How to price your handmade items

Happy Tuesday!!

Today we’re going to talk about pricing your handmade items. Whether you knit, crochet, make jewelry, etc. you have to know how and what to do in order to make money out of your creativity.

When I first started to sell my work, I didn’t think my work was good enough. From this so so sock monkey1272538_695490333814471_1771344572_o

to designing a full Raggedy Ann outfit, my work has improved and so has my believe in myself and my work. You will encounter all sorts of self doubt but read on to find out how to fix that.1272882_711323882231116_202928064_o

Doubt
Many times as designers we question our own talent and are afraid of charging what our work is really worth because we’re afraid that others might think it’s too high or not worth that much. Well, I’m here to tell you that I’ve been where you are and it took me some time to FINALLY realize that what I make is just as good as anyone else’s product.
Competition
When I first started crocheting I did it just for fun and to release stress. It took some convincing from family and friends to actually get me to start selling my items.  I didn’t think what I made was worth charging for and with SO many talented people out there, I didn’t think I’d stand a chance at making money. But, there’s room for everyone in this and other markets. There’s thousands of people that knit and crochet and make jewelry but you can’t let that stop you from doing what you LOVE to do and earn money at the same time.

First impression
You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Your client will know if you believe in your product or not by your confidence in it. Believe in your talent. If you don’t believe your product is good enough neither will your clients.  Remember not everyone is a client either and don’t get discouraged if you don’t sell something. It just means that person doesn’t know the true value of handmade items.

How does it work?
The main thing you have to do is figure out how much it costs YOU and what your earnings will be once you’ve got an order. I found a blog that will tell you how to price your items accordingly without losing money =0)

Don’t give up!!!
No matter how long it takes you to start selling, don’t give up!! The first sale is always the hardest. Once you get that first sale out of the way, the rest follow easily. Two years ago I wouldn’t have thought of selling anything and now I can say I’m well accomplished in selling my items. I’m no longer afraid of charging what my talent and time are worth. Two years ago wouldn’t have dreamed of making patterns and today I have 25 patterns of my own that had I let doubt win, I wouldn’t be sharing with you. If I can do it, so can YOU!!
Have fun doing what you love and remember that it’s all about believing in YOU and the rest is easy!

 

Check out this detailed blog on how to price your items and make money doing so.

Formula for pricing your work

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

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Imagine this: a beautiful jewelry studio, a soldering station, an anvil on a nice old worn wooden stump, a handmade jewelry bench, and on top of all this lie piles of finished pieces. Behind the bench sits a jeweler who has yet to sell a single one of her creations. What’s holding this talented artisan back? From my years of listening to your stories, putting a price on your work is one of the most intimidating first steps to selling, and delays many from opening their shop. I’m here to share my favorite pricing formula with you, and to break it down so you have the confidence to get out there and sell!

Know the Formula

Here’s my favorite formula:

Materials + Labor + Expenses + Profit = Wholesale x 2 = Retail

I picked this up from the amazing Megan Auman. What I love about this formula is that your profit is properly accounted for!

Now let’s go through every part of this formula and break it down.

Materials

Make sure to cover all your material fees. Often forgotten: the little things like the cost of thread, and the bigger things like the cost of packaging. If you’re going to “guesstimate,” err on the higher side!

Labor

If someone wanted to hire you and they offered you $7 an hour, what would you think of that deal? Be a good boss to yourself and do a bit of research. How much does a seamstress make in San Francisco? Find Out! (Also remember, you’re probably more than a seamstress – you are the designer, the marketing department, the accountant, the janitor, and the administrative assistant, too.)

Expenses

Bubble wrap, that ebook  purchased at 3 a.m., studio rent, bus passes required to make it to the studio every day, a new scale for your shipping station. How the heck can you fit all these things into the price of a single item?

Here’s a  way to do that:

  1. Jot down every expense you can think of — for example, include your Etsy fees, office supplies, rent or utilities.
  2. Next, come up with the number of items you’d like to sell a month. Divide that number into the total expenses.

Tip: Start doing two things to help you come up with an even more exact price:

  1. Track your expenses carefully so you can come back to this as you learn more about selling! I suggest trying out Outright – a free online accounting tool.
  2. Start figuring out the big investments. How many items can you get out of that sewing machine? How long will that postage printer last before it needs to be replaced?

