a bit late- 2014 in review

Yes, I’m late. 2014 was a very busy year, maybe a bit too busy. And 2015 is starting out the same. I am just getting to this now because I have been hard at work doing exactly what I was doing last year at this time- designing a new line of ornaments for West Elm for the 2015 Holidays! This week I went to Brooklyn to deliver them in person and meet my contacts there.

totally random photo-

1:9:sidewalk

This list will be of the a lot good and a little bit bad variety.

Teaching- I taught at Gather Here in January (Tiny World pin cushion) and again in February (owls). Then in March, I headed down to New York to teach at the Sweet Paul Makerie event which was beyond amazing. I reached out to see if anyone was interested in classes while I was in San Francisco in July but got no interest. After that, nothing.

This year? I am teaching again this month at Gather Here. And I am going to the Sweet Paul Makerie in Philadelphia, but this year I am going to play instead of teach. I can’t wait! Hopefully there will be more teaching gigs- I will keep you informed.

Shows- I did 3 shows again this year- San Francisco Renegade, Chicago Renegade, and Crafty Bastards in Washington, DC. None of them was fantastic and it is making me rethink doing the shows. The shows are expensive and stressful but I get to see show-goers interact with my artwork and always meet amazing people. Unfortunately, my work is expensive compared to most of the vendors at the shows I do and I see so many disappointed faces which is very disheartening. The people that come to the shows are the ones who like my work, might be potential future customers, but are not ready to spend $$$ the first time they see my work. It is not as easy as switching to higher end shows since I am not sure my buyers would be there. My best “show” of the year was the pop-up shop at the Sweet Paul Makerie so I will be trying to think more creatively about this. Currently I am planning to take a year off from craft shows.

Licensing- The ornaments for West Elm were a big hit! I hear that the moose was the most popular and I love that! I still have some toy designs available at Land Of Nod too.

Gallery Shows- I did 2 this year. Don’t Play With Me in Pawtucket, RI and Good Mail Day in Dover, NH.

Dolls- of course! It was a banner year for making dolls!

Media- Little Thing magazine is amazing and I was delighted when I saw my profile, although I have no idea what it says! And I was in the New York Magazine 2014 Holiday Gift guide- that was pretty cool too.

Patterns- No new patterns in 2014 and I am really sorry about that. To make things worse, the EU has implemented a very complicated tax system on all digital products (as of Jan. 2015) that is impossible for a micro business person like me to deal with. Etsy did nothing to help it’s sellers deal with this problem, such as making it possible to sell only in the non-EU countries. As a result, I have pulled all my patterns from Etsy for the time being. I am sure something will get figured out eventually and I will let you know when they are available through Etsy again. That doesn’t give me any incentive to make any new patterns right now since I can’t sell them. Sigh.

Other stuff- I made a quilt for my daughter and flew out to Chicago to deliver it and have a fun, cold, weekend.

Gather Here made a sweet little video on their 3rd birthday called Why We Make. I’m in there for a sec.

Yes, a very busy year. Let’s see what 2015 brings me!

5 thoughts on “a bit late- 2014 in review

  1. Hi Mimi – interesting to see your year’s round-up, and I like your honesty in saying how sales at shows haven’t been that great. Not because people don’t like your work, but because of prices.
    I love reading various craft blogs and seeing peoples successes, but sometimes they can paint an extra-rosey picture of selling crafts, as if the world’s cottoned on to buying handmade and is always happy to pay realistic prices for it. It’s refreshing for have an honest assessment of face to face selling.
    I love your foxes particularly. Such beautiful characterful creatures.

  2. What an amazing year 2014 was for you! Interesting to hear about etsy as I was just thinking of redoing my patterns and posting them. My computer crashed about a year ago so, no digital patterns. I’ll have to re-think this. I love your work and was wondering if there is a way to subscribe to your blog? I didn’t see anything on your site. Maybe I just missed it.

  3. Sending you a link to the Visual Arts Center of Richmond Craft and Design Show. This is the type of show you should be a part of. It is in November, juried, and attracts serious people. There is another, smaller juried craft show in September but may not be worth the effort. If you would like to look into it, I am leaving that link too. Robin Cage is the contact person for that and, I am sure, would be glad to talk to you about it.

    http://visarts.org/special-events-facilities/craft-design-show/

    http://www.43rdstgallery.com/#!events2/c931

  4. Really great year, Mimi. Sorry I didn’t snag your ornaments at WM. Congrats on another round of them! Love to see them. I KNOW, re: VAT and EU. Really stinks, doesn’t it? My whole micro business is digital pattern sales. Hopefully Etsy will step up. Happy new year!

  5. what a great year! so sorry to hear abt the new tax rules in EU. am waiting patiently for the fox pattern. hope there will be a way or two to solve it. I can translate the little magazine article for you if you are interested. from the photos, it looks like Chinese though am totally sure due to tge size of the characters shown. I understand Chinese.

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