This coming monday we head to Estonia for two nights, to finalise the bank things and hopefully visit a (textile) museum to make the most of the travel costs. I've heard so many good things about Tallinn and I've no doubt it'll take the edge of travel and business anxiety.

Once this is done, the backend business changes will have all fallen into place and I can start the intense process of changing all the prices and currencies. I've already started making subtle little changes to this website - the company name and VAT number have been added, for instance. 

I've got to commend the Estonian system and my new accountants (LeapIn) for making it all so smooth and painless. I keep expecting something to hiccup but it doesn't. It's such a progressive digital system, quite an eye opener compared to what I know of the UK and Italian systems.

Nonetheless, it's a massive change and I'm anxious. I'm joining the numbers of SMEs and micro, nay, nano businesses that are leaving UK shores. My days of paying tax to the UK are numbered and it's both exciting and sad. I doubt I would have done all this if brexit wasn't a thing but it is and as much as we're at risk on the domestic front from the whole shit show, I've begrudgingly grateful for the nudge to make this change. The business will be better off, there's no doubt about that.

I keep bouncing between emotions and the only thing that's keeping me stable is the clear path ahead to do all the things that need doing. Applying for residency in Italy will not be smooth, and I'm expecting to come unstuck some time in October.  In the meantime, I'm coping (just).

Meanwhile, I'm working away on Lateralis, which I expect to be published in October some time. This collection hasn't been as smooth as Elemental in its development but I suspect that that's as much to do with everything else I'm trying to juggle than anything else.

It has though taken a positive turn these last few weeks. I've been chatting with a very talented indie dyer who wanted to sponsor the collection. I'm not normally keen to take yarn from indies but we've agreed on a collaboration that benefits us both in direct and indirect ways. One of the things that's been missing from the Lateralis collection is colour cohesion. And now it will have it. I won't reveal just yet who the dyer is as they've their own schedule to work too, but be assured you will spammed with the details once we're ready to share! 

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The next few weeks will be critical and you'll likely see me disappear from social media even more than usual. It's all fine and good for now, I just need a little breathing space. And possibly numerous massages and umpteen bottles of wine.

 See you on the other side!

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead
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That's a pretty self-explanatory title!

Finishing up the Lateralis collection before photoshoot and layout, and making all the big changes to the business are consuming every part of me. We fly to Estonia 13th to 15th August to finalise the very last few things and then it's all systems go on the business changes front.

From 16th August, Kat and I will be making the necessary changes, and that includes the changes in price and currency as well as adding VAT numbers and so on. Knowing that's just around the corner I figured I'd given everyone a chance to buy ePatterns and eBooks at current prices, with a sweetener thrown in.

 
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This offer went exclusive to The Woolly Hat Society a week ago, and now I'm able to share it here - feel free to spread this far and wide!

Here's a reminder of those price and currency changes that will come into effect from August 16th:

ePatterns
€5.50 : $7 : £4.75 (currently €5.50 : $6 : £3.75)

eBooks
<4 patterns: €12 : $14 : £11
<10 patterns: €14 : $17 : £13
10 patterns: €16 : $20 : £14
>10 patterns: €20 : $24 : £18 

Posted
AuthorWoolly Wormhead
CategoriesIndie Biz

By the looks of things, my business will be changing over towards the end of July or beginning of August, and the biggest change that will be visible is the change in currency and prices.

My main currency - on this website and on Etsy - will change to Euros. Ravelry, Craftsy, Kitterly & Patternfish will remain in US Dollars. And I'll keep LoveKnitting as the one place for Sterling, because I'd like there to be somewhere that is. Makerist will remain in Euros, as it is now.

Because I have to switch currencies, it also means a juggle in prices, mostly to align with the EU prices that are already established.

Prices in US dollars haven't changed in a very long time, years, and that does need to adjust slightly to match my prices in Euros. The one I feel most awkward about is the change to Sterling - this one had an increase most recently (just over 2 years ago) and the fall in value of the currency means I gotta do it again. But it is what it is.

You'll know that these business changes back end are pretty big - getting incorporated and VAT registered and all the grown up things - and in many ways I'm glad it's all happening at once... we've one big bump to work around and hopefully everything will settle soon enough.

Going forward, the new prices will be:

ePatterns
€5.50 : $7 : £4.75

eBooks
<4 patterns: €12 : $14 : £11
<10 patterns: €14 : $17 : £13
10 patterns: €16 : $20 : £14
>10 patterns: €20 : $24 : £18

I will be paying the VAT, just as I do now.

These prices will be effective as soon as the business moves, and right now I can't give an exact date but as I said, it'll hopefully be in the next 4 to 6 weeks. Anyhows, I know I've no need to justify any of this but since it's all of you lovely folks who buy my work that keeps the food on the table and a roof over our heads, I like to be transparent where I can.

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Thank you for the fantastic response to my donation drive! I wasn't sure how well we'd do as it's the lowest point in the season, but we've topped €530 so far! I was hopeful I'd have €500 or thereabouts to donate by the end of the month, so I'm pretty chuffed.

I know a lot of folks like to turn to their knitting as a way of escaping what's going on in the world, and I get that - I do. But I don't have that luxury. The situation we're in - which could get more precarious, who knows - has been bought about by politics. The rise of far right politics, mostly.

