We started recognizing a need to raise our membership prices several months ago, and we’re not very happy to be doing it in this challenging economic environment—even as the challenging economic environment is contributing to our need to raise prices. But here we are, and we’re going to tell you why.
We’re also going to tell you about the new Digits & Threads Membership Bursary Program. We know our membership prices are high—they are also fair, in that they are designed to cover our expenses and support our livelihoods and our ability to fairly compensate the contributors and freelancers we work with. The bursary program is community-supported and will provide access to Studio Membership to Canadians for whom its annual fee is prohibitive.
When we let Studio Members know that the price increase is coming, we received a question that blew our minds and warmed our hearts. The member asked how they could pay the new, higher rate, even though the price increase will only affect new memberships, because they want to support our business. We did not anticipate a question like that, but it led us back to a desire we’ve had since we launched the magazine: to establish a scholarship fund. Through this new program, members (and anyone in the community) who wants to further support our ability to publish amazing Canadian content about fibre and textile arts can do so while also helping to make the magazine accessible to more people.
Here are all the details:
Will the price increase affect current members’ renewal rates?
No. The price increase will not affect current members. Current memberships will renew at the rate you signed up for.
When will prices increase, and to what?
Starting November 9, 2022, Studio Membership will increase to $125 per year, Annual Armchair Membership will increase to $80 per year, and monthly Armchair Membership will increase to $8.50 per month.
Why are you raising your prices?
We’re raising our prices for three reasons:
- Our costs have gone up. From the fees for the software we use to the rates from the contractors we work with, our expenses have been increasing. As we grow, we also need more help to run the magazine—from apps and from people. Which is wonderful! We need to be able to fairly pay the folks we hire, and to afford the tools that enable us to run and grow the magazine and serve our community.
- New members get way more now. New members gain immediate access to our full archives. That’s two years’ worth of content, in addition to the pieces we’ll publish over the course of their membership. That’s a tremendous value, and we love that new members can dive in right away to enjoy so many articles, tutorials and patterns.
- The co-founders of Digits & Threads need to make more than $100 per month, each. For some reason, our society has decided it’s normal for business founders not to make a living for years after they launch. Kate and Kim have been working for two and a half years on this business while relying on other work and our supportive spouses to get us through it. With everything in the world costing more now, we need to be able to contribute significantly to supporting our families. We also need to draw fair income from the business so we can focus exclusively on it, rather than having to work on other projects off the side of our desks. We committed from the day we launched to fairly pay the folks we work with. It’s time for us to do the same for ourselves.
What is the bursary program and why are you launching it now?
The Digits & Threads Membership Bursary Program is a community-focused effort to provide one year of Studio Membership to Canadian residents for whom the cost is prohibitive. We have wanted to have a scholarship program since we launched Digits & Threads, but the software we were using didn’t provide a workable way for us to make it happen. Over the summer, however, we switched to a new program to power our checkout system, and we are now able to invite readers to contribute to the bursary fund in any amount, starting at $5. We also invite folks to apply for a 1-year Studio Membership bursary.
This program is designed to make Digits & Threads accessible to more readers, artists and crafters; to support Digits & Threads so that the folks who work on the magazine can be fairly paid; and to invite members of our community to further support the magazine and fellow readers.
How does the Bursary Program work?
When contributions to the bursary fund add up to the amount to cover a Studio Membership, we will provide one to an eligible applicant. If there are more eligible applicants than there are available memberships, we will draw by lottery, and applications that are not selected will remain active. We will offer bursaries on a rolling basis.
Recipients of a bursary will receive a 1-year Studio Membership at no cost. Before the year is up, we will remind recipients to either prepare to renew their membership or to cancel so that it will not auto-renew. We will also invite recipients to apply for another bursary or, if their circumstances have changed, to contribute to the bursary fund.
Please note: Contributions to the bursary fund are not tax-deductible, as Digits & Threads is not a non-profit organization or charity.