With dreams of leaving the world of accounting and becoming a successful, young entrepreneur, Erik Quick-Warner was able to make the first in a series of leaps of faith when he met his wife Brittany. Together they started a business that would be just as fun for them as it is for their customers: a media production and photo booth company complete with a PhotoSwagon.
The couple started Blue Bus Creatives in 2012, which offers videography, web design and a mobile photo booth out of a renovated Volkswagen Bus, the aforementioned PhotoSwagon. “I didn’t have the willpower to make it happen by myself, then Brittany came along and gave me the push to do it,” said Erik.
Brittany said, “We took a leap knowing that Erik was really good at it and he was passionate about it, but had never done it professionally. We had both just come out of college so we were used to being broke, why not give it a shot now and see what happens.”
Through high school and college, Erik had dabbled in different forms of media production but when he chose to go to Northwest Christian University to play basketball he knew he would be giving up on pursuing a media degree. Without a media program at NCU, his class choices were limited and he fell into accounting with his roommate. “I loved school and my classes at NCU were great,” Erik shared, “but real life accounting was different.” It wasn’t long after graduation before Erik started to think about his next move.
Like their business, their relationship might seem like a leap of faith from the outside until you see how well they complement each other. Brittany and Erik met in the wedding party of mutual friends from their respective hometowns. Erik was living in Eugene and Brittany was living in Kansas City. It was just a short 11 months later before Brittany had moved from Kansas City to Eugene and they were married.
The idea of a media production company was firmly planted in their minds but it wasn’t until they created a photo booth for their own wedding that they realized the potential for their business. “The nostalgia of doing something you did as a kid combined with the social aspect you get now is unique to the photo booth. We get so caught up with how our social feeds look and what we are sharing, but in a photo booth you are totally yourself. You are goofing off and you’re relaxed with friends,” explains Erik. They knew that they could provide fun photo booths with professional grade photography that would set them apart from the competition, while the creative aspect would keep them engaged in the work they were doing.
Naming their business was the next leap as the new couple’s venture started to take shape. As Erik recalls, it was just another day when he pulled up Craigslist and saw a blue Volkswagen bus for sale. “I wasn’t even searching for anything, I was bored. But when I saw it, I told Brittany, ‘We need this bus.” Brittany thought she had successfully squashed the idea by challenging him to give her one good reason they should buy the bus.
“The very next day, like a kid on Christmas, he came running up to me and said, ‘I’ve got it! We put the photo booth inside the bus.’ And I said, ‘Dang it, that’s a really good idea,” Brittany finished the story. They bought the bus the next day. As Erik drove the bus away in his business suit, he said goodbye to accounting and Blue Bus Creatives was born.
These days you can see their iconic bus at all kinds of special events – weddings, birthdays, picnics, corporate parties, holiday parties, and fundraising events. For both Erik and Brittany, auctions are their favorite events to work. “The people and the organizations are great to be a part of. If we can help make the events fun and the people enjoy being there, we feel like it’s a way that we are tangibly contributing to the success of the organization,” Brittany said.
While Erik works at Blue Bus Creatives full time, Brittany has worked with the Eugene Chamber of Commerce for the last three years as the Director of Business Advocacy. Additionally, Brittany has served on the boards of Junior League of Eugene, Better Eugene Springfield Transit and BRING Recycling. With her job at the Chamber and other extracurriculars, Brittany sees her part in Blue Bus as a more of a background role while Erik takes the lead on creative and execution.
“We work well in that we generate ideas together. I can draw something up and then Erik creates it on the computer, or he’ll show me the videos he is editing and I’ll give him feedback,” Brittany said. “It helps to have a built-in editor and second set of eyes that you can trust. If something is not good, I know she’s going to tell me to redo it,” Erik said laughing.
As busy as Erik and Brittany are, they have made a conscious effort to make health a top priority. In March they joined the DAC for Brittany’s birthday. They say they can understand why young professionals have a hard time making the investment in their health, but they know it’s worth it. Brittany said, “The investment is worth it to us because the DAC is convenient, it holds us accountable and it’s a place we enjoy going. We want our health to be as big of a priority as our social life and our business.”
Thank you to Erik and Brittany Quick-Warner for sharing their story.