Monday, 9 March 2015

WE HAVE MOVED!

Our new Envydolls blog can be found at:

Friday, 26 December 2014

New EU laws will affect artists, sole traders and small businsesses - please sign the petition!

   ****On Jan 1, 2015 new EU VAT (consumer tax) regulations mean that any business selling digital services/products to EU customers must charge tax at the local rate for the purchaser’s country. A USA business must determine & verify the purchaser’s country, store their personal details for 10 years, & establish, charge and remit to that country’s authorities the appropriate VAT. There is no minimum threshold to exclude micro businesses. Not only is the procedure, bureaucracy & changes to website payment processing too onerous & expensive for some businesses to absorb while remaining viable, but the regulations are inadequately detailed, poorly explained & may be applied differently in separate EU countries.****
Published Date: Dec 22, 2014

   This will affect many artists the world over, please spread the word about this law and if you can, sign the petition to show our opposition as sole traders and small earners against the problems it will cause for our kinds of businesses. Even if you don't live in the EU, but sell or do business online, it is likely to affect YOU.

   Here is the petition against this proposal for those based in the USA: 

   And for those in the EU:

   Please sign and share to spread word about this badly constructed law - it needs to be rethought or many who depend upon online trade for survival including artists, disabled people, and those who need to top up their income in a poor economy with extra work, etc. may find this lifeline nonviable.    

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Is Storenvy STILL free? not quite.

   Back in 2013 I made a blog post about Storenvy, the then fairly new selling platform that was 100% fee free. Bar the fact it required signup to Paypal as a payment service, and Paypal charges a fee on every transaction just like any other bank, Storenvy remained 'free' to use and took no commission on sales made through it. Most internet sellers are familiar with Paypal fees.



   There's about to be changes on the horizon for those using Storenvy, however. Soon Storenvy will require every store that wants to remain part of the Storenvy "marketplace", which can drive a lot of traffic to individual stores, to sign up for the "Stripe" payment system, or risk being removed from the marketplace. Their reason for doing this is to give buyers a "seamless" checkout experience, where they can buy from several stores using a single payment method. I can see why they want that implemented - if you were buying from several stores, and some used Paypal and others used credit cards, it could get messy. All Storenvy sellers will be required to sign up for Stripe to remain in the Storenvy marketplace, where your items are searchable. According to Storenvy's Changes To The Marketplace blog post:

"Stripe takes a small fee (2.9% +$0.30) on every transaction, though this can be reduced if you make more than $80,000 a month through Stripe. For more information on pricing visit here (https://stripe.com/us/pricing). This is the same as PayPal which also takes a small fee (2.9% + $.30) for the typical credit card fees."

   What this apparently means is that if you're a Paypal user as well (like me), you will have to incur both Paypal fees AND Stripe fees if you want to remain in the marketplace?

   But that's not all. Storenvy is also planning a 10% fee on all sales placed from the marketplace. 10% is pretty steep if you ask me, and was the reason I wanted to hop from eBay to Storenvy in the first place, because eBay's 10% final value fees (and now fees on postage) are too much for a small time seller like me to keep forking out. 

   Bad news, indeed. Storenvy advertised itself as a free platform and attracted a lot of attention for it, but perhaps predictably we're seeing the effect of success on it. One can understand the need to charge commission eventually as the site grows and incurs more running costs, but 10%? perhaps something closer to Etsy's commission rate would be more palatable.

   It's not all bad, however. According to their FYI, sellers can continue to operate a fee-free platform store as long as they're aware it will remain outside the marketplace. You can still have a Storenvy store, but you won't get traffic and potential sales from the Storenvy marketplace. That's doesn't affect OOAK sellers like me too much, as we tend to do our own advertising. For anyone else, it's likely to see them take a few hits in sales if they don't market themselves outside Storenvy. (For customers in for example China and Japan, this is basically forced on them because there is no Stripe in those countries).

   So there it is - Storenvy will rival eBay at the marketplace for fees shortly, leaving Etsy's marketplace probably a better option. But if you're happy with a store you want to drive traffic to yourself from outside, you can supposedly still enjoy the fee-less experience of the platform.     

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

JUMBO chibi Groot

   Hi everyone! another Guardians of the Galaxy-inspired sculpture for sale from Hiro Ike. This is a much larger statue of the "baby Groot" design, mixed media (including polymer clay), 5" tall with a terracotta plant pot incorporated into the piece. Very cute!

chibi groot

  He also does pre-orders for baby Groots still, though please be aware there's a production turnaround time of around ***2-3 weeks*** for pre-orders due to his busy schedule. We are hoping to make some Groot tutorials over at our Patreon as well.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

OOAK Art Doll tutorials

   We've launched a Patreon page!

OOAK tutorial
 

   Here you can support our OOAK studio in return for all kinds of rewards as a Patron! If you're interested in OOAK sculpting tutorials, including stuff we'll be making on furring a sculpt, making scales and horns, OOAK wings and how to make miniature clothing design and dress an art doll, it will all be made available to our Patrons each month on Patreon. There's going to be a lot of ways to learn about techniques and how-tos, including through videos, step by step tutorials, personal Q&As, process images and sketches, etc. Or maybe you just like our work and would like to help us out! Either way, please consider supporting us, for the first time we'll be explaining how we do things and making more complex dolls than we've ever made yet! :)

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Baby Groot

   This adorable sculpture of a baby / chibi Groot inspired by the recent Guardians of the Galaxy film was made by H. Ike, one of the artists we'll be showcasing at Envydolls. :) 



    We've had many enquiries whether more sculptures like this will be on sale in the future. Ike only makes small numbers of sculptures at any one time, so if the store says "sold out" on the chibi G figure, you can watch the store or add it to your personal favorites and hang on until orders become available again. Ike will be making Groot inspired statues for a limited time only and isn't taking commissions on them.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Okami sculpture

   This was one of the sculpts we made back in 2011 and now lives with collectors in Japan. As always, we try to inject something magical into our sculptures to bring them to life, and this is one of the pieces we're really proud of. Her new owners were really pleased with her. :) 

okami sculpture

   We are happy to consider commission proposals, either through our Yokai Parade site, or through Envydolls' official gallery. Please contact us through either of these if you would like to discuss one.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Totoro Sculpture

   Another cute sculpt from our affiliate studio! :) These characters are from the Studio Ghibli animated production, "My Neighbor Totoro".


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Tim Burton Cheshire Cat



   Own this this quirky OOAK (one of a kind) Cheshire Cat statue from Yokai Parade! he measures 5 inches long by 4 inches tall and is free-sitting. Would make a neat addition to any Alice Collection.


   Bid for your chance to own this little fella. :)

Saturday, 5 April 2014

OKAMI Rat brush god

   Some new Envydolls dolls will be due for unveiling very soon, but in the meantime here's a little OKAMI-inspired rat brush god sculpt I made for our Yokai Parade affiliate. :)


   The inspiration for this comes from two things. I enjoyed the visual style in the OKAMI video games, and the other brush gods included a mouse, so why not a rat? The other inspiration comes from the time I looked after a friend and fellow student's pet rat while she was on vacation. I've forgotten his name but man, was he smart for such a little guy. I'd never seen what pet rats were like up close and they really are quite endearing. So this is kind of a tribute to pet rats in general. There's surely a brush kami for rats, too. 

   He's up for auction for ten days now, here: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271444961752. Please check it out!