On the Job With… Retrospekt

Kori Fuerst, co-owner of Retrospekt, shows off a Hello Kitty-themed Polaroid camera slated for repair at Retrospekt’s workshop.
Kori Fuerst, co-owner of Retrospekt, shows off a Hello Kitty-themed Polaroid camera slated for repair at Retrospekt’s workshop. Photos by Jake Hill

Last updated on March 17th, 2020 at 01:38 pm

For Milwaukee couple Kori and Adam Fuerst, what started as a side hobby of searching for used cameras at thrift stores turned into a full-time business of restoring thousands of Polaroid cameras for resale.

The Fuersts are owners of Retrospekt, a business they run out of a workshop in a redeveloped warehouse in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood. Retrospekt refurbishes Polaroid cameras, which they both sell directly to customers through their website and back to Polaroid, as well as cassette players, Game Boys and other vintage technologies.

“Modern technology isn’t made to be restored anymore; it’s made to be disposable,” Adam said. “And I think there’s a group of young people especially that care about old things. They’re shooting on instant film to get a retro look and they want a retro camera, and there’s an added bonus of it’s a camera that doesn’t need to be made. It already has a 30-year track record of working.”

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