Okay, after mulling it over for more than a week (actually a couple of months), I’ve decided to go ahead and ask for specific help instead of moaning about all the bills and other things I cannot change or control. It’s going on two years since the debacle with the supplier, putting me behind for 3 months, losing customers, and struggling to keep up. Before the fall of 2010, I was able to order yarns as needed and I could get even the custom yarns out within 2-3 weeks. Ever since then it’s been hard to stay on top, and most of the time I’ve been climbing up to ‘zero’ and then some other bill comes in or something else happens.
So, I have created a new page where people can order 1 (or more) cones of yarn for me, in exchange for 2 skeins of that type of yarn. (Prices shown include the cost of the cones plus shipping to get the yarn here.) Since my supplier takes orders via Paypal, when you pay for a cone, the money is there and I can go to the supplier immediately and put in the order, and the money is moved right away.
Giving two skeins from the cone purchased is a “thank you” gift, with a retail value worth roughly 1/2 or 2/3 the cost of a cone, but the result is that I am able to have 8-10 more skeins to sell, so it’s a win-win. Plus, those who contribute a full cone get additional discounts for a year and advance private notice of any upcoming deals, new patterns, etc. Any skeins that aren’t committed for custom orders can be used for Blog Reader Specials. Either way, having the yarn in-house means it can be dyed and sold so more yarn can be bought right away.
I realize some people might find this approach toward supporting an independent artist tacky or inappropriate. I don’t want or need massive grants and can’t get a loan; I just need enough to keep buying cones regularly to create a more-steady flow of money.
And I realize others can’t afford to buy a whole cone and want to help, and anyone can go to PayPal and send a little to help (select Send Money, then select Personal and gift).
The page for buying cones is here.