Oh of course, this isn't my only outlet / revenue stream, that would be insane, the GR shop is just using the equipment I have built my small business up on and a way for funding my time spent on GRcade things I would otherwise use with clients (time is money etc).
I make income doing a lot of other comissions like web design, sign making and T-shirts for SMBs, I may or may not choose to invest in GRcade things using private funds.
The shop was and is a good project to deliver on ideas shared directly with the community though, something I find special and more fun. I couldn't think of a better project to try working that way, at least at the time. That's what this is about for me.
It's also good experience, for example now I can attach a shop and provide the physical merchandise packaged together for other small online websites/communities, this is increasingly common as a way to fund startup non-profits.
The shop only runs at a loss if I consider all the equipment as falling under the GRcade name which of course I don't, that's a long term investment I plan to pay off elsewhere. It's considered plant/machinery that I pay off with much more lucrative jobs usually over 1-2 years, obviously all my operating expenses are covered in the shop prices.
I might set up another brand for the gaming Ts stuff but I'd also like to offer some stuff exclusively to the GRcade shop just as a gesture. I recently launched my personal brand and started selling stuff on eBay and opening Etsy shop soon. I have GRcade shop to thank as my first little foray into eCommerce (or at least one run by myself and not commissioned by somebody else to run, I have worked on other online stores before), I've learnt a lot just processing and shipping orders and what is and isn't realistic. For example there might be a problem if I was suddenly inundated with orders, which is why I have 5-7 day lead time that is manageable even while I'm doing my day job.
Even if my T-shirts/sign-making ventures aren't successful I just chalk these things down to experience and subsidise it, maybe carry on as a hobby or come back to it later etc. It's always been that way for me, I spend pretty much 90% of my disposable income on equipment and tools to make stuff as that's what I enjoy.
In a way GRcade Shop is a bit like a case study, not to make it sound cold or anything but everyone working on GRcade has learnt a stupid amount just doing what they do over the years. Back in the day I don't recall Karlprof for example running any servers or anything like that and if there's a good example of community management this is it (although some surely think we do a better job than others