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Bidness. April 7, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in dyeing, Etsy.
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I’ve been digging up tax stuff. I know, I know, why haven’t we finished our taxes yet. It’s totally my fault, in an attempt to hopefully put us in the black this year I’m going to count my Etsy shop as a business so I can claim my expenses (since I didn’t earn more than I spent) as a loss. It was refreshing to see how much I did make, even with my paltry efforts, it wasn’t a lot but it was more than I expected, but now I have to add up all the postage and supplies and figure out what portion of our house has been used for “the business” which is a PITA. My photography table is completely covered in receipts and ticky tacky. I vow to get things wrapped up by tonight so Michael can finish our taxes tomorrow.

Thinking about all of this has kicked me in the butt a little bit to start figuring shit out. It was encouraging to see that I did make some money with Etsy last year, even with my very sporadic efforts. That of course was offset by the expenses, but it was something. I’ve been thinking of a few ventures that could keep my Etsy shop moderately stocked so I can hopefully build up from last year. Basically I’ve decided I need to focus on just one or two things for the immediate future and see where I can go with them.

With my current abilities and resources it looks like yarn dyeing might be the best bet, probably sock yarn as it’s a very popular item amongst the knitting crowd. I’ve been doing a shitton of research starting with ravelry and expanding all over the internet and have a pretty healthy list of sources, suppliers, contacts, mills, etc. I think I’m going to start a spreadsheet of some of the popular yarn brands out there and keep track of how much they cost with various vendors, but at the same time I’ve put an application in for a wholesale account with a vendor who spins their own yarn and am ordering sample skeins to try out. Once I can find a decent source that doesn’t cost me a fortune I can split orders with Joy to make the minimums. I’m also very interested in dyeing up Treliske organic merino yarn, it’s great yarn for soakers but it’s from New Zealand so the shipping is a bit prohibitive. I’ve already put in inquires with them for shipping costs so I have an idea, they will definitely be a future thing if I do well elsewhere.

How will I pay for all this, you ask? Ebay. I’ve already gone through one wave of auctions and not only sold everything (hooray, get OUT of my HOUSE) but made $75 before PayPal fees. Not the hugest amount, but it’s something and if I can keep this up it will be a nice way to supplement my business attempts.

Right, so, I’m working on finding suppliers. In the meantime I need to get back on the horse with the actual dyeing process. When Joy was here and it was Summer it was easy, we just set up on a huge table out in the barn and went to town. Here by myself in April it’s not so easy. I don’t at all have the space or the time to set up a large-scale operation so I’ve motivated myself to just get back into it by tinkering around with colorways in very small batches. I started tonight with one (huge) skein that’s been waiting around since last year, the poor thing. The colors look great though I may have screwed the pooch as I got distracted with the baby and ended up simmering it…the yarn looks okay, I poked at it a little but didn’t agitate it, turned off the heat and I’ll just leave it there until morning to cool off completely. Fingers crossed that it ends up being okay.

That’s pretty much the latest as far as What The Hell Am I Doing With My Life.

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