Profit

Think hard: where do you want this business to go? Do you want to quit your day job? Do you want to pay off a student loan? Accounting for profit now will help you get there. This number really depends on what you are selling, and will make up for someone like a printmaker, whose material costs are low, labor hours might be low, but should be paid for their unique talent and point of view! I leave this up to you. I’m trusting you here — don’t disappoint me with a low ball number!

Bringing It All Together

All right, this gets us to our wholesale price. Some of you might wonder if you can use the wholesale price in your Etsy shop. Wouldn’t this be a a great way to offer your work at an affordable price? No, no, no. Here’s why I’m going to beg you to double your wholesale price and sell your work at a true retail price:

  1. Selling your work at a wholesale rate undervalues those who price their work at the proper retail price. When the majority of sellers in a category price their work thoughtfully, the entire category benefits.
  2. Customers will wonder, “Why?” Why is your work so much lower than everyone else? Is it because it’s not handmade? Is it because you’re using cheaper materials? Your price tells a story: make that story a good one!
  3. You’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. Let’s say a big catalog reaches out to you and says, “We’d like to buy 100 of these items! Please let us know what your wholesale prices are.” This is a big opportunity; an opportunity you can’t afford to take.

Did you just come up with a price that you are sure the market won’t respond to? Here’s the trick: if the item is priced too high for the market, it’s not the price you need to alter, it’s the design or the way you produce your work. Get creative and see how you can adjust the item to reduce your costs. Can you buy your materials discounted in bulk? Can you produce the work in multiples, reducing the labor? Don’t take the easy way out by slashing your prices.

Remember, the right prices will allow you to reach your small business goals.

And there you have it. The most important part of pricing your work is to BELIEVE you and your work are good enough. You are unique in every aspect so don’t let anyone ever tell you your work isn’t good enough.

Let me know in the comments how this helped you and feel free to share it with everyone.

See you soon.

Live. Laugh. Crochet.

Tulle Head Piece

Ever since I decided to start shooting glamour photography, I’ve been inspired to do new things. I’m crafty to begin with but this might be my first non crochet related creation. After watching Sue Bryce and her amazing head pieces, I decided to give it a go and this is what I came up with.

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Here it is being used.

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And of course I had to make a matching tutu skirt :)

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It was my first time trying so I didn’t document it. After posting it on the group and having someone ask me how I did it, I decided to make another one.  DSC_0573

Of course, once I got the hang of it, I needed to try other things and this is the other one :) So below are the directions to make one of these head pieces.

Materials

Tulle color of choice ( I used beige) give or take 5 yards
Flower bud or bloom
Felt
Scissors
Glue gun
Needle & Thread
Large Berrette
Butterfly(optional)

Cut a big circle, about CD size. Cut about four strips of tulle and tie one end. Place a dab of glue on the center of the circle, then place the knot on top of it. Twist the tulle as you go on a circular motion, adding little dabs of glue to hold it in place.

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Once you have completed the circle, put the end at the back of the circle and glue it.

Grab about two yards of tulle and fold it in half. In a cascading effect, fold them in layers.

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Pinch the center and sew it.

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Once you have sewn it, add enough glue to the center. Add the fabric leaves so there’s one on each side(Add the plastic leaves if you have them)

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Now place the rosette on top of the leaves leaving room so it’s not covering them. Place flower bud just above the tulle rosette. Then add the butterfly on top of the rosette(optional)DSC_0567

Cut a piece of felt the same size as the berrette and glue it. Once glue has dried, place a good amount of glue on the berrette and place it on the rosette.

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And you’re done! Let me know if you get to make any of these. The sky is the limit. Let your imagination fly!

Project of the Week: Multicolor Hearts

 Instructions:

 

Foundation Chain: Multiples of 13 + 1

Techniques used in this stitch (British term / American term):

Chain stitch – ch

Slip stitch – sl.st

Double crochet / Single crochet – dc / sc

Half treble / Half double crochet – h.tr / h.dc

Treble / Double crochet – tr / dc

Double treble / Treble – d.tr /tr

Stitch – st

Row 1: Skip 3ch, 1tr/dc in each of the next 4ch, work 1tr/dc + heart: 1tr/dc in next st, 7ch,

skip 2ch and work 1sl/st in each of the next 5ch, 1ch.

Continue work on opposite side: skip 2 st,1dc/sc in next, 1h.tr / h.dc, 1tr/dc.

Then work in last st: 4d.tr / tr + 4ch + sl.st + 4ch, continue work on opposite side in the same last st: 4d.tr/tr.

Then make 1tr/dc in next st, 1h.tr/h.dc, 1dc/sc and sl.st in ch.

