I can still remember the first time I saw an ePattern available for sale. I shook my head, thinking, “No way! Who would want to piece together all those tiles by hand?” I was sure paper patterns would always outsell the “e” versions, but I created the downloadable version of each of my patterns all the same to cater to the instant gratification crowd. Well, lo and behold, we have now reached a point where my ePatterns outsell the print versions by almost 8 to 1! This has an impact on how we do business, but I still can’t bear to think of parting with paper patterns forever, so let me tell you how we are moving forward in 2017 and beyond.
We’ve faced a lot of challenges over the years when it comes to publishing paper patterns. First, printing large-format sheets was costly (unless we held our breath and printed 1000 at a time, which only happened once). Then a couple years later, costs came down significantly, and we rejoiced (and lowered our retail prices). But then gas prices climbed precipitately (remember the days of $4/gallon?), and printing prices soared at the same time. That was when we held our nose and raised retail prices. Slowly, costs came back down again, but they never returned to the wonderful level of ca. 2002. Volume became everything. The more patterns we printed, the better the prices. When print patterns outsold ePatterns, we got the good pricing, but as ePatterns eclipsed print patterns, the reverse occurred. Even with all our marvelous retailers ordering wholesale quantities, Kim and I just weren’t printing the amount of patterns we had in previous years, which meant costs climbed back up again. Add in the trips to and from the printer and all the folding and packaging, and it just became a hassle for Kim to keep small quantities in stock. It was time to rethink how we stocked paper patterns.
I briefly considered doing away with print patterns entirely and moving to a licensing system where retailers could print and package the paper versions themselves. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it would become a nightmare to keep up, especially with pattern revisions or updates. So Kim and I discussed printing paper patterns solely for our retailers and on a quarterly basis, and that seems to be the happiest medium for all. ePatterns are available here on the website 24/7 for instant download, and Adobe Reader’s Poster Print feature makes printing at home nearly flawless (do note that Adobe’s Cloud version does not work correctly for printing tiles; also, some printers just do not cooperate, so be sure to check to make sure your printer can handle printing to tiles with corner marks).
For those of you who just have to have the print version in your hot little hands, please feel free to order from one of our excellent retailers (we have them all over the globe). They don’t all stock the same patterns, so you’ll need to check to see if what you want is available (note that Patterns of Time stocks my entire line). If you’re fine with printing and tiling your own patterns sheets, this website is the place for you. I’ve also bundled ePatterns for all the eras that have three or more patterns available, giving you a 15% discount if you purchase them all.
Thank you so much for all your continued patronage over the years. What a journey it has been, and YOU have made it wonderful! The highlight of my week is seeing your work in an email or on social media. Keep it up!