It finally happened. Selfie WRLD, the viral selfie studio franchise, officially opened its Tysons Corner location last Saturday, June 5. However, local social media influencers were invited personally by the owner, Nytasha Garland, to a special VIP opening the night before. Guests, who consisted of both new and veteran local content creators, received the full VIP treatment with a red carpet entrance, goodie bags, and two free glasses of champagne. It was truly a night to Instagram.
DC may not seem like a hotspot for social media influencers, but Garland thought the Washington area was the perfect place for a Selfie WRLD. “DC is a large metropolitan area with a variety of different of people,” Garland said. “It’s a great market for a social media content creation type of place.”
Judging from the swarm of people inside the photo studio, she wasn’t wrong. Each selfie station had lines of people with phone holders and photo clickers, waiting excitingly to pose with fake ice cream cones and giant velvet dice. Some folks even brought multiple outfits to change into.
Selfie WRLD is a DIY photography studio franchise with more than 20 locations around the country. The venue features over 25 immersive selfie stations with different props and designs, including a room with colorful Slinkies hanging from the ceiling and a fake retro diner with neon signage and vinyl bar stools. Folks can buy a ticket online or at the door for $20 (kids 12 and under can get in for $15.) Visitors can take as many photos as they like for up to an hour, and even purchase additional time if they would like to extend their visit.
Selfie WRLD was created by Iowa-based professional photographer Ashley Wilkerson, who struggled with her photography business at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and set up the first studio in June 2020 at her local mall. The studio went viral on TikTok and quickly spread to other malls across the country. While traveling in Miami this past February, Garland came across the franchise and fell in love with the concept. “I saw Selfie WRLD, and it immediately resonated with me,” Garland said. “Everybody in there was so happy, so I decided to make the investment.”
Local content creators at the opening night saw Selfie WRLD as an opportunity to meet and connect with other creators and influencers around the area after a long break from in-person social interaction during the pandemic. “Now that world is opening up again, it’s really nice to be able to hang out with fellow content creators in different spaces,” said food vlogger Saba Gyemfi (@sabasavors).
For Garland, Selfie WRLD is a place where both novice and veteran content creators can connect with each other and have fun after more than a year of hardship. “I feel honored to be able to bring that type of vibe to a place where people can come and be creative,” said Garland.
Here are some of the cool selfie stations available at Selfie WRLD NOVA-DC: