Monday, March 29, 2010

Pricing your work

Is it really that much????    

How to justify the pricing of your handmade items

People that do not regularly purchase handmade items don't stop to think about the cost of materials, time planning, drafting, cutting, piecing together, and finishing a garment. We handmade artisans take pride in our work and want to create the best possible product. Quality, not quantity, is our goal.

Yes, a department store might sell a similar piece for 50% less money, but do you know where that item came from? Do you have a personal relationship with the person who made your clothing? Does it fit perfectly to the shape of your body? When you take it home and wash it are the seams going to unravel? These are all questions that one should ask before attempting to compare a department store item to a handcrafted item.

When I started Eleventeen Apparel I did it with the goal of creating limited edition and one-of-a-kind pieces in not just S, M, L sizes, but in YOUR size. Custom clothing meant for your bust, hip, waist size. Have one arm a bit larger than the other? I can make a custom top for you. Had a mastectomy and need a smaller bust area on a garmet? I can create a flattering style for you. Having a hard time finding a casual tee for a longer torso? That can also be custom made. All custom orders are done with an open line of communication between the client and myself. Additional sizing adjustments can be made after the client tries on the finished garment.

My husband is always questioning why I don't "set higher goals". He'll ask why I get upset when he suggests I go the route of mass production. He doesn't understand that what I want to do is make clothes that fit individuals...not just the cookie cutter S, M, L sizes, but REAL sizes. Here I am 1-1/2 years into my business and it is growing. People are excited that I can make a custom garment for them in THEIR size and I am excited to be able to help them.

So, before having a meltdown when looking at prices of handmade items whether it be clothing, jewelry, quilts, or other items, please take a moment to stop and think about the steps taken to make that item.

Need help pricing your handmade items? Check out these links.

1 comment:

Gracebourne said...

Pricing tends to be such a difficult, sensitive, headachy prospect for a lot of artists. I think we all have to take the time, as artisans, crafters, artists, and purveyors of the handmade credo, to educate our customers about the process, so that they can know exactly how what they are paying relates to what they are getting.