8825 S. Howell Ave., Suite 102, Oak Creek
Innovation: Photo organization, digitization and presentation
While capturing photos and video has perhaps never been easier, as cameras, smartphones and other devices have taken on savvier capabilities, managing snapshots and clips has become a chaotic afterthought for many.
With so many ways to save and display photos and other media, Pixologie has emerged as a one-stop shop for photo and video management, organization and digitization.
Led by business partners Mollie Bartelt and Ann Matuszak, the Oak Creek-based company works with clients to plot out a media roadmap. Through their services, Bartelt and Matuszak aim to get clients’ photo and video collections out of old storage, organized, and back into their lives.
The name “Pixologie” is an offshoot of biology, according to the cofounders.
“If biology is the study of life, Pixologie is the study of your life through your photos,” Matuszak said.
Matuszak and Bartelt launched Pixologie last July in their homes in Franklin and Racine before moving into their 2,700-square-foot workspace in Oak Creek in March. Both previously served as direct sales leaders for Creative Memories, a St. Cloud, Minn.-based scrapbooking company that went bankrupt last year.
Armed with high-speed scanners to digitize photos, converters to transfer slides and negatives to digital formats, and photo organization software, Pixologie gives clients the tools they need to overcome chaos in managing digital and print photos. While helping customers establish a central host for their media, the company also works with them to swim through their backlog of unorganized photos and videos.
Additionally, Pixologie specializes in sorting hardcopy prints, backing up photos and videos, and restoring photos. The company also expands the ways in which clients can share their photos’ stories by creating photo albums, digital photo books, slideshows, posters, and memorial and celebration boards.
“Our job is to help you celebrate your memories,” Matuszak said.
Along with completing projects assigned by clients and holding one-on-one consultations, Pixologie hosts open studio hours so that clients can come in to manage their own projects at their own pace.
Bartelt and Matuszak also make home visits to clients in need of their high-speed scanners and photo management expertise.
“We truly believe everyone has a story to tell,” Matuszak said. “Everyone should have the access to services to help tell that story.”
And the company, which relies on support from three contract employees and three volunteers, leads group classes onsite. Classes cover methods of traditional photo organization and digital photo organization and demonstrate how to transfer photos off phones into more secure storage venues and how to handle old VHS tapes.
While Pixologie’s technology is widely used in business spheres today, the company’s innovation lies in its personal approach, its cofounders said.
“Photos and photo scanning have been around for a very long time,” Matuszak said. “We’re one of the first to bring it to you personally.”
Bartelt deems the company’s business model one of “reverse innovation.”
“People have been so busy innovating that they’ve forgotten how to deal with the results of the innovation in the first place,” she said.
Since launching Pixologie’s home base in Oak Creek last year using their own funds, Bartelt and Matuszak have expanded the business with three Pixologie licensees, who operate their own Pixologie locations in Oconomowoc, Eau Claire and Waco, Texas.
Bartelt and Matuszak aim to have 20 more locations and licensees by the end of the year, spread operations coast to coast in the next five years, and bring Pixologie abroad in the next decade.
“We’re bucking innovation, just trying to get people to pause for a minute, forget all of that peripheral noise and go back to your computer and photos to find a starting point to organize your photos,” Bartelt said.