After a lot of thought and deliberation, I've made the decision to close the shop down now, rather than wait until next year. This is primarily to make next year's taxes a little less of a clusterfuck, but there are other reasons as well.
I reached a realisation this month that for most of the last year, the store only did well when I was regularly releasing new products. This meant I was constantly stressing out about making new things that I don't have the space to store, and that the older products were just piling up. Short of having a rotating stock where I just stopped making older items, this wasn't really very practical.
The issues with offering international shipping were also becoming a nightmare. Because my point of sale system wouldn't accept foreign bank cards, I had to use the whole PayPal thing, which messed with my inventory something fierce, and often took longer than it needed to for orders to process because of misunderstandings over how the ordering process worked.
Digital items were also a growing pain in the ass. For whatever reason, Square has the built-in ability to offer digital items, but not to actually distribute that. So even orders that were 100% digital were still taking up to 24 hours, or even more, to process and go out, because I had to handle every step of the way manually.
So what does this mean?
Well, for a start, things like flosses and fabric are just no longer offered. What I have on hand I will keep or give away as I see fit. Since I will no longer be spending the majority of my time making these items, I will have more time to focus on what I wanted to be doing in the first place: making really awesome patterns and projects. I'll be focusing the majority of my energy into my channel on YouTube, though I will probably not totally stop making things like floss and fabric. These items started out as kind of a hobby, to see if I could even do it. I can, and that's awesome. But I simply lack the facilities to do it at the scale that the shop has grown into requiring.
You can still get things I create, too. I am working on uploading all of my patterns, both free and purchasable, to deviantART. Patterns on deviantART are instantly downloadable. Though, to be honest, I can take or leave pattern sales. They are being uploaded for people who want them, but I will not be promoting them after today.
I also have my Patreon page, which offers all the patterns that appear on my YouTube channel. Patrons also get additional perks, and may occasionally get new items as I decide to make them. The first 50 new patrons will also get a needleminder set their first month. I may also give away books and other random supplies I have lying around the house.
Ultimately, I made this decision for my own mental health. I would have loved to keep going with this, but the stress of keeping on top of everything was outweighing any benefits of keeping the store open any longer.
Thank you guys for all your support and inspiration over the years, but now it's time to move on to something new.