Monday, February 3, 2014

The Art of Pricing Blood, Sweat and Tears

Photo borrowed from Gallery 50 in Traverse City, MI

Every handicraft person struggles with price. They try to be fair to the customer and themselves. The price includes materials, years spent perfecting the design, time spent creating the display, sleepless nights, insurance, gas and numerous fees (insurance, booth, store, etsy, credit card, legal, employees).

My heart breaks each time I witness a shopper inspect an item to copy it themselves or they may turn to their friend and say, "Hey, Suzie you can make this right?". I have also witnessed people comment or share some of my artisans photos asking their friend to make the item for them. I delete those comments from my biz page.

I will admit that before becoming an artisan myself I was that person, I even took a photo or two of items I intended to copy. Those photos sure look nice sitting in my computer files, the few that I did attempt were unfinished and the materials were donated to Indy Upcycle. I regret wasting the time and money and wish I would have bought the item from the maker.

Some have compared Bizzy's Boutique to a mobile Etsy, which I take as a compliment. That is just it, I am driving the artisans products around to reach shoppers who may not seek out handmade items or know how to find Etsy. My intention was not a mobile Pinterest which I have a love/hate relationship with. I loved it when I first discovered it and then hated it when people would post photos of Bizzy Buckets on their DIY boards. My pins diminished along with my bucket making.

All artisans try to keep a thick skin but whenever we see a facebook post, pinterest pin, overhear a persons intention to copy our hard work or have a person tell us that our prices are too high, it stings and stays with us. The remedy...Whether you intend to buy from the artisan or not say something nice, compliment them on their display, their attention to detail, their ability to hide the blood, sweat and tears that led them to that very moment in time.


Kelly said...

I love this post. It feels as though you are reading, not only my thoughts, but those of so many friends that I have made over the last few years through this difficult business. We spend so much time over techniques, and learning ourselves- it is hard for anyone in their line of work to feel undermined. I sincerely hope I have not done that to others in this field, but probably have, much to my chagrin. For that I truly apologize in general, and hope my awareness is higher.

Liza, creator of Little Handfuls Mini Bears said...

Wow I know exactly what you mean. I do a number of local shows and get soooooooo many people saying Oh so and so makes these, or I just wouldn't have the time to make that ( I don't understand that one, I get it so often, people who are disgusted how much time it would take to make one of my bears and walk off......... err, I was selling the bear, not the craft! It will only take you 2 seconds to buy it! lol) My bears are all one of a kind, so no one 'makes these' but me, I even had one lady say of my needle felting "So if I stab a ball of wool it will turn into a bear?" I replied with "If you water a piece of earth does it turn into a garden?" I hope your writing spreads far and wide and enlightens many. Thanks so much for saying what we feel! :)

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