Immigration and Yurts

23 01 2010

Since Tuesday, this week, Pocktorian Textiles has been in limbo, but it’s looking a bit more like it will continue one way or another.

Tuesday was when my husband and I visited an immigration advisor. I don’t think most Brits have any idea how hard it is to stay here longer than whatever initial visa you are given. They certainly seem surprised when I inform them that simply applying  for an extension entails a NON-REFUNDABLE fee of £800 PER PERSON! That assuming that you fit the criteria for extension, which you may have when you arrived, but may not if they’ve changed the criteria while you were here, which they have, in our case. Potential employment of Brits doesn’t count, only actual present employment of Brits, which Pocktorian isn’t ready for. So basically, we were told we haven’t a chance. Oh, we could apply for special consideration for only £500, but that’s non-refundable too, and our chances are so poor we shouldn’t risk the £500.

So, just when things were beginning to look good and promising, I’ve had the rug pulled out from under me. What did I do?

For two days, I was extremely sad and upset, crying a lot, even as I worked.

Then I got good and mad. “If the UK doesn’t want me, fine. Give me a week to pack and I’ll be on my way, leaving chaos behind me rather than putting any effort at all into making it easy for my landlord, the folks we pay monthly bills to, etc. etc. etc.”

Now, I’ve done a bit of enquiring as to just how much it’s going to cost up to get ourselves and a minimum of goods back to the US, not to mention building a life back up from scratch. And I may be unrealistic in my projections, but it seems to me as if I’ll be able to get the same type of business up and running even more quickly in the US with better prospects because I know from experience that Americans will buy what I make and that, face it, Norwichers, as much as they wish my project well, won’t. So as well as teaching and doing alterations and promoting other textile businesses as best I can, I will be making and selling my goods as well.

Now, for yurts. I’ve got a prospect for a textile business to join Pocktorian that is perfect for the aims of the incubator. It’s a new business. It involves sewing. And it involves felting, which means it can play a part in giving local sheep farmers a decent market for selling their goods. And it is in need of space to operate out of. Just perfect!

Yes, my prospect is a person in the process of setting up a business making yurts! He doesn’t know how to sew yet, and needs to learn to use an industrial machine, so I’ll be teaching him the basics, and if he gets started before I leave, I can help him gain mastery of the industrial one. We can work on developing his felt for insulating his yurts. And maybe he’ll be able to take over the continuation of the UK version of Pocktorian when I leave.

In other, Pocktorian news, this week I’ve sewn in a zipper by hand, gotten my sewing machine fixed, started making  the companions to the single fingerless gloves I have in three sizes, repaired an umbrella, and done the technical design and sampling for a prototype cardigan for my line.

I’m still debating with myself how to distribute my time. Should I make the most of the time I have left by using it entirely for my own makings? Should I make room for whatever alterations and tuition possibilities appear because the more money I take in, the more of our goods we can afford to take home? Or would my time be best spent packing us up to leave as soon as possible for the US. The debate has not yet been decided.

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