Facing up to student debt
For most Oxbridge students the Varsity Ski Trip is just a holiday, but for Cambridge graduates Ross Harper and Ed Moyse this year’s trip was business.
Harper and Moyse were sponsored by Ernst and Young to go on the trip with the company logo and name painted on their faces as part of their online business BuyMyFace.com.
For 366 days the two entrepreneurs are selling their faces as advertising space in an attempt to pay off their student debts by the end of the year, which they believe to be feasible.
“We’re well on our way,” Harper said. “In the last 2 months, we’ve made over £10,000 and with the price of days increasing, we hope to pay off our debt fairly soon.”
Despite the trip technically being work, Harper added: “The Varsity trip is always very good and this year has been no different”
“Ed and I set out to create the ultimate one-year job where we’d be paid to do things we enjoy and to meet interesting people. We think we’ve achieved this.”
The nature of the business requires that they keep their faces painted and on display for everything they do, whether they are up the mountain or in the bar, which “meant that sometimes our cheeks get a bit cold”.
The price of buying Harper and Moyse’s faces varies, but is set to increase throughout the year from the original price of £1.
“The cost of each day is specific and increases gradually throughout the year to reflect the increasing number of people visiting our website and therefore the advertising power we possess”
The most expensive date they have sold was the 23rd of October 2011, which was bought by Paddy Power for £1000.
The way in which they get their faces seen varies depending on the buyer.
“We have already been skydiving courtesy of a web design company called Altitude Solutions LTD. They bought our faces for the 19th and 20th November and at around 4pm on the 20th we jumped out of a plane at 3,500 feet.”
Despite their current success and dare devil feats, they are determined to stick to their original plan. “At the end of the year, we are going to put down the paint brushes and transform BuyMyFace.com into an exclusive online calendar which pays tribute to those who bought our faces, and hopefully tells the story of two graduates who paid off their student debt and had a great time doing it.”
Harper and Moyse also say that they have yet to experience any competition. “The reason BuyMyFace.com is working is because it’s original. Nobody has done this before, which is why people are talking about it, and therefore is why companies are purchasing days.”