Thursday, January 24, 2019

St. Louis Is Getting Its First Selfie Museum: The Selfie Room

Posted By on Thu, Jan 24, 2019 at 1:19 PM

click to enlarge Erika Klotz, left, and Christa Klotz, right, are bringing a new business to St. Louis. - COURTESY OF ERIKA KLOTZ
  • COURTESY OF ERIKA KLOTZ
  • Erika Klotz, left, and Christa Klotz, right, are bringing a new business to St. Louis.

A new interactive "museum" on Washington Avenue aims to let visitors make art, not just look at it — with twelve interactive exhibits designed specifically to facilitate the perfect selfie.

The Selfie Room (1424 Washington Avenue, theselfieroom.com) will open its doors to the public on February 8. For $30 each, patrons can play around in 3,300 square feet of space designed for taking whimsical photos — and stay as long as they like, capturing themselves and their friends under its professional lighting.

And unlike many similar concepts nationwide, including the Museum of Ice Cream and the Selfie Museum, the Selfie Room won't be a pop-up. Says co-owner Erika Klotz, "We are going to be a permanent location, and we hope to become a staple in downtown St. Louis."



click to enlarge At Museum of Ice Cream, a selfie museum that began in San Francisco, props include a unicorn that you can climb right on top of. - FLICKR/THOMAS HAWK
  • FLICKR/THOMAS HAWK
  • At Museum of Ice Cream, a selfie museum that began in San Francisco, props include a unicorn that you can climb right on top of.

A Saint Louis University graduate, Klotz says she and her sister-in-law, Christa Klotz, dreamed up the idea last November, huddled in the kitchen while other family members were watching a football game. "We made a whole business plan with the matter of a football game," Erika says.

It helps that both already own businesses in Kansas City (Erika a tech startup, Christa a paint-and-sip studio). They knew about other selfie museums, and thought the time was right to bring one to St. Louis. Having an uncle active in St. Louis' commercial real estate scene helped them get a fast jump.

"It's like a land-grab situation with this market," Erika Klotz says. "It was going to happen with someone in St. Louis, and we wanted to be the ones to come in and launch it."

click to enlarge Ball pits, like this one at the Color Factory, are popular selfie museum features. - FLICKR/K TAO
  • FLICKR/K TAO
  • Ball pits, like this one at the Color Factory, are popular selfie museum features.

The space is already under construction; next week, the sister-in-laws intend to start building out the exhibits. They see them changing quarterly, both to reflect the seasons and to drive repeat visits.

Judging by the reaction the Klotzes are getting, they feel confident they're on to something. Says Erika, "We already have people following us on Instagram, and we haven't even launched yet!"

click to enlarge Also at Museum of Ice Cream: Giant cones. - FLICKR/THOMAS HAWK
  • FLICKR/THOMAS HAWK
  • Also at Museum of Ice Cream: Giant cones.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story referred incorrectly to the number of exhibits at the Selfie Room. They will have twelve, not eleven.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com

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