For Taylor Roberts, Koeun Im and their close friends, going to Taylor Swift's The Eras Tour at Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts was a dream.
"Just standing there with, you know, my friends and being able to sing along, like it was just super special," said Im, 33.
To commemorate the occasion, the group made friendship bracelets, a new tradition of the tour based on a lyric of Swift's song, "You're On Your Own, Kid," from her latest album, "Midnights." The friends didn't know however, that was the beginning of a lucrative business venture.
"We spent several weekends together making them and then we just had a surplus and we're like, well, why don't we give it a shot? Like Taylor (Roberts) already has her Etsy shop set up, why don't we try and sell them? And it kind of just exploded from there," said Im.
Using the Etsy shop Kimba Siena Co, already owned by Roberts, they have now sold more than 3,300 Swift-themed beaded bracelets, totaling a profit of over $10,000, which is not bad for a spur-of-the-moment side hustle — a side hustle that, despite their separate busy lives, they enjoy making time for.
"One of us just had a baby, one of us is moving, another one just started college classes, and then I'm getting married in 10 days, so we're all very busy!" said Roberts, 28.
Many other shops on Etsy are following suit, getting a piece of the popularity of the mega-tour. Beyond bracelets, there are also clothes and stickers that makers are selling.
"It's a new phenomenon — the Super Bowl does not compare to this," said Sanjay Sharma, a business professor at the University of Southern California.
Sharma's been studying and estimating numbers regarding The Eras Tour. He estimates that the tour is generating about $5 billion in GDP — that includes hotels, money spent in cities and yes, even the small sellers on Etsy and other shops.
"We'll keep doing it until [the demand] is no longer there. But we're just having so much fun doing it. We don't wanna stop," said Roberts.
More than the money, Roberts and Im say that the experience of creating something in the spirit of their friends' favorite artist has brought them closer together, and it's been a joy to help spread The Eras Tour love.
"That's why we keep doing it, 100% — we love making them and it's not for the money," said Roberts.
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