I’m blogging about this because A. I don’t post enough and B. I hope this helps someone in the future.
I really wish I had a roadmap – a list of “this is EXACTLY every single thing you need to do in the order in which you need to do it” – so I didn’t have to think about this at all, so I could just mechanically ‘do.’
One of my report cards from preschool (preschool!!!) said, “Christy is very hesitant to try any new activity until she is certain she knows exactly what is expected of her.” Very little has changed in the last 30+ years. I know now it’s because of anxiety – about not being perfect / making mistakes.
But author Myke Cole tweeted recently, “I have flailed my way to every success I’ve ever enjoyed. My life has been a 44-year-long bewildered stumble.”
I think I’m ready to start flailing.
Anyway, I’ll tag all of these with “Starting a Pattern Business” if you’d like to follow along and watch me probably screw up a whole lot.
My plan for the last 2ish years was to start selling paper-piecing patterns as a way to make a little extra money. But I keep dragging my feet. I decided to set a goal for 2018 to put up at least one pattern for sale before year-end. I reasoned that if I can’t even do that, then I’m not really serious about it, I don’t really want to do the work, and I should just let it go.
And now it’s stuck in your head too. Sorry.
I realized I have things I could put up for sale almost immediately. I’ve got one pattern I already know works, though I’d like a nicer example of it sewn, and another I just need to test sew. That’s TWO patterns. That’s 100% above goal if I list them both!
I already decided that I would sell my patterns on Etsy, at least to start. Etsy, while it is not free to list things like it is with Craftsy, does takes care of VAT.
For those of you unfamiliar, VAT (Value Added Tax) is a tax added on goods (including digital goods) sold to people living in the European Union and it’s something of a nightmare to deal with.
I definitely don’t want to deal with it. As I’m aware of it though, I can’t just ignore it. Well I mean, I could and then claim I had no idea it was a thing as I’m just a dumb American…
I think I just destroyed my own cover story.
I popped onto Etsy the other day to see what I needed to figure out in order to list a pattern for sale.
I found that I’d probably need to collect sales tax for sales in Vermont at the very least. I know from buying MP3s and audio books online that Vermont has started collecting tax on digital goods. So sales of a digital pattern from me (a person/business in VT) to another person in VT would result in a “sales tax required” situation.
In order to collect sales tax in VT, I need to register with the state to do that.
In order to register to do that, I need to be some kind of business.
Ugh, I knew it’d come to this someday – that’d I have to be a “real” business and not just some weirdo in a dark room designing on my laptop while arguing with my cat about whether or not she is allowed to knock the pictures off the wall – but I was hoping I’d be “bigger” or “established” before then.
Yes, I know it doesn’t make logical sense to hope you’d be an established business before you actually start your business. Aren’t brains cool in their ability to make illogical stuff seem logical to us until we really think about it?
I have to make decisions.
DBA / Doing Business As
(aka just me, an individual, using a business name)
LLC / Limited Liability Company
(aka a “real” business entity)
Uh, sorry if I just offended anyone DBA-ing out there…
I decided on an LLC. I think a DBA would be easier to set up initially, but every person I’ve ever known with a small business went LLC, and there’s certainly a reason for it. It helps protect you (the individual) from litigation against the business.
I found some info on how I would get “paid” from the business (another of my “how do I do this legally” concerns) and it seems like it would work just fine for me. Yea, LLC seems to be the way for me to go.
It costs $125 to register an LLC in the state of Vermont. For me that’s a whole lot of money right now – a whole lot of money that might not ever be regained. I might not ever sell a single pattern.
I can make $125 happen, and I will, but y’all, it hurts a bit.
I also still want an official logo. No, this is not a necessity but I think I need it to feel legit. Also, it’s another of my 2018 goals to get one.
Logos seem to be expensive. I’ve really only got online logo design services as a reference right now, but dang. I’m sure logo design isn’t easy, so I’ve no doubt the pricing I’ve seen is fair, but it’s another expense.
I think if I’m going to shell out a bunch for a logo, I’d rather find some small business or independent artist, either locally or online, to give my money to. (If you’ve got artist friends, feel free to mention them in the comments so I can check out their work!)
So that’s where I am in the process right now – continuing to collect information, deciding where to pull the money from to file paperwork, trying to quell my anxiety, and hoping to find some joy in the flailing.