I read a really sad post on a UK blog called The Faerie Factory today. The writer, a rag doll & craft maker closing down her blog and ceasing to trade for two quite distinct reasons that I am going to cover in two posts:
Reason number 1, I think we all know this feeling from time to time: "In recent weeks I have realised how much time is taken making and preparing for fairs for very little financial reward. As much as I enjoy creating it has become more and more like a production line with all the stress and pressure that entails."
I wish that new craft hobbyists and those in a rush to open their etsy shop would finally realise that Time really IS Money! It is so easy, you begin to make a few crafty items from old buttons and bits of lace and ribbon you have had lying round the place for years... you buy a few supplies from a hobby shop and sit there making cute things while you watch TV. People like them, they want to buy: Hurrah!!! What the hell, they cost you hardly anything to make -but hey, you are new at this and maybe you don't feel that confident in your abilities yet - so you price really low and bask in the glow of selling things to people who really appreciate the amount of love that has gone into making them. You feel really fulfilled and now you are part of the whole crafty artisan movement that has been gaining momentum over the last decade....
ERRRRRRRR, hold up! I hate to burst your bubble, I really do, but take a step back to the price you just put on your work... it doesn't matter that the buttons and ribbons etc, were free. If you come to make more, you will need to buy, how much will that cost you? How much did the supplies you bought at the hobby shop cost you and how many items did they go on to make? How much did the electricity that burned the light you used to sew by cost while you were making... and lastly, probably most importantly: what price do you put on your time. Think about that one hard. The minimum hourly wage in Britain is just over £6. How many could you make in an hour? Lets take all your costs away and see what we are left with... Oooops!
Think long and hard about how you price your hand made items, if you put time and effort into them then don't sell yourself short, and remember, if you get successful you will hit a real dilemma... you won't have enough time to make enough of "The Item" to fulfill demand by yourself so will have to get others to help you make them... that's a whole new can of worms! THINK before you open an etsy shop, think long and hard because as a wise lady told me a long time ago "price too high and you can always have a sale or reduce at a later date, price too low and and you will soon find that when you need to put your prices UP you will lose goodwill"