Struggling Koreatown Photo Shop Becomes Instant Hit After Visit From Kacey Musgraves

    Fans of Kacey Musgraves have been flocking to a small photo shop run by a Vietnamese immigrant in Koreatown in Los Angeles.

    Tom’s One Hour Photo, which was already in danger of closing, suddenly had an influx of customers after the country singer promoted it on her social media. 

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    “Ten years ago, it was a little slow, and now Kacey came in and made me busy again,” owner Tom Tuong was quoted by ABC7 as saying.

    While on a tour in LA last week, Musgraves chanced upon Tom’s One Hour Photo and immediately fell in love with the shop’s “retro” feel and ambiance. 

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    Musgraves was with her sister, Kelly Christine Sutton, who took some behind-the-scenes photos. Sutton found Tom’s One-Hour Photo on Yelp while looking where to get some photos developed before leaving town. The sisters reportedly enjoyed their visit to the shop, taking some fun pictures and getting to know the owner a bit. 

    “I felt like I was in a time capsule. … There’s something so nostalgic about the portraits he’s made,” Sutton told LA Times

    According to Musgraves, she loves places that are somehow left untouched by modern marketing technology, “seemingly unaware that they’re actually a gold mine for the retro revolution currently happening in my generation but not knowing how to or being able to adapt.”

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    I don’t think my heart could be any more full. After randomly visiting Tom’s shop in LA with my sister and telling everyone about it, the response to his story has been so beautiful and overwhelming. Tom and his family are very happy and appreciative of all the new business that has come their way. Even through changing trends and times, his shop has lasted for 30 years. So, without us he was already doing something right. I’m just happy to see others happy and to see that humanity still loves to champion authentic people. And as unique as Tom and his shop are, there are soo many businesses just like his in all of your own neighborhoods. You walk past them every day without thinking twice about it. Find your own Tom. Go in and spend $5. Tell friends or leave a positive review on Yelp. That will bring them business for years to come. Challenge yourself to support them vs large corporations that may offer something similar or more “convenient.” The difference will be much more direct and meaningful. ♥️ Tom’s been everywhere lately!! It’s been hard to keep up!! The Insta account we made for him is going really strong and his family’s going to take it over soon: @tomsonehourphotolab We’ve LOVED seeing everyone’s portraits they’re going and taking there and all the press and photos of new crowds of people visiting his shop. Keep tagging and just being so rad in general #TomsOneHourPhoto (photos taken by @shutterhappyjose and @mrtimchan)

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    On Wednesday, she created an Instagram account for the shop and gave it a much needed social media presence.

    “Let’s keep this charming business afloat!” Musgraves wrote.

    Her fans responded accordingly and have since been visiting the shop. Other people who want a nostalgic look have also been flocking to Tom’s. 

    The shop not only gained thousands of Instagram followers but also a lot of new customers.

    “Seeing the reaction has been amazing. I think my favorite part is seeing all the love that my dad’s gotten,” Tuong’s daughter Tisha shared.

    Musgraves’ own parents have also run a mom-and-pop print shop in Texas for about 30 years.

    “We were raised in a small town, small-business household where ends sometimes were barely met. I think that’s why I have a soft spot for the dreamer … the underdog,” Musgraves said. “I worked [in my parents’ shop] during my high school years answering phones, making copies, and rolling my eyes. I remember his own frustration and worry when Walmart came to town and home printers became a trend. Because who needs to order business cards or invitations anymore when you can just print your own?”

    Featured Image via Instagram / tomsonehourphotolab

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