I *LOVE* what I do……I’ve said it before, & I will very likely say it again (a lot) before there comes a day when I decide I don’t want to or can’t do it anymore!!
But for me, the hardest part is ALWAYS figuring out what to charge for each of my creations, large or small – I have a formula now that I stick to, that involves materials costs, post & packing costs but most importantly the TIME it took me to make the item……it might surprise you to learn that it actually takes a long time to make a Tutu – every strand is cut by hand, the waistband is stitched by hand & then each piece of hand-cut Tulle is hand tied to the waistband and then sometimes that is oh-so-careful wrapped in a Satin ribbon to finish it off! (oh, and ALL those Hands actually belong to me…..& I still sadly only have 2 of them, even though I might have asked Father Christmas for an extra set….)
For me, every single creation is a labour of Love – from the start, I said that wherever possible I wanted every Tutu or Tutu Dress I made to be Unique, because even the littlest of Princesses can appreciate, on some level, the magical qualities of something that was made JUST FOR YOU & that there isn’t another one like it anywhere!! (this isn’t always possible, particularly when there is more than 1 Little Princess in a Bridal party……)
But proper (& accurate) pricing is so important in the world of Handmade – I can promise you that most people who run a business selling handmade things feel the same way…….those of us that strive to carefully price our items in order to cover our costs will invariably find ourselves trying, at some stage, to compete with someone who has NO IDEA about how to realistically price something that is handmade!! I can completely understand the urge to not OVERCHARGE for something – believe me, I go through that mental battle every time I have a new creation to price up, but UNDER-CHARGING is in many ways worse…….I know that I am not over pricing my products – there may be people out there who don’t agree with me, but the simple fact is that they are wrong because they haven’t watched me sit down & work out every single teeny tiny cost, add it all together (whilst likely forgetting about the 2 nights I sat on the sofa STILL tying bits of Tulle) & price my product accordingly!
Those people who put a handmade item up for Sale without doing their pricing homework 1st will mainly be hurting themselves in the long-term, as without charging correctly they are never going to grow and thrive as a business – but in the short term, they are hurting those of us who ARE doing our homework & who are doing everything in their power to make the thing that they have spent hours toiling over affordable to as many people as possible.
I standby my belief that, for the most part, it is WORTH paying the extra for something handmade – it gives people the chance to own something, created by hand by some truly incredible Artisans who aren’t being paid a fraction of what their time is worth……but they do it because they LOVE it, & it’s nigh on impossible to put a price on that!