- September 21, 2021
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JOLIET, IL — Selfie photography studios are growing in popularity, but there haven’t been any in Joliet. Until now. Two local young women, Jasmine Foster and Ashley Duncan, are opening Studio 88 Selfie Suites inside downtown Joliet’s five-story historic Barber Building.
“This will be awesome to bring a new fresh young crowd to downtown Joliet,” Foster told Joliet Patch during Friday’s interview.
The interior remodeling to the main level of the Barber Building is finishing up. Duncan and Foster are hoping to have their grand opening celebration for Studio 88 during the first week of October, they told Joliet Patch’s editor Friday.
“It’s a selfie suite studio,” Duncan remarked. “There will be 10 different interactive installations featuring different themes, backgrounds, props and art. It’s going to be ticket-based sales. (People) can purchase tickets online.”
Leading up to their new venture in downtown Joliet, Foster has already been an established professional photographer for several years in Joliet.
Studio 88 Selfie Suites will also have a traditional studio for babies, maternity, children and family photos, Foster said. The new photography business has 2,200 square feet of space.
Joliet Patch did an extensive feature on the Barber Building and building owner Mike Petry in 2019. The upper levels of Petry’s building include about three dozen loft apartment units geared for working professionals.
Duncan and Foster said Studio 88 marks Joliet’s first selfie photography studio.
“They’re very popular, and we noticed there isn’t one in Joliet,” Duncan said. “And we thought this would be good for Joliet.”
Duncan was born in Joliet and said she grew up in Kankakee. In college, she majored in communications.
“I’m a marketing guru slash design,” she smiled.
Foster said she graduated from Joliet West High School and studied photography in college at the Academy of Art University, which is in Chicago.
Their addition comes on the heels of numerous Joliet Patch articles over the past several weeks highlighting several young and energetic entrepreneurs opening new retail businesses throughout Joliet’s downtown district. Recent examples include: Joliet Kreamers sneaker shop, which is operated and created by Tyrell Hundley and John Pizano.
Another example is The Juncture, a vintage 1980s and 1990s clothing store.
In about a week, Lemont business owner Michele Birk will open her Nail Inn Academy in downtown Joliet on Chicago Street across from the Joliet Public Library.
Saturday evening marks the return of the Joliet Chamber’s one-day street festival, New Orleans North. The owners of Studio 88 plan to be at the event handing out fliers letting people know about their new business opening in October in the main storefront at 68 North Chicago St.
The owners encouraged people to start booking photography sessions with them now. Their website is called Studio 88 Inc.
Their tentative plans are to open Studio 88 Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.
Why did Duncan and Foster select the Barber Building in Joliet for their new photography studio?
“This is perfect,” Duncan said. “All the festivals are happening right around here. It’s on the main street.”
“We want to bring a crowd down here,” Foster said. “It gives that old Joliet feel that we wanted to incorporate into our studio. Everybody seems excited that we’re here.”