…Building a Business: Pricing

Pricing is not easy and if you’ve asked anyone in a creative business they will probably tell you the same thing. How can you put a price on something so personal? How do you know what the market can bear? If you are starting out, what are people willing to pay? Do I include my time-spent initally? Materials? Cost?

What I never fully understood about business and furniture in particular before starting Blue Egg Brown Nest, was that there was a major cost involved with each project I was to work on.

IMG_8521

I had to spend time finding a piece, pay for the piece, pay for materials (paint, brushes, rags, space, wax, dark wax), pay to have it moved to my home, and spend the time completing and marketing the finished product. Whew! So sorry, dear friends, about not being able to give pieces away for free – that would mean at least $200/$300 out of my pocket for cost and probably more than that depending on the piece. Did. Not. Understand. That. At. First.

IMG_2942

I think if I was going to offer a bit of advice on the subject of pricing, the best strategy for me is to shop. Go out there and find items that are similar to yours online and in stores. Check out Etsy and markets and even retail. What is your product going for?

Second, how well do people know you. That does have alot to do with it because people want to know that you have a quality product and good reputation so that they will feel comfortable about paying the price you ask. This is getting a bit more easy with sites like Etsy because you can post images and do a bio – your marketing will be what catches the buyer’s eye and convinces them that you are quality.

IMG_0858

Standards. Like in dating, people will rise to the standard that you set. This means that you don’t want to give away your product for next to nothing. Buyers want to feel as though they’ve purchased something of value. I don’t know about you, but I treat the my Tori Burch handbag much nicer than the little clutch I bought from Old Navy. Same thing. I feel like you need to add value to your items by setting a price that exudes quality. Of course, it’s a fine line because you need to be realistic. Once you are more well-known for your craft you can adjust your prices accordingly. For example, when I first started out, I did not factor in my time spent. I didn’t feel like I had the right to do that. Now I feel as though if I am taking away time from my family and working really hard, then I should factor that in. Pricing is fluid and you may find yourself adjusting from year to year. Just don’t do too much or your client will get mad at you.

IMG_9083

Play. If you have a one-of-a-kind, amazing creation/piece/project that you’ve completed, play with pricing it high and let it sit. The higher you price pieces, the less inquiries you will get. BUT, it just takes that one perfect fit and it’s worth the wait if you have the space to hold your piece. Then price pieces that are a bit easier for you to create at a lower number. Things may sell quicker if you price lower, but that does mean you will have to work harder and faster to keep up with demand. This may be okay for some. For me, I want to also have time for my family & for myself and, frankly, I don’t want to work like a dog.

IMG_8447

As my DT (dear therapist) says, it’s all about balance. If you are looking to make a real profit, you will need to work hard and spend alot of time. If you are doing it out of enjoyment, then you can play a bit more with pricing. Just please make sure that you factor in YOUR own costs and recoop then. Otherwise, the process if going to become very frustrating. At the end of the day it is not about the profit and if it is, you probably shouldn’t be doing something so personal & creative to make your money. Have integrity in what you are doing by respecting it’s value. You many not become rich, but you will feel good about carrying on to your next piece and building your business.

IMG_8082

 

 

 

…stifel & capra

I’m happy to announce today that I will be selling a few pieces at Stifel & Capra in Falls Church. Dear Teresa & her sweet, spice-making DH Bob have welcomed me into their eclectic, vintage, artsy, hip shop. Yes, it’s the big, white house-shop on the corner of Broad St.

IMG_4778

 

IMG_4777

I did my very first showing at her Holiday Market about 2 years ago. And my dear friend, Liz, bought my first painted piece at the show!

Image 11

Of course it was a family affair.

IMG_4824

I know quite a few of you have asked where to get started selling. An indoor/outdoor, holiday or summer craft show is a great way to test the waters.

Come on in and see the shop! Along with lots of treasure, you will find Cece Caldwell Paint available. Colors are a bit different than Annie Sloan, but there is a huge range. It’s also a completely green product, eco-friendly & non-toxic. I’m excited to try them out in the near future and posting. I already picked up some Memphis Blue to experiment with.

P.S. I will still be selling pieces from my website, my Etsy shop, Luckett’s Spring Market & Chartreuse Market Days.…and refinishing custom pieces from my home of course.

P. P. S. Happy Snow Day!

 

 

…Favorite Things Friday – Helkat Design

Helkat Design is one of my most favorite shops on Etsy! I think I have about 6 pillows from Helkat. Helen lives in the UK and prints vintage English images on burlap pillows in all different shapes.

Check out some of the ones I’ve purchased for my own home:

Boxing rabbits

More boxing rabbits 🙂

Can’t get enough Union Jack! I actually own 3 of these pillows so I can enjoy one in each room.

Reasonably priced for a British treat!

http://www.etsy.com/people/helkatdesign

While you are on Etsy, check out my new shop (http://www.etsy.com/people/cbensten). More on that next week once I’m a bit more organized!