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  1. customs form from sew curvy
    an example of the new electronic customs form which will accompany every parcel going outside of the UK

    Well the good news is that the UK has a 'free trade deal' with the EU.  Hurray!  

    From 1 January 2021, our Brexit transition period ends, and all countries in the European Union will be, as far as the UK is concerned, 'ROW' (rest of world).

    This means that the way we post things to the EU will change - goods posted out of the UK to the EU will be treated the same as goods going anywhere else outside the EU - so America, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, etc.,

    Luckily Sew Curvy has been trading with countries all over the world for the last 10 years so we know what to do now although there have also been changes that apply to everyone.  These are as follows:

    1.  Goods to EU and ROW do not include VAT - this will not appear as a sum off your total as VAT is paid from our profits.  We do not add VAT to our prices because we are on a 'flat rate' scheme - honestly it's complicated and this will be reveiwed in March '21.

    2. Parcels to EU and ROW will include detailed customs information and an electronic 'label' containing tarrif codes and value.  This is a compulsory change all over the world and is to do with taxes and security, not 'youknowwhat' (brexit).

    3. Customers may have to pay customs charges when parcels arrive in their country.  This customs amount will be VAT or Sales Tax.  Some countries will have thresholds allowing for the private import of goods.  For instance, in the UK, our 'customs threshold' is £15 - this is in line with most EU countries.  In USA it is $200.  This means that you can import goods to this value without incurring VAT or import charges.

    4. EU customers will not pay import duties, only VAT at the rate set by their country over any threshold. 

    5. EU and ROW business customers will be able to claim any VAT back from their tax office as VAT will have been paid in the form of customs charges and is not included in the price of goods.

    6. For the next month at least, all orders going outside the UK will be sent by tracked mail - this is so that I can keep an eye on things as we transition into this new situation.  (I know for instance that mail from UK to Netherlands has already been held up in customs from October! This was not supposed to happen until January!).

    Overall, the free trade deal with EU is better than we in the UK were expecting.  It means that we will not have to pay tarrifs on goods coming in from the EU, which for all of our customers means minimal cost increases - I need to see if there are now going to be any 'processing fees' - this will become apparent over the next few months but will not affect any stock we currently hold.

    I am releived that Sew Curvy can for the time being continue trading as we were.  Lets keep everything crossed that our small UK businesses continue to thrive!


  2. holidays

    And soon it will be brexit too!  As it is now past the posting deadline for corset supplies to get to Europe before they have to go through customs, I have decided to take some time out for a number of reasons.

    1. We need to take stock - it's been a crazy year!  Orders going out like mad has meant we've hardly had time to update stock let alone catch our breath - since March we have had 3 pallets of corsetry steel and plastic whalebone delivered with the last arriving today. 

    Eagle eyed customers will also have notcied a shiney new shelf in the Fabric department where we have been selling coutil remnants, roll ends, and slight seconds.  These usually go very fast only hours after they are listed, so you'll be forgiven for having missed them!  Anyway ... there is still a mountain to climb on that front ...  We have 'bundles' to list yet, which include bra making materials, herringbone coutil boxes, lace and trim bundles and special edition corset making kits.

    corsetry coutil fabric remnants corset making fabric remnants at sew curvy corset boning roll ends for sale
    Corsetry coutil fabric remnants for sale at reduced prices.  Sometimes this includes corsetry fabrics which are no longer in stock or available so the early bird does catch the coutil worms! The famous pile! It's getting alot smaller but there are still corset making goody bags to go!  We have closed the Etsy shop where all this used to be listed because fees and postage rules are ridic! The corset boning roll ends is always the biggest pile! This is  particularly handy for when you need small or odd amounts of flat spring steel and plastic whalebone.

    2.  We need to figure out what to do after the Brexit transition period which ends on 1 January 2021.  As yet, there are no guidelines at all.  For a small business like Sew Curvy, the most difficult thing is VAT.  Customs information etc., is all taken care of through our Royal Mail 'Click and Drop' account but we need to be more clear on the way we present products and VAT.

    3.  We haven't had a furlough scheme going on at Sew Curvy and while that has been a blessing in disguise because I was able to get out of the house, it has been crazy busy - we have sent out more corset kits this year, than in the whole of the previous 10!  You'll see from my previous blog posts that there has been some personal busy'ness going on too - moving house during a lockdown, is no small endeavour let me tell you. 

    corset making supplies for the world
    Corset making supplies going out all over the world
    This was a quiet day!

    I have therefore decided that the 2 week festive break will be an ideal time to take a bit of time off, and sort out the shop & studio without the pressure of orders to send out daily. 

