Money that is.
One week until we open our home studio to art patrons as part of Art at the Source Open Studios tour. Our new Pro Panels art display, and our new to us Craig’s List pedestals are set up and ready for our artwork. I got my hair cut today and practiced my demo. Leland’s polishing his latest glass casting.
We just have to put out the artwork and [gulp] price it.
When I first started making fused glass back in 2001, I participated in a few craft fairs and pretty much gave my stuff away. I priced the work at the cost of materials, plus slave wages for my time. Never mind electricity, the cost of the kiln, tools, overhead, etc. I was excited to have my hobby pay for some materials. I was learning, my stuff was simple. When friends came by, I gave them an extra 20% off. It felt wrong to make money off of them. Especially since we didn’t need to. But now, we’re at a whole new artistic level. And, for the first time, with the economy in the dumps and the stock market even worse, we need for our hobby to become our business. So, that means pricing like a businessperson, not an insecure daubler.
I have a virtual store on Etsy, which in case you haven’t heard of it is an online marketplace for handmade items; vintage clothing and housewares, and craft supplies. They provide a lot of support. A recent online (of course) seminar about pricing gave me a dose of reality. The presenter, Megan Auman, introduced an amazing concept -including PROFIT in your pricing from the get go. Here’s the equation:
Cost of materials + your time (not at sweatshop rates) + overhead + PROFIT (you decide the percentage, not all of your products will have the same amount of profit) = WHOLESALE price. This is the price for stores that buy in quantity to resell your wares. The RETAIL price is Wholesale times 2. [Gulp]
When I first sold on Etsy I priced my stuff close to the bone, figuring that people expected a deal when there wasn’t a middle man (middle person?) But then I didn’t get anything for all the time I spent taking photos, writing descriptions, packing and shipping. Plus I don’t want to undercut the wonderful stores that carry my stuff. I love Hand Goods in Occidental and they deserve every penny of their percent! This formula makes perfect business sense, but adding in profit and overhead on top of doubling the cost makes for scary numbers requiring massive amounts of self-esteem. I’m not quite there yet. So, be warned that prices are going to go up later in the summer! In the meanwhile, come check out our unique wares. I have some items that aren’t in any stores because I want to be able to sell them for under certain price points. Plus, I always have seconds with minor imperfections and a bargain bin with $5 items.
Fingers and eyes crossed that all goes well…