Reflecting on OddGoods 2021
When I launched OddGoods back in March of 2021, I had high hopes and dreams of building a business that would grow from my pencil into a sustainable livelihood. I didn't expect miracles, nor did I expect anything to be easy but I didn't expect that nine months later, my progress would be negligible. It's almost as if I've been stuck in quicksand for a nearly a year. This puzzle adventure has been an exciting, frustrating, disappointing, and challenging. OddGoods is struggling, bigly.
In addition to my troubles trying to grow my following, get in front of people, and sell puzzles, I also lost my job. Overnight, all my dreams for new product launches, advertising, and hope flew out the window. There is nothing about this adventure that doesn't require a steady cashflow. The promise of starting a business is that sales will eventually allow you to fund the operation with profits. Nine months later, I've sold a grand total of seventy-seven puzzles (77) and I've given away at least half that many in an effort to promote OddGoods. I have a storage unit full of beautiful puzzles gathering dust. Needless to say, I haven't even earned enough from sales to pay for my website or storage unit on a monthly basis.
Today, I had to suspend all international sales until I can figure out what, if any, my options are. Changes to VAT (value added tax) that went into effect this past July impose significant maintenance fees on cross border sales and there's simply no way I can afford the monthly fees required to legally sell to potential customers outside of North America. My options continue to contract.
I'm grateful for my fans. A handful of you have been marvelously supportive and you have warmed my heart with your kind words. Unfortunately, despite everything, progress has been glacial ... At the moment, I'm thoroughly discouraged and for the first time since I started this adventure my optimism is clouded. Only selling six total puzzles during the holiday season will do that to you. That's dismal. I have nothing but respect for the handful of small puzzle companies who have been able to find ways to succeed. It's both inspiring and frustrating.
I'll be taking a break to recharge, overhaul my plan, and reset my expectations for 2022. Needless to say, my runway is growing shorter by the day. I have no idea what lies ahead for OddGoods, but I'll be fighting like mad to make it work. I still believe that my puzzles are truly unique in the marketplace.
Cheers and thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has given even the smallest moment of your time to support my art and OddGoods. You are all amazing and wonderful and truly Odd.
Best wishes and big gratitude during this holiday season. I'll see you all next year.