So…. I am ruminating on how prices are created.
Particularly, how we as creatives value ourselves when we compare to the market.
We see materials, things, stuff at markets, malls, shops, stores all over the country, day and night, that are pushed in front of your faces ON SALE, LIMITED QUANTITY, BUY NOW, or conveniently placed under you nose at the check out. These items are made to last a month maybe two. They are hastily produced, with cheap materials. but they are here, there, everywhere to supply your every need – even needs you did not know you had.
How do we makers complete? We create something, and want to sell it, but we are not able to sell our art at the costs that have been supplied by the big box stores and chain stores scattered across our landscape.
How can we acknowledge our VALUE, our WORTH? The value we place on our creations for sale is somewhat reflective of us makers valuing ourselves and our time. To undercut our creations is to devalue our expertise.
I am never going to make something that you will get for $7.99 like that one thing your friend or that cool chick got at Clair’s or Target. Its not going to happen. When I create something and decide that I am going to *try* to sell it (read make it available to be purchased – no single item actually selling is ever for sure) I have to take into account a few basic things:
- raw material cost
- tooling/equipment investment
- time to produce
- education /skills investment
- personal vision
All of these things work together when you purchase something that has been handmade.
This is not 1 item of 32,000 almost identical pieces made enmasse by small hands on the other side of the world for pennies on the dollar, trucked/boated/flown all over the world consuming nonrenewable resources and packaged in materials that are not easily recycled (Who saves those little plastic connectors to recycle them? Or the little clips that keep attire flat in shipping? WHO???)
The price you see reflects someone (me) looking at the raw goods, tooling, time it took to create this 1 of a kind item all piled up in some basic math. Even if I set the price to pay myself minimum wage for the hours of creation, it would be way too much. The cost you see is me undercutting the state and federal minimum wage because I love to knit, I love to make things, I love to see others take joy in things I have made and I hope you also see that the worth and value is reflective of these things.
Please keep this in your head next time you want to buy something hand made and start to cringe a the cost. If you cannot afford it, appreciate the art and move on. If you REALLY want to find a way to acquire something out of your price range, barter/trade options sometimes work. You cannot know till you ask. Also, help your local artist. Spread the word! Maybe your bosses friend CAN afford a particular piece and this enables artists to continue producing. Eventually you will have something amazing because your fave artist is still making beautiful, stunning, rocking, shocking, bold, different things.
Like a mantra: Buy Local, Support your community and its farmers/artisans/service folks. They are invested in what they do and what they make/sell.
Thanks for listening – Now go spread the news and have a freaking amazeballz day.
While you are out and about…..
Go hug a homeless person.
Get some grub from a farmers market
Volunteer at a shelter
Do good stuff – It has value – even if you don’t spend $$ on it.
With Love and Pyramid Studs – Sundaze
Along with all this, I am building a revolution of Passive Anarchy.
Come join me… Click here: —-> Hell yeah! I’m In!
Hashtag #kNiTpUnK and/or #PassiveAnarchy so I can find you on the interwebz