Monday, February 02, 2015

the end of an era

taking a little trip down memory lane this morning

all the way back to the early 1980's when I decided that if I was going to do a dozen in home boutiques (remember those?) every fall, that it would be a good idea to run it like a business

so I did all the business stuff --- registered a fictitious name, got a sales tax permit, kept records and reported the income and expenses on Schedule C of my taxes every year

when I first started I was making the usual home boutique crafty stuff -- Christmas ornaments, hot pads, place mat -- and I started making soft dolls

during the Cabbage Patch craze I made and sold as many outfits as I could squeeze in between working a full time job and taking care of a toddler

along the way I started making bears

but not toys

these bears were made out of mohair pile fabric that came from England or Germany -- and these bears were for adults

I made bears for just over 25 years and did a lot of shows

but markets change, and bears were not so profitable anymore

and about the time I retired from that day job and the now grown up toddler went off to college, I started making jewelry

 at first it was simple stuff -- strings of stone beads, earrings and bracelets

then I rediscovered seed beads and started doing bead embroidery and bead weaving to make those necklaces and bracelets

and that took me all over the country doing summer art fairs for several years

but like I said, markets change, and it was not so easy any more to do the physical part of setting up tents and working for several days in a row in the heat

and about that time Etsy came along, and I opened an Etsy store to sell some of the stuff I still had that was not jewelry

and then I opened a shop that I put my jewelry in

along the way there I made a quilted piece

and then I made a few more

which took me into a whole new adventure

every year I still did that Schedule C tax thing --- but Uncle Sam has certain rules about what you can call a business and what they decide is actually just a hobby that you are trying to write off the expenses for

one of those rules has to do with showing a profit a certain number of years

and that brings us to the end of the era -- the past few years the business has not shown a profit --

and so this year I will not be filing that Schedule C --- I no longer have a business

but I don't consider this just a hobby either

I am still serious about making art

I will still keep those receipts and price my work as if it was a business, but until I sell enough to make a profit, there will be no more tax schedules

it feels odd

just one more twist in the journey

1 comment:

AlisonH said...

I'm nowhere near that situation, but my royalties petered out awhile ago and I still bought more Turbo Tax than I needed this year.