Monday, 20 August 2012

What Price?

Hello again, hope you are managing to keep warm in this chilly weather...well, it is chilly in the Adelaide Hills at the moment! And let's not start on the rain. Never mind, we will be desperate for it in six months time...
Ok, a little bit further along the path that I started on in my last blog, An Authentic Life. I very briefly touched on the price of things, or their value. This also relates to pricing your items to sell, if that is the direction your making takes you in.
Now, if you do want to sell you items, how do you charge a reasonable amount? You had to design the item, source the materials to make it, plus all the extras that go into producing it (threads/glue/buttons etc). You need to develop the item, so that it is of high quality and suitable for its purpose. You then have to actually make the item. Bearing all this in mind, a rule of thumb I have come across is that you should charge about 2.5 times the amount that the materials cost you. Now, all us crafters know that the price of materials can be quite high! So it can be quite uncomfortable when someone implies your are overcharging for your item! It's true that people could buy a cheap mass-produced item for a lot less than you are charging. But your item is unique and special. So, be proud of what you made! Don't undercharge. And let people know the care that went into that one-off item.
If you are charging a reasonable price for your work, you are also supporting other crafters to charge reasonable prices for their work.
Ok, off the soapbox now! I hope this has given you a little to think about, and maybe even make you look more kindly on the prices people are charging at markets or on Etsy.
Keep warm
Jo xx

Sunday, 5 August 2012

An authentic life

I have been thinking about the things that matter to me recently. Not just my family, friends, health, home, pets etc, but also lifestyle and values, which are topics we don't always get round to thinking about in our busy lives. This really came to mind last week when I had a visit from my lovely old friend Sid. Sid grows superb chemical-free potatoes on his farm, he delivers them to my door, along with a chat and a dad joke, and all for just over $1/kilo!
We were chatting about life, as we like to do. He is a positive, outgoing person who is great fun to be around, talking about growing food, raising chickens, and knowing where your food comes from. The ethics of supporting our Aussie farmers, paying a fair price for things, and knowing what goes into our food are becoming increasingly important to me, and I hope, to you too. As we have been told often enough, you are what you eat, and it's better to be healthy and wholesome!
So how does this relate to The Raspberry Wren? Making things, to keep, sell, or give as a gift, is part of this philosophy. A homemade gift means so much. You know what went into it, including the carefully-selected fabrics, the thought, care and time. It also represents pride in your work, you abilities, and that is an important thing to have. If we do what we can, to the best of our ability, we have done enough. Both Kylie and I are proud of our makes, and hope they bring pleasure to the recipients. They have certainly brought us pleasure in the making!
So whatever you do, make sure you do it with pride and enjoyment. It will show in the finished result!
Have fun
Jo xx