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People will take 1.4 trillion photos this year — Here’s how to turn those pictures into a new side hustle

People will snap more than 1.4 trillion photos in 2020. 

Many of those pictures will end up on Facebook or Instagram. The rest will most likely remain in a digital album, never to be thought of again. 

Before social media became the norm for sharing memories, creative family members around the world spent hours cutting and crafting their physical photos into scrapbooks of their favorite moments. The coronavirus shutdown may be bringing back that time-honored tradition. 

“We’re seeing it with millennials. They’re looking for something tangible. They’re looking for something that they’ve made themselves,” said Caleb Hayhoe, chairman of the scrapbook supply company Creative Memories. 

Hayhoe said the company’s factory in St. Cloud, Minnesota, is working around the clock to keep up with orders since the coronavirus shutdown in March. The company’s sales were up around 50% in the months following the shelter-in-place orders that gave people a ton of time to pick up new hobbies. 

Creative Memories uses a social selling model that enlists people to sell their product and keep a percentage of the profit. With sales up across the board, many of the sellers are having record years, according to Hayhoe.

But business hasn’t been smooth sailing for everyone in the industry. 

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Author and full-time scrapbooking expert Amy Tangerine travels the world teaching workshops and helping people unlock their creativity. With live events on hold for the foreseeable future, a big part of Tangerine’s business dried up overnight. 

Tangerine, whose self-titled products sell in major retail stores across the country, pivoted to teaching online courses through her website and said that the response from her followers has been great.  

Many of Tangerine’s clients use their newfound scrapbooking skills therapeutically as a way to connect with their memories, and some have also found a way to leverage their skills into cash via online marketplaces.

The crafters are able to take advantage of online trends and support popular social movements with handmade products much faster than traditional retailers, according to Tangerine. This gives them an edge when creating merchandise to sell. 

It takes Tangerine about six months to design and produce a product to put on store shelves, but her scrapbooking clients can produce stickers and other trinkets and sell immediately using a marketplace like Etsy.  

Check out this video for a deeper look into the paper craft industry and to learn more ways that people are making money with scrapbooking. 

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Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.

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