Friday, November 11, 2011

Pricing: What goes into an item?

Oodles of blog posts, written by other people, exhaust the topic of pricing in the handmade industry, so I don’t plan on making this a long post. My goal in this post is to show you what goes into making an apron, my best-selling item.

Step 1: Cut out the fabric. 5 minutes
  • An apron is 6 pieces: Two neck straps, two waist ties, a pocket and the apron body.
Step 2: Prepare neck straps & waist ties. 10 minutes
  • Fold under one short end of each strap & tie, press
  • Then fold each piece in half twice, press both times
  • Attach velcro to neck straps
  • Sew neck straps & waist ties
  • Add tag to one waist tie
Step 3: 5 minutes
  • Finish all raw edges of apron and pocket with the serger, adding the straps in their appropriate places.
Step 4: 15 minutes
  • Prepare apron & pocket for hemming. This means I stand behind my hot iron, turning up each finished edge to form a straight hem. I also miter the corners that can be mitered. 
Step 5: 10 minutes
  • Topstitch along the top edge of the pocket.
  • Place & pin the pocket in the appropriate location on apron.
  • Sew pocket down.
  • Hem apron along all the edges I pressed down.
  • Fold nicely and put finished apron in my stockpile.
So the time it takes me to make one apron after a few years of practice is 45 minutes. I wish I knew a way to make it faster, but I don't think it's possible!

Other things that I include in my pricing are:
  • Cost of machines & equipment (computer, camera, serger, embroidery machine, sewing machine, printer)
  • Materials (fabric, velcro, magnetic snaps, etc.)
  • Advertising cost (Etsy fees, business cards, any craft fair fees)
  • Taxes (ugh)
  • PayPal Fees
  • Time for non-production things: Photographing items, answering emails, listing items, planning, ordering fabric, etc.
So if you do the math, you can see that a lot goes in to making an item. I hope this sheds better light on the handmade process and why prices are sometimes higher than you'd expect. We (crafters/artists) are not people who have production lines in China, able to spit out 50 items in one hour that cost $1. We are people who work in our homes, doing what we do because we love it and want to share it with others! Nothing makes us happier than sharing our talents with you!

1 comment:

  1. It only takes you 5 minutes to cut out fabric!!! I can dream that I will some day be that fast.