History of Strawbridge Studios

Strawbridge Studios, Inc. is an American school portrait and yearbook company. It was founded in Durham, NC in 1923. As of 2017, it operates in 15 states and the District of Columbia.

The founder, J.E. Strawbridge, became a school photographer in 1921 and after learning the trade, opened his own business in 1923.  After many years in the industry, J.E. retired and passed the business onto his son, Harold, in 1951.

Harold Strawbridge, a Second Lieutenant in the Army and graduate of North Carolina State University, successfully ran the company and continued its growth. His business practices and standards are still upheld today. Even in his golden years, while not handling the day to day operations, he still comes in five days a week. He has passed the company on to the current president, Ken Strawbridge.

Ken followed in his father’s footsteps and graduated from North Carolina State University before entering the family business. Throughout his career he has expanded the business to a level his grandfather never could have imagined. He managed a successful sales force and automated the production facility to bring it into the 21st century. Ken and his wife Robin have three sons, David, Mike and Kevin. Mike is also a graduate of NC State University like his father and grandfather and has also taken a leadership role.

Strawbridge Studios, Inc. is one of America’s great family business stories and it continues to grow with a family that has a passion for the rich tradition of school portraits and a desire to include their employees in their own family. Strawbridge Studios, Inc. is a flagship company showing what a true American family owned business can be.

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