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March 9th, 2015 at 05:53 am » Comments (0)
every time I see the costing advice “2-3 x materials” it makes my teeth hurt.
If you do not respect your talent and expertise – no one else will either –
That means your first decision has to be to clearly define your goal.
Each of us has to make decisions about how we want to perceived. Why any artisan would choose to be comparable to Walmart is not something I will ever understand, but some do.
That means your first decision has to be to clearly define your goal.
The very idea of “what the market will bear” is so demeaning – If the market can’t bear the true value of your work, then you are in the wrong market.
Nothing can squeeze the joy out of creative work faster than turning it into the drudgery of making it a job where you are both under paid and under appreciated.
I know that not everyone has had the advantage of working in product development and so really understanding first the cost of manufacture BEFORE labor, the cost of labor, the overhead (all the business expenses shared over your entire business) and FINALLY the concept of PROFIT that must be added to the COGS (cost of goods sold)
I know it is just repeating what you have read “on the internet” and it seems like gospel. but 2-3 times the cost of materials is NOT what should be used for ANY hand crafted work.
Heck, that is not even the formula used by sweat shop manufacturing –
That might – very rarely – be PART of overall costing factor that is what is used AFTER all “development costs” have been recovered for mass produced items in less than nice places “for the workers”
If your goal is to be a “pin money” crafter, where all you really want is creative outlet and maybe be able to “replace” materials – that is your choice – neither good or bad.
If your goal is to seen as a professional, one who has invested time and money to learn their craft, then you need to rethink your pricing formula.
A large part of my life has been devoted to helping designers with tough love speech –
If you are in the pin money group, happy to recieve no compensation for time and talent and expertise then your costs, at the very least price for the COMPLETE replacement cost as if you had to make them the work again, and had to buy all the materials.
Or simply choose what many do, make for your own enjoyment and hopefully given as gifts to friends and family –
Obviously I have strong feelings about COSTING and how it effect PRICE – and someday I need to finish ‘the book” but if you are interested in considering more than slave labor pricing, – there are some blog articles starting at: http://wheatcarr.com/biz/pricing-pt-00-intangible-costs.php
If nothing else, please unload that gun you have pointed at your foot, respect the decisions of others instead of tearing them down for their business decisions and get past the bad business advice of applying mass production costing to hand crafting and above all – lose the false modesty, block the green eyed monster and decide what is right for you.
January 1st, 2014 at 08:45 am » Comments (1)
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Sooner or later everything reaches a tipping point.
We are finally launching a “dream project” AllJustString is intended to provide a place for personal development of our skills and knowledge, keep the information accessible and organized in a manner that will allow those who follow to find and benefit in a way not currently possible in other venues.
It is also a founding principle that many of us don’t have craft-tunnel-vision – meaning that we enjoy many forms of craft and there is great diversity in how we each choose to bend our string. We can admire and respect those who practice a technique whether we choose to participate,
Our goal is help each other build on skills and knowledge and derivations – while giving our undying respect and support to those offering the opportunity to expand our knowledge and skill from the quick picture or video tutorials, to (at least in my home) a whole bookcase of others who have “done the research” and codified technique, and in many cases, the history of their chosen craft.
It is our obligation as an artisan (someone who works with their hands and their heart) to acknowledge as much as possible those who made our development possible. It is our ethical obligation to respect their copyrights and never feel we “need” to get attention by sharing that which is not ours to share.
At the end of the day, other than for marketing purposes, the only thing likely to be truly original is how you present it. And that work should be judged on your competence and vision.
Our goal is to help you find the knowledge and information you need, in a manner respectful to you, and to your sources of inspiration.
I hope you will join us and bring along some friends to show and share our love of our crafts and our fiber artistic adventures (remember, beads are lumps string so they count too)
Always Take Time To Enjoy The Making
Wheat Carr, founder
The Forum for Fiber Folk:
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November 24th, 2013 at 12:35 pm » Comments (0)
Although not the only element in COGS (Cost of Good Sold) relates to the cost of your components = the second most common mistake I have observed is not using Replacement Costs when planning your price.
Not unlike insurance, your costing needs to reflect NOT what you paid for each bit and piece, but what it will cost you to REPLACE that item in your inventory.
What does she mean?
