Artisanal Goods: Total Rip-Off? (Part III)

This is Part II of our series on what really goes into pricing a handmade product. If you missed it, check out Part II here.

So, I realize that it has been quite some time since my last blog post (over two months have passed! Yikes!). My apologies. Part of being a small business owner means that when things happen in your personal life, your professional life is almost always directly affected as well- no matter how much you wish to separate the two. When you are doing most of the work yourself, life happens and things get put on pause and you just have to roll with the punches. 

However, I am officially back after a trip to NY, a funeral, two fashion shows, and the completion of numerous custom orders, and a new kick-ass intern hire to finish out the third installment of this mini-blog series speaking to artisanal goods. 

Where did we leave off last? Oh yea, you were asking me why you should spend $185 on a non-existent dress made by me when you could potentially make that same non-existent dress for $35 on your own. The short answer: You Shouldn't.

 

Some of you may be shocked to see that come up as my answer, but let's all be honest for a second here: Fashion is NOT necessary. Beyond needing clothing to cover your bodies for daily activities, keep you warm in the cooler months & cool when the sun is blazing, no one actually NEEDS nearly as many items in their wardrobe as they most likely have (myself included). Once you and I are able to fully accept this fact of fashionable life, we can then move on to my next sentiment: You and ONLY YOU can put a $$$ Value on the things that you want. 

"Well, what does that mean?"

 

This means that when you are out looking for a new dress or skirt or handbag or whatever you currently wish to add to your closet (beyond necessity), only you can determine how much you are willing to spend to satisfy that want. So, if you need a killer new dress for an office party you are attending but are only willing to spend $35 to satisfy that want, that's OK! Like, completely fine. We are 100% with you, babe! What we aren't with is coming into our small business boutiques or fair tents or online shops and saying things like "Wow, this is really overpriced!" "Why can't you sell this to me for the cost of materials?" "Can you make this same dress for a discount?""Who would spend more than X-number of dollars on a dress like this?"

 

How I feel every time someone asks me why our products are so expensive...

 

I personally am not offended if you pass up an Untitled Thoughts Dress if it isn't in your current fashion budget. That's ok! I would rather you wait to save for that really unique item that you fell in love with fin our shop, or purchase your garment second hand or even vintage. It's like "Girl, you do you." You are going to look fab regardless. But after reading through these three parts, I hope you can walk away with the following bits of knowledge:

  • You get to set value to the objects you buy, just as we get to set value to the products we sell
  • Artisans spend years perfecting their craft through practice, time, & education, all of which cost us in some form
  • We aren't just taking all of the money from a product for ourselves- we are juggling countless tasks/ items/ employees who all want to be paid a fair amount
  • Time is money and we expect to be paid fairly for our own time
  • There are SO many more steps to the design process than a lot of people realize
  • Would you do your job for the cost of materials? Don't expect us to
  • Treat artists & makers with respect 
  • Start a conversation with your local makers and see what all goes in to making their craft: we love to share and you might find a new passion in the process!
  • Go ahead and do a DIY version of our items! If you have the skill & time you should totally explore your own inner artist 

 

Thank you to all those who stuck with this series (even though it ended well past its intended time frame) and kept an open mind throughout the process & I hope you are able to purchase a few local goods from artists & makers for the upcoming holiday season :)


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