Thursday, December 11

Saying Goodbye to Digital Patterns

Come January I will stop selling downloadable embroidery patterns, for various reasons.

The admin side of selling the downloadable patterns and the income that it currently generates it's not in balance. It was probably off-balance for a long time but I guess I chose to ignore it and hoped things would improve. The new 2015 European Union Tax Rules for selling digital patterns make the admin process even more complicated and definitely 'helped' in making the decision.



Also somewhere down the line my focus seems to have shifted somewhat from 'just' pattern making to developing my embroidery skills and artistic side. And I noticed that when I did make time for those things, good stuff happened, like my current Flower Bear (for want of a better name) project for example. In the next year my aim is to give more room to my embroidered art. I hesitate to use the word 'art' because I don't really feel like an 'artist' (maybe that's something I need to work on) but the combination of skill, creativity and imagination makes me think I can get away with it. ;)  I hope people will appreciate the designs, possibly even support me by buying the actual embroideries (or other work) or commissioning pieces.

In the mean time I will be working on a new online class (already made the first sketches!) and I hope many of you will want to join in. I'm positive that there will be more printed patterns too at some point, in addition to the Princess and the Pea iron-on pattern already available. I will also be listing finished pieces (old and new) in the shop.



There's truth in the often pinned quote that you can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. It's a bit scary but exciting too and who knows what is on the other side of the ocean?  Even though I do feel a bit sad about saying goodbye to this (important) part of my business I do appreciate the irony of the name of my most recent pattern 'Wave Goodbye'. ;) Anyway if you are interested in buying any of my PDF patterns you can do so until the 30th of December. Find them all in my Follow the White Bunny Shop (which will remain open in the new year!) Also if you have bought downloadable patterns from me in the past years, please make sure you download them before the end of the year!



Many, many thanks to all of you who bought my PDF patterns in the past years. Thousands and thousands of Princesses, Hedgehogs and Foxes found their way to many of you, all over the world. I always liked to think they travelled to you in teacups and hot air balloons instead of electronically. :)

25 comments:

  1. Hope the sea is calm for you in your new journey x

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  2. You *are* an artist and I'm excited to see what you make because your work is always lovely.

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  3. I'm sure only good things will come. Seeing your stitches is always a joy. I closed up shop too. Silly EU regulations hurst small businesses in so many ways. Big businesses are turning their backs too. We're becoming insignificant in the global economy :(

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    1. Thanks Joanie. Sorry to hear you closed your shop!

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  4. You are totally an artist! And that flower bear is my kind of bear! Good luck with your new direction - sounds exciting!

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  5. All of your embroidery is so beautiful, I can't wait to see where it will take you next year!

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  6. This new tax rule seems to be so badly thought out, it surely wasn't meant to discourage micro businesses but that appears to be what is happening. Best wishes for an exciting and creative 2015

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    1. I agree, Celtic Thistle. It is bad news for all of us creative types, not just the sellers of the patterns, as there will be far fewer downloadable patterns available for us to choose from.

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    2. I very regularly buy downloadable patterns myself too, not sure what my favourite sellers will do...

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  7. This tax thing sounds so irritating.
    Really looking forward to your next class ~ I was too busy last round!

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  8. Nicole,
    All I can think is that this is so sad. It was such an easy way for you to earn money from your incredible talent. Wonderful for all of us to be able to stitch up your patterns at the drop of a hat. What can they be thinking? It will be stifling to many independent artists and designs such as yourself. It is just so sad.
    TerriSue

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    1. It's a side effect of rules aimed at big tax-evading companies. The EU definitely have not thought it through very well...

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  9. How can you not call yourself an artist? What is different about an artist from an original craftsman or woman? Get on, girl! You are an artist! I hope that this unequal aspect of VAT law gets dealt with soon so that artists such as yourself can sell pdf patterns again. Has anyone got a petition up?

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    1. There's plenty of action going on and it might all just solve itself in the end. I'm content with the path I have chosen for now though. :)

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  10. Is it possible to sell through a different company (such as in the US) that can distribute the patterns? It just stinks the way governments keep hampering small businesses.

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    1. That wouldn't be an option for me. And US based companies would face the same rules if they want to sell to EU countries. It's possible I will just have fewer patterns but printed ones. Printing patterns is a long and expensive process though....

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  11. Someone once told me that a crafter creates with her hands and artist creates with her heart. You are most define an artist. Embrace it; it's a good thing!

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  12. This makes me very sad. My daughter fell in love with your foxes and is finally old enough to embroider. I can understand and wish you the best!

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  13. This is terrible! I hadn't heard anything about this until now (I'm not an independent seller - yet -, I'm in the US, and I have avoided shopping for some months as I've been working on saving up money). Have you considered emailing patterns to people? I realize that is a LOT more time and effort, but at least you could continue selling. Maybe I'm missing a crucial detail about your business, but I read this on Etsy's blog: "Some of you have also asked if the new VAT rules apply to digital items that are delivered to customers by email. At least in the UK, the government has taken the position that PDFs manually emailed by sellers are not covered by the new rules." I think it's great that you have a plan to take your business in a new direction and I can understand why you wouldn't want to deal with this mess of new tax law, but as I recall you had some beautiful patterns and it is such a shame they are no longer available! Someone asked if there is a petition or some organized response to this flawed tax law - it would be cool if you added a page to your website with the patterns you can no longer sell with an explanation and link to where people can register their complaints about the new VAT regulations. You are absolutely an artist, btw (we've got to stop limiting that term to people that went to art school or have been "discovered" by the "art world"! A tax that targets (even if done inadvertently) so many independent artists and business owners (many, if not the majority, that are women) is unconscionable. I don't think many of mind if Amazon or other big corporations (I'm not one of those people that considers corporations "people") are held accountable to paying their fair share, especially in this times of austerity, but micro-businesses and the Internet are a huge boon for women everywhere - women who have hit the glass ceiling, who don't get equal pay or respect in the corporate world, who need a way to earn while being there for their children, who need to save up some money to get out of abusive situations, who are disabled or have a health condition that limits their ability to work full time jobs, or simply artists that feel stifled in conventional jobs and can make beautiful things in their spare time that should be shared with the public! One post I read (may have been the Etsy one) suggested sellers consult a tax attorney! Seriously?! I'm going to look up other UK/European sellers I've downloaded patterns from to see if they are still available. I wish you all the best in all of your endeavors!

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    1. Thank you for your comment! I agree with many of the points you mention. I'm currently in the process of having some of my patterns printed and preparing an online workshop (and hoping for a commission or two) so while I definitely have a much reduced income, I decided to take another road. We'll see where it leads... :)

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