokia phone to just STUNNING. It’s a total gamechanger.”
- Aaron Dotson, Founder, Nostalgia and Notes

With his mind blown, problem solved, and product photography on a whole new level, Aaron began preaching the Photoroom gospel to anyone who would listen.

“I was taking pictures of everything; literally walking around work taking pictures of screwdrivers, adding AI-generated backgrounds, and just being like, look at this!”

Photoroom has not only helped Aaron level up his overall branding for Nostalgia and Notes, but has also helped him showcase the deep artistic value of his products, namely his Pokémon cards.

“I just lay the card on a mousepad or plain background, take a picture of it, and then make these super ambient scenes for them with Photoroom. It’s almost like artwork."
- Aaron Dotson, Founder, Nostalgia and Notes

Try Photoroom for free today

Aaron’s favorite Photoroom features save him time, money, and stress

“The most useful feature for me is definitely the AI Backgrounds—it's really awesome what you can come up with. I also really love the editing features like shadows and reflections.”

Aaron uses Photoroom across his daily operations including online product listings, social media posts and reels, and thumbnails for his online auctions.

“If you go to my Instagram feed, you’ll see Photoroom, Photoroom, Photoroom pictures everywhere. It’s seriously the best photo editor I’ve ever used.”
- Aaron Dotson, Founder, Nostalgia and Notes

For social media, the efficiency gains have been astronomical. “I can probably process a [Pokémon] card and have it where I’m happy with it in under a minute, and right there’s a post. So like two minutes total time to make an Instagram post. You just can’t beat that.”

Batch mode is another Photoroom feature that Aaron swears by as it cuts a considerable amount of time from his eBay listing process, a critical piece of his business. “Photoroom does all of the manual labor for me and it's so fast. It even allows you to adjust the tilt on an image if there is one, which really comes in handy."

“I couldn’t even imagine having to do each image one at a time now. It would take hours and time is money.”
- Aaron Dotson, Founder, Nostalgia and Notes

An undeniable impact across brand, sales, and followers

Since discovering and implementing Photoroom for all of Nostalgia and Notes’ product photography needs, Aaron has seen a clear and meaningful impact on both his sales and the social media presence and thriving community of nostalgic collectibles and music lovers he has become so passionate about serving.

“We’re talking about making professional product photography as opposed to just a picture of something laying on the floor. And as far as what I’m trying to do with my social media, Photoroom has had a big-time impact on the quality of content I’m posting and made my platform more appealing to more people in more places. I’ve definitely seen an increase in followers and engagement.”
- Aaron Dotson, Founder, Nostalgia and Notes

The future of Nostalgia and Notes with Photoroom

As Aaron reflects on how far Nostalgia and Notes has come in such a short time, what he is most proud of is the global community (from the U.S. to South America to Europe!) he’s built along the way. It's also what excites him most about the future of his business—continuing to expand that community far and wide.

The tried and true way Photoroom seamlessly supports his business on a daily basis with little effort and low costs keeps Aaron’s love of Photoroom steadfast with no plans of slowing down.

“Photoroom is definitely unique. I haven’t seen anyone else doing this kind of stuff and I’m excited for more and more people to discover what it can do for them. Whether it's to help their business, grow their social media, or just to take really interesting pictures, there’s a lot of opportunities that Photoroom creates that just aren’t available anywhere else. I could not do these things on my own.”
- Aaron Dotson, Founder, Nostalgia and Notes

To anyone considering Photoroom, Aaron encourages you to try it out and look at all the cool things others are doing with it.

“If you’re aiming for aesthetics or ease of workflow, Photoroom is definitely the app for you.”
- Aaron Dotson, Founder, Nostalgia and Notes

If nostalgic goodies, great music, and good vibes are your thing, make sure to check out Nostalgia and Notes on Instagram, eBay, and WhatNot.

See how other businesses of all sizes are using Photoroom to drive success or try Photoroom yourself today!

Sonia Acosta
Sonia AcostaWriter, content strategist, and brand marketer. Here, I write about Photoroom's positive impact and explore creative ways to celebrate each other.

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