Hi! This is not going to be any kind of knitting-related update or a post about my cats – this time I’d like to share with you a fundraiser to help an indie yarn dyer in need.
Lise is an owner of TreLiz!, a business located in Athens, Greece. She was one of the vendors at Woollinn 2019 and although I didn’t get to talk with her much, her situation struck a chord with me, partly because I share her love for yarn and colour, and partly for personal reasons.
You are probably aware of the Greek Recession and the austerity measures implemented in order to resolve the crisis and receive financial aid from the EU and International Monetary Fund in the recent years. The final bailout programme may be over, but the consequences are still felt by the Greek people. They are present in my own life as well, even from so far away. The Boyfriend is Greek, and one of the main reasons of moving to Ireland was the Greek recession and its effects on the everyday life. Salaries were reduced, for those who were lucky enough to keep their jobs. I remember the Boyfriend’s company overworking him to the point that he had to work 7 days a week, 2 shifts each day. I still have photos from that time and he looks on them at least 10 years older than now. One of the results for our lives was that the apartment in Athens that my Boyfriend had bought some time earlier (taking a loan that he could easily pay at that time) suddenly was too expensive to live in. It could also not be sold because its market price was severely reduced, to the point that after years of paying it off and selling it, we’d still have to keep paying to the bank for years more. There was a lot more going on, but this is not a history or economy class, so let me just say, when we first moved to Ireland, it was supposed to be for a year, maybe two, and we really thought we’d then move to Athens again. That doesn’t seem to be an option for many reasons now, including financial ones. The Boyfriend luckily is very employable here – he’s an IT developer, and there’s a high demand for programmers in Ireland – and so even with absolutely crazy rental prices and poor rental market in Ireland AND paying off the apartment in Athens, it’s still more affordable for us to live here than in Greece (we would consider Poland but it’s tricky to find a job there when one doesn’t speak Polish, even though it’s slowly changing, especially in IT industry). I consider myself lucky, we could really make it work even though we come from completely different countries, and then moved to yet another country together, and life is, despite everything, good.
But things in Greece are not so great and the methods which the government is using to end the crisis are really dumbfounding to me (although after the very recent elections there’s a new government and some shy hope for changes…).
One of the problems that were mentioned as contributing to the crisis was avoidance to pay taxes. This is a serious thing – and as someone politically leaning to the left, I believe that taxes are not any kind of punishment, but our contribution to the society. Still, when common people are taxed at the level that makes them avoid paying their taxes because the potential penalty is more affordable than the tax itself, something’s wrong. That’s where TreLiz and her problems begin: as a small, one-person business, she still had to pay the tax amounting to 76% of her annual income. I work independently and also pay the income tax, and if I was taxed at 76%, that would be absolutely devastating! As you may imagine, it doesn’t exactly allow the indie dyer invest in the business, right? But that’s not all, as one of the new laws forbids small businesses like TreLiz, which sells physical products, be located at their home. That means no longer dyeing and selling from Lise’s own kitchen. Not only that, but the small, home-based businesses have been given only 3 months to find and move to the new place.
This is where the fundraiser can help. With her high tax, Lise wasn’t able to save enough money to invest in the new place to run her business from. But she also spent 5 years (out of which 2 full time) to make her dreams come true and she believes that with the outside help, she could make it and maybe even develop her business more. She found a good place and needs about 12,000 EUR to make it happen. In fact she already has close to 70% of that amount collected through the fundraiser! So if you feel that you’d like to help the fellow yarn dyer and if you are able to support her financially, please consider “buying her a coffee” or two. The fundraiser is on ko-fi, and the contribution can be as small as 5 EUR. You can also buy some yarn from her store, or even just spread the word and repost the fundraiser on your social media.
If you made it to the end of this post, big thanks for reading! Maybe together we can help someone from having their dreams and hard work destroyed.