Recently I read in a “business” group of someone basing their selling price on the “deal” they got for one of the major components in their work.
Well, what happens when they run out of that, OR someone says, I want 25 of that design but in different colors. Or, you are working a local craft, flea or farmer’s market and up walks the “been looking for weeks but not buying” and want to know why that piece cost $5 last week but this time its $6.
It is always easier to lower your price than it will ever be to raise it, suddenly with no explanation. Nor does it make “sense” to the consumer when something that looks the same has different pricing without obvious – to the consumer walking by your table – differences.
There is often, especially for those who choose to create in an over crowded marketplace stuffed with similar products produced in less than fair trade conditions – can you really afford the “customer satisfaction” issue?
If you must – for some reason of your choice – decide to lower your price, then at least clearly mark it as a “special price” if asked, it is okay to say “I got a really good deal on the threads, but when these are gone, I won’t be able to replace them for the same cost”
Still if you are in this for the long run, especially if you are in the building stage of your business, far better to take advantage of the deal, but price the finished work as if you had to replace it “at full price” next week.
November 24th, 2013 at 12:06 pm » Comments (2)
There is a sentiment that pops up fairly often on FaceBook about “When buying from an artisan (one who works with hands and heart)
While it seems geared to those who are buying our work, there is much in it to think about as you decide whether selling your work is really what you want to do. Anytime I accept a commission or am asked to sell a completed piece, here is what I think about as the Artisan/Maker.
One of the hardest decisions any artisan has to make is deciding if it even makes sense to sell their work. Is what your are making unique and thus can compete. Or, it is a hobby you and other enthusiasts enjoy – but frankly there are just too many sources for the same product you are making.
Is what you are producing for sale able to command its fair market value. I should warn you I have little patience for “what the market will bear” because if the market cannot bear to pay you a fair premium then you should not be in the marketplace.
While of consuming interest to you, really just a passing fad that may or may not have a permanent place at any level in the crafts market place. For example, two years ago it was friendship bracelets, this past year Paracord knotted bracelets were hot, looks like the next few months we will be seeing lots of rubber band jewelry.
Thinking about Paracord, of the dozens making Knotted items, I can only think of maybe 4 who are really producing anything approaching unique enough to build a niche in the market place for themselves. Maybe another dozen who are producing products to be used either to make the bracelets (jigs, charms, etc) that may or may not earn them a place in supplying the needs of enthusiasts.
You also need to decide if you are comfortable setting your pricing in a way that undermines the good of the craft for short term gain. If you are just into selling for the pin money, admit that to yourself as you consider your path
These are questions only you can answer, but if your work “looks” like a Wal-Mart special then it is going to be a tough road to over come the financial challenges that can easily take the joy of creating from you.
If not, then maybe instead of trying to make it a business, you should focus on enjoying this, building your skills, knowledge of your chosen craft and expertise. You might have to find another way to fund your hobby, but it just might be well worth the effort so you can continue to
Enjoy The Making
August 17th, 2013 at 14:00 pm » Comments (2)
This on of the two parts where I where I allow myself to use more emotion than fact about the business viability of craft. Hereafter, it is about business and as such, as objective as possible
REMEMBER ONLY YOU can properly and completely perform the necessary due diligence to determine your costs – this article, like all on this blog, are a starting point, not the last word by any means. While I hope it is worth more, its value is exactly the same as what you paid for it – no dollars.
Although there are others, including the stress of deadlines, the uncertainly during off season (selling yarn from April to July can be pretty scary in terms of regular cash flow)
The largest consideration you will want to at least consider is taking something you love and making it a JOB.
Every says if you have a job doing something you love, then it is never work.
But that only works when you have someone else to do all the NOT FUN stuff mention in Pts 1,2, and 3.
When you have ALL the responsibility plus the laundry, the kids, the pets and every aspect of everyday life, the non-creative part of business and regrettably often the part that takes the most of your time for the least amount of joy – can suck the joy out of the creative aspects.
If you do not accept anything else I suggest and are determined to go for it anyway no matter how illogical cold analysis says otherwise,
Please don’t get yourself so far in financially that you cannot say “the heck with this other stuff” and go back to enjoying what you love. This means building inventory and supplies over time not getting into huge financial debt.
At the end of the day,
if you can’t
enjoy the making,
there is no point