    I have therefore turned off the shopping basket for the Christmas period and will re-open on 31 December.  We need this time in order to catch up with ourselves after what has been a hectic year, and to prepare for the year ahead and our new trading status outside of the EU.  This means we are sorting out stock, getting a sale ready, streamlining the business, and swotting up on really boring things like tarriff codes and VAT.
    If you are in Europe and are wondering where your order is - don't worry!  If you ordered before Monday 21 December, your goods are safely on their way and have already left the UK.  If you ordered after 21 December, your goods have not left the studio yet due to the EU blockades on UK goods.
    We would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our customers old and new, a merry festive period and a happy and prosperous new year!
    We look forward very much to seeing you on the other side!
  3. a pallet of corset steel and synthetic whalebone
    The last delivery of corsetry steel before Brexit!

    There are some changes a'foot at Sew Curvy - I haven't worked them all out yet but even though we are still fighting Covid, we really now have to turn our attention to "the big B" ... Brexit.  As of this moment, Brexit is still going to happen despite the intense misery that 2020 has already inflicted upon us ... For a small business in a small country this is not great news.  What will change?  Tax, Customs, VAT - everything ... So all our supplies from January 2021 will be subject to import tax if no deal happens. 

    Yes ALL of them - except corset lacing.  Laces are made in the UK so that's something. Coutil and steel for corsets, carry import duties of between 2-8% so we must keep everything crossed that a deal happens.

    Did you know that most sewing materials and tools are not manufactured in the UK?  Most of everything we sew with from pins and needles to fabrics and notions are manufactured in Europe.  That means VAT rule changes, Import Duties, and Processing fees .. Fun eh? 

    VAT will not change too much for me except the processing may be more complex.  But on top of the usual VAT, there will be import duties and processing fees and more vat on top of those (I know! does it ever end?).  These charges will be between 10-20% on top which means price hikes of at least that much, and lets not forget about the pain of getting the goods from Europe to Oxfordshire and the logistical horror that will entail  - lorry parks in kent anyone?   SO .. the only thing I have been able to do is stock up as much as possible before the big day so that I can continue going until either we fold, or we find a way forward.  Whichever happens first.

    I will have to close the shop for a period during the festive break - this will give me a bit of a rest and space to sort out the new breixity status of Sew Curvy.

  4. Sew Curvy studio

    Apologies for the extended radio silence from Sew Curvy Towers!  Who knew this pandamoneum - i mean pandemic - would last for so long !! 

    Well whilst things have calmed down a BIT, it's still been busy so first of all I'd like to send out my huge and limitless thanks to all of you who have kept this little business going through what's been a very difficult year for everyone! Thank you so much for all your support!  Judging by the fact that I have sent out more corset kits over this summer than I have in the last 10 years I think we have added a few nice new corset making addicts to the world in the process - sorrynotsorry ...

    The good news is that I now have help on a Monday which is the busiest day, so we are able to get more sent out faster.  There are still a few blips in the supply chain for haberdashery, cotton fabrics and cotton tapes, but on the whole, things have settled down in that area.

    On a personal note, my house move continues to be 'interesting' - I've moved from the west of Oxfordshire to the south of Oxfordshire.  The studio is still in West Oxon which for me, means longer commuting times and this does impact on the working day somewhat - I used to live only 5 mins away from the studio,  in a perfect house that didn't need decorating/sorting/mending etc., so I could quite happily work till 6.30pm and still have tea on the table at a reasonable time,  but that has all changed now so along with all the lockdown type stuff, I'm having to adapt a bit on the home front.  It's all good, though a few things have changed, or will be changing over the next few weeks:

    Changes at SCC for the month of November and beyond as follows:

    The first thing is Fridays.  I'm no longer sending out orders on a Friday. This will give me more time to focus on blog writing, tutorials, admin, and social media!

    The 'big bad B' - BREXIT

    So on 31 December as things stand now, we're going to be out of the EU without a deal.  This is going to add new meanings to words like 'chaos', 'panick' and 'pandemoneim' and it's going to be a whole world of pain financially for many people, not least small traders like Sew Curvy who will have to negotiate a whole new raft of rules and regulations as far as customs and duties are concerned. I'm expecting a drastic change to the way we import and export, so what I'm trying to do is get enough stock together to ride past that particular storm (if that will indeed be possible!) and keep all of you corset makers in stock too!  That means i'm concentrating on our core corset making components - busks, spiral steels, flat steel boning and good quality european corsetry coutil.  So, 'preparing for brexit' will be high on my agenda over the next few weeks and that means lots of studying of new procedures, new VAT rules, and stock related admin. I'm tired just thinking about it.

    In summary:

    • Post no longer going out on Fridays
    • Shopping basket will be closed for a period over Christmas so I can work out all the Brexity stuff.

    I hope you all have a safe and productive lock-down, and lets keep everything crossed that November's 'pain' will be December's gain.