I’m happy to say that my family managed to get through my son’s isolation without anyone showing symptoms for COVID-19. I’ve been back working for about a week now, though I’m still working most evenings to catch up.
Last week, Graham and I managed to get 51 orders shipped. If you haven’t seen a completion email, please check your spam folder. If it’s not there, you are likely in the remaining ~70. You should be able log in & check your account if unsure. You can always email, and I’ll try to respond within a day or so.
Printing has been out of action for a few days due to work starting on an extension to our house. This has meant moving all the printing equipment from our now-demolished conservatory to the temporary workshop. The downside is that I am working from home at my PC more than at the workshop, so printing will be less frequent.
Before the move I made plenty of progress on printing new masters for the products whose moulds have degraded beyond use. New moulds are being made. If you order is held up by these products, you may receive prints in an effort to fulfil your order more quickly. Quality is just as good, and they don’t need to be removed from the sprue or cleaned up, but they may be a funny colour!
I’ve also managed to get some new releases lined up, which are mostly a spin on existing products. I’m holding those back until we’ve caught up a bit more on outstanding orders. If you like spikes, you’ll be happy.
Shortly before we would have left the house this morning, we got a call from my son’s nursery because another one of the children in his group had tested positive for COVID-19. He has no symptoms right now, but is required to isolate for 10 days. This means my wife and I will be looking after him instead of sending him to nursery 4 days a week. As my wife is involved in the local response to the pandemic, I will be taking on most of the childcare duties. I will be working as much as I can in evenings and at the weekends, but my time will obviously be much reduced. Again. Best case scenario is that my son is back to nursery for the start of February March. Worst case is that he shows symptoms on the 9th day, and we are all then required to isolate for 10 days, at the end of which we then get symptoms and the period is extended for a further 10 days. I don’t expect things to go that way, but it is highly likely we will get it if he is carrying the virus now.
On the plus side, this week Graham and I have finally got the temporary workshop set up after last week’s low temperatures delayed the work. He’ll be keeping that side of things running, as well as handling shipping. It’ll be clunky, but we should be getting orders out very soon. I’m sorry to those of you who have already heard that before. Seems like one setback after another, but we’ll get back to normal eventually.
We collected the keys to temporary premises on Friday. We have use of this space for up to 6 months. Hopefully, by then we will be moved back in to the normal premises with no risk of further closures.
This arrangement should allow casting and order fulfilment to resume this week. The snowfall we’ve had here is poor timing as the space is unheated and electric space heaters are only so effective! Both resin casting and 3D printing are very heat-sensitive, not to mention that is is helpful when I can feel my fingertips!
Thank you to all of you for your continued patience. I wish we could have fulfilled your orders sooner.
I’m going to start this update with positive news. Thanks to Graham’s help, I’ve managed to get some stock and have packed 30% of outstanding orders. I’ll be shipping those today. I also viewed a temporary premises and have asked to go ahead with renting that space. This should allow me to move casting equipment so that I can cast more than 3 hours per week and, importantly, get new moulds made. With building work due to start at my house in the last week of February, this will also provide a home for my 3D printers. I hope to get access to the bulk of my stock soon and also move that.
Now, on to the negative news. On Thursday, my son was sent home from nursery because one of the children in his group had tested positive for COVID-19. He has no symptoms right now, but is required to isolate for 10 days. This means my wife and I will be looking after him instead of sending him to nursery 4 days a week. As my wife is involved in the local response to the pandemic, I will be taking on most of the childcare duties. I will be working as much as I can in evenings and at the weekends, but my time will obviously be much reduced. Best case scenario is that my son is back to nursery for the start of February. Worst case is that he shows symptoms on the 9th day, and we are all then required to isolate for 10 days, at the end of which we then get symptoms and the period is extended for a further 10 days. I don’t expect things to go that way, but it is highly likely we will get it if he is carrying the virus now.
Graham will continue to cast once per week and I will continue to dispatch orders when I can. I will, of course, take all the necessary precautions to protect customers when packing orders, but I do recommend you observe guidelines when you receive packages. The store will remain open for now, with all the previous warnings of fulfilment delays. Should I get symptoms, the store will be closed and I will suspend all order packing unless Graham can do it without contact with me.
Since my last update, quite a lot has happened, but not a lot has changed, if that makes any sense. Both my workshop location and, later, my home were placed into Tier 4. I have had no access to premises since the 18th of December, so have been unable to fulfil orders. Honestly, this has all started to get a bit old so I decided, for the first time since starting the business, to take a proper Christmas break. It’s been great, despite the limitations, as I’ve been able to spend lots of time with my wife & son.
Coming into 2021, and thanks to our lethargic and indecisive government, the COVID situation in the UK is worsening daily. I don’t expect to be out of Tier 4 any time soon. I don’t know what this will mean for premises access, so I have to ask that you bear with me. Once I know, I will post another update. I have some new products waiting, but I will hold them until I can be sure that I can ship them out!
OK. Brexit. Another shambles perpetrated by this government and their predecessors. I have made the changes to the store which seem necessary. I may have made errors, as the deal signed with the EU has barely had time for the ink to dry. Those of you in the EU may now find yourselves paying VAT when your orders pass through customs, as those in the rest of the world already do.
Royal Mail, who I use for most orders, have updated their prices for 2021. I haven’t updated my own charges for a long time, and I have identified where I need to raise them to meet the new prices and the cost of packaging etc. I have kept these increases to a minimum. I have also indentified a few places where I can make reductions – this is mostly due to the average weight of orders in certain situations being lower than I had accounted for previously. It is possible that I will lose a little money on shipping in some situations, but this solution seems to me to be the fairest one overall.
In addition, I have added a cheaper shipping tier for letters which will be used when orders only contain decal sheets. Free shipping thresholds for the UK and Europe remain at £35 and £50, respectively. These orders will be sent out in cardboard-backed envelopes.
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