IT is the big break every fledgling entrepreneur dreams about. That magic moment when fortunes suddenly change overnight and orders start flooding in from around the world.
That dream is coming true for a young Edinburgh couple whose Facebook video promoting their “body casting” sculpture studio went viral and has been viewed by over 11 million people since being posted on March 26.
Luis and Poppy Forte of the Edinburgh Casting Studio, who started making casts of various parts of the body last September, have been inundated with orders since posting a video of a family having a cast made of their hands clasped together to make a unique piece of art for their home.
Bookings have been taken from tourists from the United States, Dubai, Italy and France who intend visiting the Hill Street studio in the New Town while on holiday in the city.
Mr Forte, 24, and wife Poppy, 25, also make detailed castings of various parts of the body including babies’ hands and feet, pregnant women’s baby bumps, faces, torsos and, on request, more intimate parts of the body.
Each sculpted cast shows an amazing array of detail from veins and hairs; the faint, raised outline of tattoos; and lines and grooves. Jewellery such as wedding and engagement rings can also be key elements of the pieces without being damaged by the materials used.
Mr Forte, 24, a former environmental scientist, said he and his wife, who used to work as a legal executive, were amazed by the response.
He said: “It has totally blown us away and we are now trying to keep up with demand. Poppy put the video together and within ten minutes of going on Facebook 50 people had clicked ‘Like’ and started sharing it.
“Then when it went viral we were watching the numbers go up and up. It has all snowballed. It’s unbelievable since we only set up business in September last year.”
The Fortes first began casting small objects such as crows’ skulls and claws to sell.
“We realised that if we could cast them we could do people too. Up until the video took off the main demand was for baby bumps and babies’ hands and feet. Some pregnant women have told us the body goes through such a rapid transition they want to capture it.
“After the ‘hands’ video, demand for that went up, especially from overseas. For example, an American couple who are travelling the world said they will stop off to have their hands done.”
Each sculpture takes around 20 minutes. Prices range from around £40 for a baby’s hand to just over £210 for a family hand casting session, with pieces available within a week or two.