Our time in the Netherlands is coming to an end. We moved here two years ago when my wife was transferred to work in the global office of her company. And we knew that the next move would happen sometime in the future. Especially as in the company my wife works at, promotions are most often linked to international moves. And as my wife is an exceptional person, we are prepared to move not once =)
It was a great pleasure to live in the Netherlands. Maybe there is a better country for the first international move, but the Netherlands is definitely one of the best locations. I met a lot of great people here. I had fun regularly visiting old book markets and flea markets. Took part in amazing bookbinding fairs in Sint-Niklaas (that’s in Belgium, but still not far from us) and here in Leiden.
I really hope we will return to the Netherlands at some moment in the future. But for now, Hoboken, New Jersey, will hopefully be our next place of residence.
We are in the early stages of preparation. So, there still is a chance that something may go wrong. But there’s no reason to believe it should and the plan is for us to move mid-April.
There will be some changes to how iBookBinding works in the upcoming months. Most of them concerning the shop. But the main website and our social networks’ outlets would also be affected.
You may have noticed that there were fewer posts on the website recently. There are many reasons that lead to that result. The holiday season, a huge amount of workload due to the constant growth of the business and quantity of orders, and, yes, some preliminary preparations before our supposed move.
This order of things will supposedly remain at least until our move. I plan to continue fulfilling orders coming through our Etsy shop until the last weeks in the Netherlands, so that would be my main concern. I’m sure some of you are upset by that, but I’m upset as well because sharing knowledge about bookbinding was one of the main things that attracted me to working on that website in the first place.
There is a chance that I will have more time for writing after we move, and I will tell you why below.
Our Etsy Shop
When we moved to the Netherlands, my wife and I decided that I will not look for any office job, but will put all my time into developing iBookBinding into a proper business. It generated some income even while we lived in Moscow, but usually, I’ve got more from my day job and from my bookbinding classes.
Since the moment of our move to the Netherlands (and it’s exactly two years today), our Etsy shop grew tenfold. And it continues to grow. There are many reasons why this is happening. Of course, the amount of work I invest in the project gives some results. But there are other reasons as well. I started to participate in bookbinding fairs. I also moved closer to most of my customers, which definitely is a major factor.
Unfortunately, I will have to put the operation of the shop on pause for a couple of months. For three months maximum, as far as I understand.
Unlike the Netherlands, where I had a work permit right from the beginning, in the US, I have to go through a special process to obtain the right to work even if I work for my own business.
Why I’m saying that this pause may last for less than three months? That’s because I have different contingencies. Firstly, I’m thinking about hiring an employee. Then, there’s a chance we can start the process of getting a work permit earlier than in April if we get our visas fast.
The worst scenario is that from the 15th of April to the 15th of July, the shop will not be fulfilling any orders.
Before the Move
Some of the tools will be phased out from the inventory of the shop in the upcoming weeks. Most of the 3d-printed items will remain there as they are easier to produce. However, by the beginning of March, I will remove all wooden tools like presses and sewing frames (and set that include them), as I’m sure there will be no time to fulfill the orders in a timely manner.
After the Move
After we move to the US there definitely will be some changes in prices. Not only because we will start operating in US dollars instead of Euro, but also because shipping fees will change quite a lot.
Still, I plan to continue taking preorders. Supposedly, offering some discount to all the patrons of iBookBinding who decide to continue buying tools from us during that transitionary period.
Wooden tools will return as well. Moreover, I plan to return some tools that were sold in the previous years like laying presses, as my plans include finally renting a place for a woodworking workshop.
It really upsets me to set the shop on pause, especially at the moment when it really started gaining some speed. However, I’m sure that by the end of summer the shop will be even better, with more nice tools and designs to offer to our customers.
Last but not least, I wanted to write about the jigs in the top photo. Recently, I experimented with 3d-printing with multiple colors. And one of the results was a series of corner cutting jigs printed in colors of different flags. Of course, here are the flags of the Netherlands and the United States: a country that hosted us for two years and place of our future residence. But there are some other examples as well.
These multicolored jigs are already available at our Etsy shop.
These two years I had the advantage of taking part in different European bookbinding fairs, including the Bookbinders´ Fair in Belgium and Boekkunstbeurs here in Leiden. The Belgian fair happens at the end of April, so we probably would be in the midst of our move at that moment and it would be too hard for me to take part in it. However, the fair in Leiden happens in November, and I’m considering taking part in it even while I would have to take a transatlantic flight to do that. It’s huge even and I can see how that adventure can be at least not loss-making for iBookBinding.
On the other hand, there are some major bookbinding events in North America, and I hope to join them.
As it seems that I will have some spare time, I plan to return to the American Academy of Bookbinding for a couple of courses during the spring and summer semesters. That will definitely give me a lot of material for the website and social media posts =)
If you have any advice on renting a workshop in New Jersey or upstate New York, I’d be very grateful. I understand that I will not find anything reasonable in Hoboken or around. I would also be glad to meet any bookbinders from the area.
Well, if you have any other recommendations regarding the move of my workshop and my shop, that also may prove to be quite useful =)
Wish us luck!
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