Tuesday, June 19, 2007

breathing space ...

today has just been a catch up, get back on an even keel sort of day.

This mainly meant getting the washing up to date and doing the housework. Joy of joys, never let it be said that I don't know how to enjoy myself!

But I have been enjoying looking through this book. Florence Broadhurst: Her Secret and Extraordinary Lives by Helen O'Neill.

I read about the book on another blog sometime ago but I can't remember which one now. It is an Australian book and I have been waiting ages for it to be available here. You can now get it here, here and here. It has to be said that it is not a cheap book at £36 but as a catalogue of all her designs it is fabulous inspiration and staff discount really helps towards the cost.

Another bunch of gorgeousness is this fabric which arrived today. I order it from Buttonberry after I saw them mentioned on Treefall - their service was fantastic. I ordered the fabric late on Sunday and it arrived this morning with a lovely hand written note thanking me for my custom.

Now, could I ask you guys for a favour? I have been asked by a couple of people to make bags for them but I have no idea how to charge for them. I know roughly what the cost of materials is but what about charging for labour? It is all so horrible as I get embarrased and shy asking friends to pay for them. But I would love to be able to sell some bags to help pay for my addiction. Any advice you can offer would be gratefully received.


Anonymous Emma said...

Ah yes, the eternal problem of what to charge! I always end up under charging and then feeling just a little bit bitter as I know I haven't paid myself enough for my time and effort. Why not have a look through Etsy to see what others are charging?

June 20, 2007 7:12 am  
Blogger GigerVamp said...

In the soapmaking world, it's generally about 3 x the cost of materials, but I don't know if it's different when you've made something that's more labour intensive.

June 20, 2007 8:22 am  
Blogger Ali said...

Charge as much as you think you can get away with - they're paying for soul, not just materials. And I've seen your bags and whatever you charge, they're worth it!

Think one-of-a-kind, original, artisan, handcrafted...

June 20, 2007 10:42 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

De-lurking to say, I know I read a long & detailed post on pricing recently... it was on
and I just searched... it's the 26th of Feb. (so, not so recent, then!). She's a professional and also sells wholesale, so you may not have the same need as she does to match her marketers' retail prices, but the heneral guidelines may help, I hope.

June 20, 2007 10:49 am  
Blogger Suzie Sews said...

love the pictures
Suzie Sews

June 20, 2007 6:26 pm  
Anonymous lazylol said...

That is an adorable book...and the fabric, scrumptious!
Can't help with the pricing problem as I never sell anything I make. I like the 3x idea that gigervamp suggested though and Emma's suggestion of looking on Etsy to get an idea. Good luck.

June 23, 2007 3:27 pm  
Anonymous Simmy said...

Hi Caroline,

I hate pricing - it's the worst part of making anything to sell isn't it and I sympathise with you. I had someone email me the other day to say that I could and should charge more for my plant dyed fleece! In some cases I research to see what else is about at what price and in others I just hope! When I priced my (william morris) bags I looked on etsy so maybe you could try that.

Love the fabric by the way and the design book.

June 24, 2007 8:01 am  
Blogger Di said...

I never know what you should charge - how about your time - how valuable is it? I am sure that your bags will be gorgeous and that fabric you bought was great!!

June 25, 2007 11:00 pm  
Anonymous Liz said...

I have been looking at a book of hers on Amazon for a while - her work looks absolutely amazing!
The problem with looking at Etsy to price things up, is everything seems really cheap on there as the exchange rate is so good/awful (depends what side of the atlantic you live and are buying from!) At the moment I would sell things to friends a bit cheaper and say you are giving them a discount as they are friends. This hopefully means you will get your bags seen out and about and get feedback on what people like and don't like (for example if they want an extra pocket). Once the bags are seen, you will hopefully start getting in orders which you can charge at the full rate, which I would calculate as materials cost plus your hourly rate (for you to decide). Then compare this with other people work which is similar.
Another thing with pricing is that you can charge a lot more at a fair in a lovely location in a smart area of town, than at a school fete, so maybe have a sliding scale.
I'm sure others won't agree with me, but that's how I would do it!

June 26, 2007 11:02 am  
Blogger Min said...

I have a tip about spool given to me recently. When you fill the spools with the thread you are going to used, fill 2. Put one inside the machine and use the other where you would put your normal large spool of thread. As you watch the spool at the top empty, you know the one hidden is also about to run out. Ira who runs the quilting shop near me swears by this method - and it stops those awful -it's run out in the middle of a seam thang from happening.

I love your stuff by the way - you are not in China knocking them out in hundreds, they are handmade (not homemade) atr pieces, be proud and price accordingly.

Toodle pip

July 03, 2007 12:13 pm  

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