As I write this, we're just a couple of days away from the Winter Solstice, the shortest and darkest day of the year. This is always an important turning point for me as it means that the days will soon be growing longer and lighter again (very good for us stitchers!). It is always a time to reflect on the passing year and looking forward to the swiftly approaching new year. This time I have been reflecting on my first months of trading and making plans for my business in 2015.
I've already learned a lot about what has worked and what hasn't. I'll definitely be working to improve my photography and I will be opening a Flickr account to share more of my behind-the-scenes stuff, as well as my inspirations.
I'm very excited about the patterns that I'll be releasing next year. There are some Celtic designs inspired by ancient artwork; some designs inspired by the natural world, including my favourite bird, a colourful finch and his mate; there are some fun and quirky ones too. I haven't yet finalised the order in which I'll be releasing them but as soon as each one is ready, I'll be telling you about it here.
I'm also planning to create some one-off pieces. Not necessarily to sell but just to share my love of embroidery with like-minded people and to grow as an embroiderer. Although all of my patterns are either cross stitch or blackwork, I enjoy all kinds of embroidery and I want to make time to really enjoy the craft and learn new things. I'll be sharing my progress on Flickr when my account is set up.
The best thing about this year has been the contact I have had with other designer-makers on Twitter. It's lovely to know there are so many creative people out there who enjoy sharing ideas and giving each other encouragement. I am very happy to be part of this community. Working on your own at home can be difficult at times so it's good to know you're all out there.
You may be aware that from 1st Jan 2015, the EU have decided that anybody selling digital products to EU countries will have to pay VAT to whichever country the sale was made in. This is mainly aimed at large companies who choose to funnel their taxes through the countries with the lower rates. I have no sympathy at all with such companies and it's about time they were made to pay tax in all of the countries that they trade in. The problem however is that there is no threshold being applied so no matter how small the business, VAT will have to be paid. Businesses will also be required to collect customer data and store it for 10 years. This is extremely difficult for small businesses and will add a huge administrative burden as well as a financial one. It won't affect me as I only sell through third parties but I was planning to eventually trade independently. That will not now be possible. If you'd like to show your support for small businesses you can do so by signing this petition:
To end on a more cheery note, tonight I'll be watching my favourite Christmas film It's A Wonderful Life. Last year it inspired me to make an embroidered piece to hang in my room. So all that remains is to wish you all a Merry Christmas and thank you to everyone who has supported me.