Episode 1: What The Focal? (w/ Lachlan Shum, CEO & Founder of Focal)

October 19, 2022

Episode 1: What The Focal? (w/ Lachlan Shum, CEO & Founder of Focal)

WTF is what happens when you have two non-photographers interview some of the best in the biz! You get real, down to earth advice that anyone can understand and put into practice.

Join hosts Sierra Murguly and Kirsty Tait on What the Focal as they explore the ins and outs of running a photography business with ZERO experience by asking the questions pros never get asked. Through sheer curiosity, you’ll hear stories that will have your sides splitting with laughter, inspired to think of your art in new ways and feeling part of a community where you belong. 

In the first-ever episode of What the Focal, join hosts Sierra & Kirsty as they quiz their boss on what made him start Focal. Hear Lachlan talk about side hustling before Focal, slinging RVs and designing hanging clothes racks. Only to be engrossed by how hard it is to get photographers to take his money! 

Check out this Snippet:

Lachlan: I guess I've always been sort of an entrepreneur.  I had some other really crazy businesses in the past. They all kind of come from some sort of problem that I'm facing.  Prior to Focal, I was just doing this fun side hustle where I was essentially making these like hanging clothes racks out of Home Depot parts. And it all started because Erin and I moved into this place. I guess all my stories start with Erin <laugh>.  But you know, Erin and I moved into this place and it was essentially just like this room. It was like a room and then there was like a bathroom. It wasn't very nice.  I was in this basement and there wasn't a closet. And Erin has a ton of clothes and I was like, Where do we put all the clothes?


So I came up with this idea that I would start making these like clothes racks, these like modern clothes racks. And so I went to Home Depot, got some stainless steel pipe. I ran like a cable from the ceiling and you've probably seen them now they've become very popular, but it's essentially just like a pipe with a cable running through it, hanging off the ceiling and it looks very modern.  and it fit a ton of clothes. You know, the, the galvanized cable that I got was like weighted for like thousands of pounds so you can clothes on it, <laugh>. But I looked at it and I was like "hey, this looks pretty good". I'm gonna try to like just go and sell this like on Etsy for fun. So I started selling them on Etsy for a lot, maybe $400 for a four to six foot rack.


And you know, and this is like $20 of Home Depot parts, you know, and I brought in one of our photographers to actually help me do some product photography for it. And they looked really, really nice. I'll even grab some photos, we can put it on the podcast here to show people what they looked like, but they looked really great and they ended up being used and funnily enough, I think a couple bridal boutiques, down in the States were using them to hang wedding dresses. It was cool cuz they were adjustable cause they were on a cable. But yeah, I've always had sort of side hustles and, and even before that I was like selling RVs. That's another story.

Hear the rest below!

Watch & Listen:

Youtube (Video): https://youtu.be/g8GwKbgHsqk

Spotify (Video & Audio): https://open.spotify.com/episode/0blVL3edTyiDb0xs4AhZO1

Apple Podcasts (Audio): https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/what-the-focal-a-photography-podcast-by-non-photographers/id1596180391


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