Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Prizes and Losses

I've got good news and bad news.

Good news:  I just got all of the prizes I earned for winning 2nd place in the contest at AndStitches e-zine!

  1. The second issue of Hoopla, a modern embroidery magazine printed in the UK.  My husband calls it "Jorie's favorite magazine that she can never find."
  2. A wooden floss bobbin in the shape of a dachshund, by sugarcookie.  Dachshunds are one of my favorite dog breeds, so I'm really excited for this one.  It will look great wrapped in Weeks Dye Works thread.
  3. A pack of two tiny embroidery hoops from The Creative Muster.  These aren't for actually working on embroidery, but make the perfect frame for tiny creations
  4. A set of metallic threads from Kreinik.  They put an extra sparkle in your stitches.
I also got a nice note from the ladies who run the blog.

Now you might be wondering about the bad news . . .

I didn't expect to discuss global economics while updating all of you on my prizes, but there is a situation going on that is putting the online craft community into a tailspin.  Starting on January 1, 2015, there are going to be changes in tax laws in the European Union.  These changes were meant to target multinational corporations that exploit loopholes in the current laws.

Instead, the result is that these rules are going to make it much more time-consuming and expensive for micro-businesses to sell online products and services.  These are generally not people who are living off of their businesses.  They are doing it for the love of their craft, and have spent every spare moment working to make that business successful.  They were using the internet and new possibilities in online commerce to sell a variety of goods and services, including pattern PDFs, tutorials, and classes.  In the face of these new regulations, many of these small crafting businesses are making the decision to stop selling digital products, refocus their strategy, or close up their shops entirely.

Most of these businesses did not find out about the new regulations until the last several weeks.  When they tried to speak to authorities about how it would effect small businesses, they got contradictory answers.  This doesn't just effect European sellers--it effects every online retailer who might have a customer in the EU.

Several of the effected businesses include my favorite sellers.  Nicole of Follow the White Bunny, who lead the class where I learned to make my Polar Bear, will no longer be selling digital pattern PDFs.  AndStitches e-zine will no longer sell digital copies of its old magazine.  Sellers are giving customers one last chance to buy these items before they are gone.

Please do your part to spread the word about this change that is going to touch nearly every facet of the crafting world and cut off a burgeoning market at its knees.  Share stories on social media.  Check out the sellers that will be closing their virtual doors and buy their patterns while you can.  As globalization makes our world smaller, your actions can have a ripple effect.

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