In Lockdown, Collage Decor Thrives

Ethan Brooks

The Signal: Searches for "wall collage" are rising to all-time highs on both Google and Pinterest, as a planet stuck at home looks for new ways to bring the world inside.

In a trend driven by both social media aesthetic and nostalgia for a world that seems increasingly like a distant memory, people have begun covering their walls with visual reminders of things they love. Opportunities in the space are as mixed as the collages themselves, and include:

Collage Kits: Searches for "collage kits" are up 300% since February, according to Google Trends. A collage kit is a curated collection of photos and images that people buy as a starting point for their collage.

Photographer Tessa Barton sells several themed kits ($89) -- CityCoastal, and Tezza Collage -- which include prints of 150 of her photos, all of which have sold out. Her company’s Instagram audience has grown exponentially over the last few months, adding ~9k followers in the last 4 weeks alone.

UK-based designer Cody Bond is selling out of her graphic design collage kits £45 ($55), which bundle 50 full-page prints of her designs. Some, like Summer Blue and Black + Blush, are curated around a color theme. Others, like her Botanical Collage Kit, focus on areas of interest.

These pre-built kits solve one of the major business problems facing customers and business owners in this space: overwhelming choice.

"If you want someone to [buy] a collage, letting them choose 100 photos will be way more work and create more friction," says Trends member Adrian Salamunovic, who built Canvaspop into an 8-figure photo-printing company. "Friction equals less conversion."

You can overcome this friction by having the customer pay first, and choose each of their individual photos after the payment has gone through. Or you can stick to pre-selected images, like Bond and Barton.

If you’re not a photographer, you can curate kits of your own by selecting images from creative commons sites -- like PixabayUnsplash, or Pexels -- or by licensing work from artists in your network. Note that most creative commons licenses will require that you modify the artwork before selling it, so review their guidelines.

Another obstacle that sellers like Barton and Bond are facing: Production and shipping are backed up due to the pandemic. Consider offering these kits as a downloadable package that people could then either print at home or send to a local print center for same-day pick-up.

Frames: For those who want a more refined collage aesthetic, picture frames are in high demand. One seller, Upsimples, generates $312k per month selling 10-packs of picture frames on Amazon, according to JungleScout. Searches related to collage frames are growing, our research indicates:

While the picture frame market bears heavy competition from giants like Michaels and Hobby Lobby, Upsimples carved out a niche for itself in part by building a brand that caters to the needs of mothers and their babies.

They sell hundreds of thousands of dollars in bibs and baby swaddles each month, with picture frames being a natural extension for mothers looking to capture memories of their children growing up.

With the pet industry booming, you could build a similar offering for pet parents, potentially niching down to a specific kind of animal (i.e., dog collage frames).

Other Products: People are not just clambering for collages because they suddenly dislike their blank wall space. It’s about nostalgia. The things we value most have come into sharp focus against a backdrop of global quarantine, and people are looking for ways to surround themselves with what they love.

As this trend develops, there may be opportunities in ancillary products -- like instant cameras -- which can be used to capture precious moments and continue adding to a collage for years to come.

Amazon searches for various misspellings of Polaroid -- including "Poloride Camera"(23k), and "Poloride Camera Film"(5.5k) -- have more than doubled in the last 30 days, and interest in Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 11 is up 292% with 5k exact searches per month, according to JungleScout.

Similarly, Google Trends research shows that more people have been searching for reviews of the Polaroid Lab -- a photo-transfer device that scans pictures from your smartphone screen and prints them on Polaroid film -- indicating that demand for that and other instant film printers may increase.

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