Insert hook into two loops of dc/sc and work sl.st.

* 1tr/dc in each of the next 12ch, 1tr/dc + heart; rep from *, 1tr/dc in each of the next 6ch, turn.

Row 2: 3ch, 1tr/dc in each of the next tr/dc below, 1tr/dc in 3rd ch, turn.

Row 3: 3ch, 1tr/dc in each of the next 5tr/dc below, make joining of the heart: turn, drop the loop from your hook, insert your hook through 2 loops of sl.st, grab the dropped loop with your hook

and pull it through the stitch, turn.

*1tr/dc in each of the next 5tr/dc below, 1tr/dc + heart, 1tr/dc in each of the next 7tr/dc below, make joining of the heart; rep from *, 1tr/dc in each of the next 5tr/dc below, 1tr/dc in 3rd ch, turn.

Row 4: 3ch, 1tr/dc in each of the next tr/dc below, 1tr/dc in 3rd ch, turn.

Row 5: 3ch, 1tr/dc in each of the next 4tr/dc below, 1tr/dc + heart, * 1tr/dc in each of the next 6tr/dc below, make joining of the heart, 1tr/dc in each of the next 6tr/dc below, 1tr/dc + heart; rep from *, 1tr/dc in each of the next 5tr/dc below, 1tr/dc in 3rd ch, turn.

Repeat rows 2 – 5 until you have reached your desired length.

Colors & rows: 1 – light pink, 2 & 3 – dark pink, 4 & 5 – white, 6 & 7 – light pink, 8 & 9 – dark pink, 10 – 18 white.

 

 

 

Friday Feature: Tunisian Crochet

 

Hello fellow hookers!

It’s #FF again! This week feature blog is Tunisian Crochet. Just like the name says, check out her blog for all about tunisian. Make sure to leave her some love. I’m sure you’ll find yourself inspired with all her beautiful designs.

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Stary tuned for next week’s feature. Remember to share the love and to leave a comment if you make this project.

Live. Love. Laugh. Crochet.

Have you heard of the “Crocheting Blues”

Hello all!!

Have you ever heard of the “Crocheting Blues”? No? Are you sure??? I think you have! It’s that period (short, long and OMG what am I going to do?) of time when you’re in a crochet block and no, not those kinds of blocks!!
I had the “Crocheting Blues” the other day for like TWO days straight! Can you believe it? Two days without touching my hooks and yarn! That was not fun at all. But I just couldn’t bring myself to make anything. For some reason, my inspiration just went poof and left me :(.

Thank God for Pinterest! It only took me a couple of hours to restore it to its original place and voilà! I picked up my yarn and hook and started crocheting again. I actually came up with a series of new patterns that I’m sure you’ll enjoy.There are still in the developing phases so no photos yet. 

After curing myself of the blues, this is what I did =0) My first fingerless gloves and a hat to match them! Let me know what you think.

 

Tips for getting rid of the “Crocheting Blues”:

#1 Take a step back. Sometimes too much yarn (GASP) can be overwhelming and you just need to put the hook and yarn down.

#2 If that doesn’t work, take a walk outside even if it’s for just five minutes. The fresh air will clear your head from all the yarn webs and allow new ideas to flow.

#3 Pinterest! Pinterest! Pinterest! When all else fails, Pinterest! You’ll find that browsing through it will let your creativity resurface and you’ll create gorgeous new projects!!

There you have it! Getting rid of the “Crocheting Blues” when they creep up on you without notice!

Would you know what to do when it happens to you?

It’s when you have all these gorgeous balls of yarn, your favorite hook and pattern yet you don’t know what to crochet or simply don’t feel like crocheting. It’s all coming back to you now, isn’t it?

Live. Love. Laugh. Crochet.

Project of the Week: Big Flower

Hey there!

I hope you enjoyed last week’s stitch. If you haven’t seen it, check it out Here.

This week’s stitch is this fabulous flower by Daysy Cottage Designs and it’s a beauty! The possibilities for this flower are endless. You can put it in just about anything to give it a springy touch and give life to your projects.

If you do make this flower make sure to share it with me by leaving a comment or a photo. Also, make sure to thank Daisy for this wonderful flower.

Until next week!

Live. Love. Laugh. Crochet.

Materials:

  • H crochet hook
  • Small amounts of worsted weight yarn in 3 colors (I used 100% cotton)
  • Tapestry needle for weaving ends

This crochet flower measures approximately 5.5″ in diameter (without the leaves).

