I have just opened a Patreon account for my princesskitten name. It is still very much in the 'rough' - but I just wanted to show it - and explain the reasons behind my thinking. Any ideas for improvement will, as always, be welcome.
I love it when someone drops into the shop 'just to ask - - ', or 'have you seen - - ', 'how do you do - -', 'is this product - - any good' even 'I know you will know - - '. I love to stand and use products that actually work for your crafting - or show you an idea of a new way to use your supplies. I will show you how to use your inks, or stamps and embossing folders in new ways, or how to knit and crochet - and give you a sheet to show you how to do it to remind you when you get home. It's all free - all the junk in my head - everything I have learnt over the years of study - all the stuff I can do - all you have to do is ask, and I will share - it will always be free. I will always be as honest and open as I can, with products - and techniques - the latest trend - the mad ideas - getting you to craft is the only agenda. Designer labels and expensive gadgets is NOT us.
I have the disadvantage of coping with a degenerative muscle condition that thinks it is going to get the better of me. Every year I have had to cut back further and further on the stuff I can do. I do 6 hours in the shop and then I go home to my little flat and knit, sew, make the Posh dog range and generally organize stuff - house work and eating - did I mention that too ;-)
Unfortunately free does not help much towards the rent. I need people to actually buy stuff - and I work so hard to source products and keep my prices keen. I have always had my 'tip jar' in the shop - and am always grateful when someone says 'keep the change' - or 'keep the rest for your effort'. all my tips and gratuities go through the books and get 'declared'.
I have just paid my music PPL - was just over £100 - that's just one licence - you have to have 2 music licences - PRS is the other one - that costs about £70 - so I can have the radio on in the shop. I did think about cancelling them - but I love having the radio on and I would really miss it. So I have to pay for 2 licences for it.
I do so much 'free' work - I don't get paid for any of my Personal Impressions or blog work - I get products sent if I am lucky to test and review - but it's a labor of love.
The 'hidden' costs and obligations of keeping the shop open and staying legal would leave you stunned - and the nit-picky rules that I have to know would make your eyes water - but it's something that I do everyday without thought.
So many people come into the shop and say how rare it is to find a real, proper crafting shop anywhere - and I can only name 2 or 3 others like me in the north. There is a very good reason for that - bottom line - money is tight. I can't buy stuff for the shop unless I sell stuff - and unless I sell stuff I can't buy stuff - and all the time I have the rent to find - you get the drift.
If I had a little more cushion I could do more in the way of free pattern give-a-ways - even printer ink costs money! I could have free downloads on the website (yes - I have to even have to pay every time someone downloads something from my site).
If I could generate an income that would contribute to monthly outgoings - maybe - just maybe - I could get ahead of myself and be here to keep helping you to craft year after year.
Hence my opening a Patreon account and attaching it to my blog and website. I am hoping that a few of you will think it worthwhile to sponsor me - it only needs to be $1 or so a month. It is all done through paypal so it's dead easy and totally safe. Or when you are in the shop - leave me the 20p change - it will all be much appreciated.