Wondering what to do with your old wedding video and home movies that are gathering dust now that all your commercial movies are on longer-lasting discs and your VHS player has gone the way of the dinosaur?
Have Crofton stay-at-home-mom turned entrepreneur Sharon Wanamaker convert them and keep your memories alive.
What began as Wanamaker’s husband’s hobby became the work that she loves after he converted their old wedding VHS to a DVD back in 2003. At his mother’s suggestion, Wanamaker’s husband taught her how to do the conversions and she’s been steadily moving forward with her business DVDs 2 Cherish, ever since.
Nine years ago, Wanamaker had recently left a career in marine biology to stay home with her daughter and began doing VHS to DVD conversions to supplement the family income. But now that her children are older, things are changing.
“Now that my kids are both in school full-time ... I can dedicate more time to the business and keep it growing,” said Wanamaker.
She’s a member of the Crofton Chamber of Commerce and about a year ago, Wanamaker joined the Baltimore chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers as an associate member. Her NAPO membership has helped her business to flourish.
“They are professional organizers, so they declutter, uncover boxes and boxes of videos and they send me those to convert to DVDs,” said Wanamaker.
Wanamaker does encounter some challenges in her line of work. For example, VHS tapes were not designed for long life and can begin to disintegrate inside the casing, and tapes stored improperly can warp and become brittle, literally falling apart in her hands making conversion impossible.
However, she mostly finds joy in her work, preserving memories for her clients.
“The No. 1 thing that I love is when it’s something that's priceless to a person, like a video of a father that’s deceased or audio of the same. I love when I’m helping someone preserve something that is so close to their heart,” said Wanamaker.
Wanamaker’s VHS to DVD conversions cost $25 per disc and each disc holds two hours of footage. She can also convert audio cassettes to CDs, but she cannot convert any commercial audio or video recordings that are copyrighted. She can only convert personal memories owned by individuals.