Taxes giveth, and taxes taketh away

The Federal tax refund has arrived! That means I can run out and get my business mailbox at the UPS store, and then I can sign up for a tax EIN, and register myself as a business with the county clerk, and then I’ll be a real boy!

Well, a real business, anyway.

Scary, scary.

And I should have enough left over to buy a kiln, once I’m inhabiting a space that will allow for kiln usage.

To that end, I was also pre-approved for an FHA mortgage, this weekend.

REALLY scary.

…I feel like such a grown-up. Heh.  

I also feel like I should really get an accountant; I’ll have to talk to a friend of mine about that. And I’m wondering who, among the real estate and insurance professionals I’ll be working with over the next few months, I should tell about my intentions to have a home-based business, and whether they need to be aware of the kiln.  

 

I made a bunch of rings when I got home from the bead show on Saturday, but neglected to take pictures. Most of them were my standard 3-stone wire ring, but I did make a couple with variations on that theme. Some were more successful than others. None of them came out as well as the usual pattern, but then, I’ve had an awful lot of practice with that pattern. I used some of that absolutely beautiful amethyst to make one of the usual pattern; I’m particularly proud of that one. I wish I’d used the sterling silver wire instead of the silver plate; that’s how good it looks. Ah, well – plenty more beads where that came from! And another bead show coming in July! 🙂

 I’ve almost completely filled this case:

Image

(those aren’t my rings; that’s the picture from the website where I bought the case, years ago)

The intention is to sell each and every one of them (or at least, to use them as a photographic reference and say that each can be made to order in a different size, with the exception of a few of the epoxy clay rings; for some reason, the supplier only seems to carry those in size 6.5, 7.5 and 8). There is a preponderance of size 8’s, because I wear size 8 and it’s just the default that I make a ring in.

I know that rings aren’t going to be the thing that draws people to my Etsy shop; they’re just unbelievably easy to make (except when they’re not; sometimes the wire gets stubborn), so when I just feel like making something, anything, I make rings. Lots of other people on Etsy are doing the exact same thing, though, so I’m not going to fool myself into thinking they’re going to be a big money-maker.

Just got an e-mail back from the UPS store, saying that prices have gone up since we discussed pricing this past “winter,” but they’re going to be kind enough to give me the pricing quoted back in November. Sweet! Because I’m not happy about a $215/yr price as it is. I mean, it’s not unreasonable by any means; for $17 a month, I finally have the security of having packages of beads and wire and precious or semi-precious metals (and, in future, semi-precious stones, once I have a kiln and can fire them!) delivered to a secure location, rather than sitting on my SHARED front porch. I get to put a business address on my cards and shipping documentation, and not have the universe know where I live. And unlike a P.O. Box, FedEx will deliver there. So… yippee! But the reason it’s taken so long to accomplish is that $215 is just not a small number. While I will happily spend $40, $50, even $100 on something like beads, tools or a label printer… $215 is serious cash to be spending all at once. I kind of needed it to be found money, that wasn’t already earmarked for things like food, bills, or rent. Which… hey! Found money! 🙂

 

Next steps:

  • Get mailbox (today! *squee!*).
  • Get Federal Tax EIN (perhaps tonight; if not, then tomorrow).
  • Register as a business with the county clerk’s office (has to be done during business hours 8 – 4:30 on a weekday, so… this Friday or Monday would be good, since I plan to be off. If my boss approves Friday, anyway. Monday, I’ve already got).
  • Get a business bank account. (this is not, strictly speaking, absolutely necessary, but it seems like a really good idea. If nothing else, it should allow me to keep better track of cash from my theoretical incoming sales. If it goes right back into my regular account, I’ll just, y’know, spend it. That’s no fun; no sense of accomplishment, and I don’t know how much I can reinvest in the business. Planning to do it at Affinity Federal Credit Union)
  • Choose a solid pricing formula. Thinking about using $18/hour-labor plus 1x materials plus 50% for wholesale, * 1.7 for retail.
  • Start photographing and posting the rings that are already ready on the Etsy site (might as well get something on there!).
  • Make jewelry (duh).
  • Make even more jewelry.
  • Make that gothy epoxy clay rose pendant we sketched out the other day.
  • Play with Art Clay Copper.
  • Once the niobium headpins come, it’s earrings, earrings, earrings – need to start making salable pairs of the 2 patterns I’m currently working with, in a variety of colors. Also need to start working up new patterns.
  • Make more rose studs. WEAR GLOVES. And use a fan, and/or open a window.

I think I’ve got enough on my plate… don’t you? 😉

Oh, and I also have to inform the real estate agent that I’ve been pre-approved, and start working on THAT issue. My lease isn’t up until September, but the impression these folks keep giving me is that the time to start is now. I guess, since closings can go horrifically wrong, that makes sense. But when I told the agent that I’d been pre-approved, they said not to start actually looking until June; why didn’t I wait another month to get pre-approved, then?! Gah!

OK, not going to worry about that right now. Happily living in the land of not dealing. Going to concentrate on jewelry, and hope for the best.

Happy Monday, all.

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