Directions: 

With your first color, ch 3.

Round 1: Work 12 dc in the first chain. Sl st in the top of the first dc (not into ch). Ch 2. (12)

Round 2: *2 dc in each stitch* around. Sl st in the top of the first dc. Ch 2. (24)

Round 3: Skip one stitch, sc in the next stitch. *ch 2, skip 1, sc in the next* 10 times. ch 2, skip 1, sl st in the first ch 2 space made in this round. Cut yarn and weave ends. (12 chain 2 spaces made)

Round 4: Join your second color yarn with a slip stitch in any of the ch 2 spaces. Ch 6. dc in the third chain from hook, dc in the next three chains. Sl st in the same ch 2 space. *Sl st in the next ch 2 space, ch 6. dc in the third chain from hook, dc in the next three chains. Sl st in the same ch 2 space* around. You should now have your fist layer of petals (12 of them).

Now it’s time to make the second layer of petals behind the first.

Round 5: Sl into the ch 2 space from round 3, ch 3. *Sl st into the next ch 2 space from round 3, ch 3* around. End with a sl st into the first ch 3 space. (12 ch 3 spaces made)

Round 6: ch 6, dc in the third chain from hook, dc in the next three stitches. Sl st in the same ch 3 space. *Sl st in the next ch 3 space. Ch 6, dc in the third chain from hook, dc in the next three chains. Sl st in the same ch 3 space* around. You should now have a second layer of petals showing between the petals of the previous round. Cut yarn and weave ends.  (12 petals made.)Another beautiful flower crochet pattern from Daisy Cottage Designs

Leaf:

Ch 10.

Row 1: hdc in the second ch. dc in the next 2 chains. tr in the next 3 chains. dc in the next 2 chains. hdc in the last chain. ch 2.

Don’t turn your work. You will be working the other side of the leaf now.

Row 2: hdc in the first stitch (so you’ll be hdc in the base of the hdc you just made). dc in the next 2 stitches. tr in the next 3 stitches. dc in the next 2 stitches. hdc in the next. ch 2. sl st in the top of the hdc on the other side of the leaf. Cut yarn and weave ends.

 

Project of the Week: Diamond Trellis

Hey there!

Since I’m relaunching my site, I’ve been thinking about ways to make it fun, informational, inspiring and well, yarny 😀 I’ve decided that I’ll be doing a stitch of the week post for all of you to try and make something new.

I’m always looking forward to learning new stitches. So, looking at my favorite inspirational site, Pinterest, I found this pretty cool stitch called Diamond Trellis. The cool thing about it, is that Make My Day Creative has written AND video tutorial on how to make it. Pretty neat, huh?

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I will definitely be trying this stitch and see what I can come up with. If you do anything with it, make sure to leave me a message and a pic.

Stay tuned for next week’s stitch.

Live. Love. Laugh. Crochet.

Friday Feature: Cream of the Crop Crochet

Hey all!

As part of my site relaunch, I want to feature each Friday one of my favorite blogs. These are some very talented ladies that I want you all to get to know in case you don’t know them already. And if you do know them, well, then you know how awesome they are!

Today’s feature is Brie from Cream of the Crop Crochet. If you’re looking for new things to make, she’s sure to awaken your inspiration.

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Stay tuned for next week’s #FridayFeature. Until then…

Live. Love. Laugh. Crochet.

Ooops…Look what happened!

Hey there!

Have you ever grabbed your yarn and hook with the intention of making…I don’t know, coasters. But THEN as you crochet around you realize that the stitches you are using would look awesome on anything other than a coaster?

Well, that’s what happened to me. I intended to make coasters for the beautiful flower vases hubby had gotten me. As I tried a stitch I’ve been playing around with, I decided to make the coaster into a hat.

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The stitch pattern was looking really nice so I didn’t want to “waste” it on a coaster, lol. As my mind was now racing with this new pattern idea, my fingers were working faster to see how this unintended hat was going to look like.

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Needless to say that I was very pleased with my final product! Now my only concern was how to actually write a pattern that people would be able to follow :/ If you’re anything like me, I get all these crazy ideas of patterns that sound so cool in my head. But when it comes to putting them on paper? Well, let’s just say that more often than not they don’t exactly translate the same.

I did end up making those coasters though. I figured I owed it to my flowers to have something pretty to sit on 😉

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In conclusion, not everything you intend to crochet works out. However, when we let our imagination go, amazing things happen.

Happy hooking!

Live. Love. Laugh. Crochet.