This Kickstarter Is Taking (Super Cool) Clothing Design on the Road in an Airstream
Clothing designers often travel for inspiration for their upcoming lines — Mara Hoffman, for example, treks to Morocco every chance she gets to keep her inspo fresh (she even has an Instagram to prove it). But what if travel and inspiration were built in to the clothing design process itself? That’s exactly what Winsome Goods — a clothing and goods design studio based in Northeast Minneapolis, MN — is trying to do with their super sweet Kickstarter campaign.
Winsome owner and operator Kathryn Sieve is looking to turn an Airstream RV into a travelling design studio, LITERALLY mobilizing the label she started while previously working for a big-name clothing retailer. While there, she quickly realized that she missed having her hands in all parts of the design process. Looking to dive back into the action while simultaneously getting closer to her customers and everything that drives her inspiration (think: travel and craftspeople from across the US), the idea for the Winsome, and eventually Winsome Mobile Studio, emerged.
All of the materials Winsome uses are made in the US, and all aspects of the process are covered in house — everything from production to shipping — which will continue to be the name of the game with the mobile studio. Sieve bases everything she makes on the fabric she acquires. Winsome products are made in limited quantities based on each particular fabric, and each piece comes with a note letting the customer know that their particular piece is one of a batch of 15 or 20 that will never again be replicated.
She even credits her inspiration to the fabric, a big reason why she wants to take her studio on the road. Sieve dreams of vising the cities and people that supply her with the fabric she uses, getting closer to the inspiration that drives her work and adding even more transparency to her process, hosting pop-up shops along the way. It’s all going down in a 31-foot Airstream trailer that she hopes to have up and running by spring 2016… and that’s where you come in!
What Sieve needs help with is “bringing the design of the trailer to life.” She needs “to gut the existing interior and build it back up as a functioning studio space” in order to get the show on the road, according to the video on Winsome’s Kickstarter page.
There are still a few days to go until Winsome’s campaign expires. What’s in it for you? Anything from a super chic “well, shit” tote bag or a faux leather wallet to exclusive naming rights to the finished airstream. And, ladies, the designs this studio is cranking out aren’t to be missed. They’re perfectly minimal and expertly designed — “clean lines, impeccable fit and quality construction are our goals” says Winsome’s website. If you’re in the mood to support a fellow maker, this Kickstarter certainly isn’t a bad place to go.
What clean-lined designs have you been into lately? Share them with us on Instagram!
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com