So as much as a few people complained about my most recent newsletter (where I didn't talk about the situation as in depth as I did here) the current state of things here and my want to do something is personal. Good for you that the current politics doesn't affect you, that you can ignore it, but we're not all in the same boat. Thanks for your understanding.

(besides which, politics is everywhere, in everything. Making a donation to charity is political; choosing to support independant businesses is political; and choosing to abstain or ignore politics is political, too.)

Thank you to all of you for your continued support. It's been a difficult few weeks and I'm glad we're all still moving forward!

Posted
AuthorWoolly Wormhead
CategoriesIndie Biz
2 CommentsPost a comment

I've been talking to a couple of good indie dyer friends of mine about ways that I can support them beyond what I already do. Stopping print wholesale will be less of an issue for shops but more of an issue for dyers, as they won't have access to the Ravelry In-store system. So I got thinking, and would appreciate some feedback?

 
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Business cards with pattern details

This is the first idea I had, and it's something I can easily do for dyers in the UK or EU. 

For the new collection and for Elemental, I could put together business cards that have images on one side, then yardage/gauge/size info on the back, with the URL of where to buy the collection. This would ideally be coupled with the dyer knitting a sample or two, and I'm up for sending you a gift download link if you get in touch.

Maybe business cards wouldn't be big enough, maybe postcards would be better... and as I'd be printing a fair few the cost would be relatively low for me. I could then send these out to dyers in batches of 50 or so, gratis, and then you have something to give to your customers when they buy yarn based on the sample they've seen.

Win win, except I'm not going to be sending envelopes of heavy paper around the world! 

So then I got thinking about downloadables, so you could print them yourself. However, I'm not sure whether the business/postcard sizes would suit dyers, as having them printed professionally is going to cost and that might be prohibitive, and I imagine that some/many dyers may prefer to print at home? And if so, what size do I make the downloadables? Or would having the business/postcard sizes available for free download be enough, and then you'll juggle how to print them yourselves?

Do let me know what would be easiest - if I'm going to make a resource pack for dyers I want it to reach as many as possible.

 
Blog.Indie.Dyed.Yarn.1.jpg

A workaround for wholesale

So print wholesale has been nipped in the bud, and yarn stores can purchase through the Ravelry In-store sales system, but that doesn't help dyers.

I have worked with a few dyers, either by them ordering wholesale print from Magcloud, or by me printing an exclusive set of (printed) patterns that I then invoice for, and going forward neither of these will be an option.

But how about I still prepare the digital file, you buy a license to print however many from me, then you print them yourself? The invoice would simply be for a digital license, calculated on however many copies you think you'll need to print. For some that maybe only 10, for others 50. Digital Printing in the UK is where I usually get consumables printed and their rates are pretty reasonable. They've branches in Ireland, too, although I'm not sure if they'll ship to the EU. I could also make a US Letter version of the file, as well as A4, so I could offer this out worldwide.

The other option is to invoice for however many single use download codes, which you could then add to a postcard or leaflet, but most indie dyers have told me that if possible, folks like to buy the printed pattern at shows alongside the yarn?

Please do give me some feedback on this! It will involve some trust but I don't have a problem with that - I have a pretty good relationship with dyers.

 
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Any other suggestions?

If there's something I've not mentioned that you'd like to see in action to support indie dyers, please do let me know in the comments below! Obviously I've my own limitations to factor too but I want to try and find clever solutions that suit both of us.

I really like the downloadables idea - free marketing material that you can download and print off. I could set up a separate page or include them on the collections' pages, alongside the blogger/reviewer press packs.

But I'm sure there's more I could do, so do let me know :)

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead
CategoriesIndie Biz
5 CommentsPost a comment

A few questions have come up, so I'll take the opportunity to explain things further.

Firstly, print = hard copies - I absolutely will continue to publish PDFs for as long as I'm in business!

Should a future relationship with a distributor or publisher develop, whereby they handled printing and stock and it was stated clearly in my contract that I only receive royalties, then I should think that would be OK. The problem with Magcloud is that it's a 3rd party that essentially makes me the publisher, and although it's not used that way, it could be, and that's the concern. Being a business that manages tangible stock would move me into a different business bracket and I can't justify the extra work and cost involved with that.

I used to have a nice little set-up for print wholesale that allowed shops and dyers to buy directly from Magcloud at wholesale prices, and I only receive the royalties. When sterling crashed after the referendum the print wholesale side of my business was basically killed off, as many of my customers were in the UK and everything on Magcloud is set in US dollars - everything became too expensive for them. 

Digital sales remains strong through Ravelry In-store sales, so you can still support your LYS that way. I'm sad to no longer be able to support them with print, but more and more shops are moving away from print to digital, and increasingly I think you'll find less options for print unless it's for something very niche like the big books Susan Crawford likes to produce.

I am hoping to continue to have sample copies of my eBooks in print format, as they'll belong to the business and not be for sale, but I'll need to double check that with the accountant. They're really useful for Hat clinics, trunk shows and workshops, as you can see quite clearly what's inside the eBook which you can't do with digital in any other way.

And having checked, I can't sell eBooks via Magcloud without first selling a print option, so that platform will be closing entirely. It will take a little while to set up the new company and move all the accounts and I will try to keep that shop open as long as possible for you to get your last minute purchases.

There are some more important changes I need to talk about but I'll finish up here now and write the rest during the week!

Posted
AuthorWoolly Wormhead
CategoriesIndie Biz