Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hard Decisions

Some times, as a business woman, you have to make decisions that are hard. For me, one of the hardest decisions is deciding how to price my items! That's been one of my biggest struggles since I started Rose Works Jewelry, and I have a feeling it will continue to be a process I struggle with. 

Fortunately, over the last year, I've come to a place where I'm fairly confident in the pricing of most of my pieces.  Most of my earrings and wire work are at prices that I'm comfortable with and that I think pretty accurately reflect my time invested and the materials used. What I have always struggled with, and continue to struggle with, is the price of my woven work.

When I first started out selling my bead weaving I priced it pretty low. A large part of that was a lack of confidence in my own work. It was also, though, a lack of knowledge of what else was out there, and what other people charged for similar work.  

Over time I have raised my prices some, but I've known from what I've read and what others have told me that my prices were still too low.  Let me give you an example. The piece pictured below, Amelia, is currently listed for $25. Now the cost fator going into is pretty small, seed beads are cheap, so that doesn't affect the end price too much. But how long do you think it took me to make? Any guesses? 

I don't know precisely, because I didn't track it, but a brick stitch piece like that usually takes me around 6 hours. And I'm only charging $25...that means that if I don't even count the cost of the beads I'm only making a little over $4/hr for my labor! This is not a sweat-shop and I think most would agree that my time is worth more than that.

Because of this, I'm going to be raising prices on my woven pieces. I'm still doing research and figuring things out, so it'll probably be a week before you see the changes, but if you've had your eye on any of my woven work, now is the time to buy it! 

I'll admit that I'm really nervous about making this change. In this economy it's scary to be raising my prices, but I don't want to undercut my fellow beadweavers. I also think it's time that I actually earn a little bit more of what my time is worth. 

There are a lot of resources out there that talk about pricing your work, but here's just two that I've recently looked at. Bead Nerd and Home Based Jewelry Business.

I want to say a big thanks to Smadar, she's not only an incredible bead weaver, she's also been kind enough to spend some time lately giving me advice on the pricing issue and other questions I've had about the beading world. Be sure to go check out her shop! The picture below is just one of her awesome pieces :) 


storybeader said...

thanks for the links, Ruthie. Yes, I believe you have to at least double your price. Drop me a email and I'll explain what I do! (ps - the word verification is "panic")lol

boylerpf said...

I couldn't agree with you more about pricing. It was really hard to put a price on pieces as I had always done an auction format so the buyer determined the ending price. I don't create the jewelry but can tell you your time is worth more than $4/hr! Lovely pieces!

Splendid Little Stars said...

I have been making and selling jewelry for a long time (craft shows and a store owned by me and several fellow artisians). One thing I have discovered is that if the price is too low, potential customers will not value the item and therefore will not buy it. Educate your customer on your processes, your work, yourself, anything that shows the care put into the item. Your knowledgable potential customer will then hopefully want to own a "piece of you."

Becky said...

Good for you, you deserve it! I have the same battles over pricing myself! I think we need to claim the confidence in our work to ask what it deserves!

UberArt said...

I think you're doing the right thing by raising your prices, despite the nervous economy!

Beaderjojo said...

This is good news!

glorybe1024 said...

Pricing my items is the hardest part. I just want to make enough to sustain my crafting habit. Good luck!

NICO Designs said...

I think this is the right decision. I do not do beadweaving but I have researched pricing involving fabric.

I like jewelry so I wonder why someone's work is priced so cheaply? Is the work flawed? Do they know what they are doing? Are they invested in the business side of things? If I want something at Walmart prices then I go to that store for that item. And I do not want mass produced outsourced work when I shop online or at shows....


Meghann said...

Finally, a jewelry maker that understands me! I hate seeing people underprice their work, but I've been guilty of it too at times. Especially the woven work! It takes so long to make, but how do you price it so that you make money and yet are still able to sell it??? I still struggle with that and that is why I hardly do those kinds any more. It is so much work to do to only make $4/hour or for it to not sell at all because I priced it at a fair wage :(
I hope your price increases go well, You DESERVE it!! You are WORTH it!! Your pieces are gorgeous and I can't wait to see more :)

Smadar's Treasure said...

Ruthie, I am so glad that you finally made the right decision, and of course, I agree with what everyone else here said - you and your work worth it! Good luck!
And thanks so much for the mention..:) I'm glad I could help!

Phoenyx Ravenswing said...


I'm joining in on the kudoes! Good for you!!! :-) Yes, indeedy, you are worth it - so glad you are seeing it too! :-)

I have that same issue w/some of my pieces and it's not just the time put directly into that piece either that needs to be considered. For example, I've put some serious time & money into learning how to design and to make pieces that are lovely to the eye. That's worth something, too. There's a lot more that goes into creative works than just the pieces-parts that make them up. :-)

Bright Blessings & Good Fortune! :-)