I could never remember the name of the website, so I'd often ramble off a few 'P' words to Lee when discussing the idea of joining Patreon. (He'd never correct me because he always wanted to see how many words I'd come up with before I remembered.)
For quite some time now we'd been trying to figure out a way of bringing Moody Voodies to the next level, but we've been too burned-out to try.
Then, last week, I kinda-sorta had a mini meltdown. As I was sitting on the bed sewing the 998th leg on a doll (a random number stemming from making well over 2000 dolls), I started to cry. And I didn't stop for a very long time.
What the hell was wrong? We have a cool business (don't we?), It's mildly successful (isn't it?), there's a certain prestige in being able to tell people you earn a living as an artist (right?), and we get to work at home in our pajama's! So what's the problem?? All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?
Well, for one, we work long hours: At least 10 hours a day, 6 days a week (and on the 7th day we're supply shopping). We haven't taken anymore than 2 days off in a row since 2015 --- we just can't afford to!
2) The bills keep climbing and, because there are only 2 of us, our earnings are not. We're capped, because there's no way for both of us to produce anymore than we already are.
3) Taxes. Holy f*%king hell. What we *thought* we earned is nowhere near what we *actually* earned, and we now owe the IRS 15k (from the last 2 years).
We're barely able to sustain ourselves anymore. So, at this point, you're probably starting to understand the meltdown.)
After aforementioned meltdown, we finally stopped talking about it and did it. We opened our own Patreon (shop? account?) What is it??
Patreon is a website that gives creators the ability to create -- with help from patrons/subscribers. It's where you can support your favorite artists by pledging monthly to different tier levels for tier-based rewards.
For example, our Patreon has two subscription options:
A) If you pledge $1 per month, you'll have access to photos and videos of our day, things we're working on and things we plan to make and do in the future. This is called a 'tier' on Patreon, and it's Tier 1.
B) Tier 2: If you pledge $10 per month, you receive a 10% off coupon for our website each month, and -AND - you're entered into a monthly drawing to win a free doll! EVERY month you're a patron/subsciber! And as our patrons/subscribers increase, so will the amount of monthly giveaways! (This way, the odds never get so astronomical that you can't win.) You also get access to Tier 1 benefits!
With Patreon, we're simply hoping to open up time. We want to get back to creating things we no longer have time to create: Nimbus and Gomez and Morticia and all those other customs we've had to turn down because we know that, monetarily speaking, our time is better spent on dolls we can make quickly.
The quick math:
One of our premium dolls can take a full day to a day and a half to complete. (8 to 12 hours — or more.) But we know that most people won't want to pay for that amount of time for a cloth doll, so we cap our premium dolls at $175.
Now, in that same amount of time, we can probably make 5 of our $75 dolls. That's $375 we could potentially earn instead.
So it's a no-brainer which to choose when trying to pay the bills.
The problem with that is that it takes the fun out of the creative process, and simply becomes factory work. It also begins to bore the pants out of our followers. ("Oh, look... another Sam doll. How... original." *Unfollow*)
We want to CREATE again. We want to take time to experiment so we can keep upping our game. If we have enough patrons, we'll have time to create bigger and better things, (bunches of new dolls) without worrying about how badly it'll affect our monthly income.
And the best part of it is that, with enough subscribers, we can afford to give most of them away! It's an amazing opportunity to give back to everyone who has been kind enough to support our work through the years.
If you enjoy what we do and think you'd like to see more, please take a moment to visit our Patreon. And, if you feel so inclined, become a patron! It'd mean the absolute world to us.