During the Xmas/New Year period, while digging into the backlog of orders and Kickstarter Pledges, I've been doing some serious thinking about the future of Fenris Games.
For some time now - well over two years - the business hasn't been paying its way, with orders gradually dwindling in size and frequency (December 2019, as an example, grossed just £476 in new orders for the whole month) and with utilities and materials costs all increasing and the expense of our import ranges becoming steadily greater as the pound continues to hold little value internationally. Rent alone on the Fenris workshop is £1200 a month, and I last paid myself anything at all in 2016. Fenris has been kept afloat solely by the last couple of Kickstarters (Cauldron Warband, the most recent, is losing money by the day as I've had to subcontract out almost all of the casting) and by ever-more frequent teaching work. While this is financially enormously helpful, I've reached a stage where I'm away 5 weeks out of 6, and effectively paying 3-4x market rate just for storage.
So: long story short: I'm closing down this workshop permanently by the end of February, at the latest. Currently, I don't have a new location to move to, but do have more teaching work lined up. I also have a stall booked for Salute in April and aim to be bringing lots of new-to-shows goodies with me for sale on the day. For the short term, though, I'll not be producing any new stock, nor taking any new orders on beyond January 31st.
I will be clearing ALL outstanding orders and Kickstarter Pledges just as soon as physically possible. Part of the issue for delays, teaching aside, is that as a one-man producer things just take longer and longer to get done, especially given the increasing amount of time spent on unpaid necessities like advertising, social media presence, and all the minutiae of trying to generate new business to pay that albatross-like rent bill every month.
Meanwhile, if there's something from the catalogue you've been hankering after, if you need stock of your favourite bases, or if you want something made to order for collection at Salute in order to save you some postage fees, then NOW is the time to put that order in. Things are honestly looking pretty bleak beyond April, at the moment, and there's an outside chance I might not get to re-open at all. Certainly, I'll be downsizing things, maybe retiring whole ranges and import deals (the latter are very much dependent on whatever happens with the Brexit fiasco, and subject to what happens to the currency exchange rate) and cutting back on licenced ranges too in an effort to shave costs.
Lastly, my huge, huge thanks for your support over the last 32 years.
- Ian @ Fenris