r ranson wrote:Thanks. I think it's going to be lovely. I've spent the last few months weaving something for everyone else, this I'm weaving for myself. It's my 12-day project.
The traditional holiday for spinners and weavers is the 12 days following Christmas, ending on January 6th, which is distaff day - the day the spinners go back to work. I like to spend those 12 days engaged in a major project to test my limits. Create something for me. One year, I carded by hand, spun, and knit an entire sweater. It was intense. This year, I don't have as many days off, so I'm doing a bit of the prep work in advance. I still have loads of spinning to do, so it's going to be a challenge to get it done in time. But fun!
Nicole Alderman wrote:
Personally, I've never spent more than $15 for a skein of yarn, and I only do that if I'm making something for a gift, like baby hats or scarves. (Added bonus to splurging on the "expensive" yarns for baby hats is that I always have some left over for my own uses, bwahahahaha!)
r ranson wrote:It's like a battle: Pricing what is fair to the creator but is also affordable to the consumer.
r ranson wrote:Here's a couple of writ-ups on how to price handspun yarn
The second one is a 50-yard skein of yarn and she comes up with the price of $40. But she's also making a very different style of yarn than I do.
r ranson wrote:I guess what I'm also saying is that I don't know if anyone else wants the kind of yarn I want.
Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
Was the $15 for a maybe 220 yard skein? (Google told me 220 yards might be average though a skein is by weight...) So would you pay double for twice as much albeit a thinner, stronger yarn?
Just getting a feel for the pricing thing.
Judith Browning wrote: I also found that I wasn't selling to my peers...my customers appreciated hand woven things and the novelty of my lifestyle but were not 'me'...especially when it came to handwoven jackets and ruanas and scarves.
I think the most important thing in selling hand crafted work is to tell your story ...on a tag, a sign or in person.
Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
I think the second one, in trying to price in the middle of what the market will bear, is really wise.
I just need to say that when folks say "I can't afford that" that's relative and subjective. Just yesterday, I heard a story about how this person A was "running out of money." Person A was telling this to businessperson B, in order to finagle a discount on B's services. Later, businessperson B heard that person A's version of "running out of money" meant they had slightly less to put aside for their children to go Harvard. Another example I've used repeatedly is someone who insisted to me that they could not afford to buy organic food though they vacationed in Cabo every year. And I've seen the reverse - people who really, truly are living hand-to-mouth, who found the capacity to pay for private Waldorf education for their kids, or who insisted on only supporting fair trade, organic practices. It's really a spectrum that we all can't help but have judgments about, and that varies widely in what could be considered "affordable."
Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
Which is to say that I recommend sidestepping the affordability question, if you can. It's not your place to fix the entire effing world.
r ranson wrote:
Looking at commercial yarn that is comparable to my handspun, my handspun is (currently) coming in about two to three times higher than the mass production stuff.
But I'm not sure if that's what I'm competing with?
I often wonder, if that yarn that got me started on this path came from locally sourced materials and made in my own hometown, would I have been willing to save up the money to buy it? I think yes because that's something I value.
Judith Browning wrote:I had some wandering thoughts in this area...
Marketing is always the most difficult part of craft production especially in the fiber arts. When I was weaving full time it was not the area that I wanted to spend much time but was so necessary.
Steve used to put the number of hours he spent on a coopered bucket tag rather than the price...it made for some interesting conversations and gave folks another way to look at his work.
Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:Every time I think of earning a living from making the art or craft products I'm capable of ... I start feeling very 'itchy' by the idea of 'pricing'!
I can think of all I have to calculate (time, materials, tools, rent, etc.). Then I think: I have to make some products first, to have something to show the potential customers. And then I have to advertise, otherwise nobody knows about my products. And I have to count the costs of the advertisements too ...
So my products must have a really high price, because of all those costs, and the value I added too ...
That's what makes me feel itchy. I don't want to ask such a high price! I just want to make things I like making. I don't want to make a shelf full of the same products, I am not a machine, I like making something different every time. And when I am doing what I like to do, I don't mind the costs and the time spent. If someone wants to have my product, that's nice! If that person wants to pay some money for it, that's okay, I'll take the money. But I do not like to think of the amount of money and I don't want to ask for it!
So ... I rather have a dull job to earn the needed money (or a social payment, or even better: an unconditional basic income, leaving me much more time) and do it as my 'hobby'. And then I can give my products to people I like (as gifts) ...
This hobby happens to help me feel rich, because I can make my own clothing and household textiles, in my own style, using natural materials. And because I spend my time on it I am not looking for the kind of amusement costing money without producing anything. Together with 'cooking from scratch' this hobby makes it possible for me to live with a low income and still have my savings. I can even afford to buy materials and food in the locally produced organic quality I like (though not all, because they don't exist all in that quality)!
I don't think everyone understands this. It's my choice. Maybe here in this thread on Permies some will understand it.
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