…building a creative business: pricing

I know pricing is a big concern for us. We put so much work into creating, marketing and selling. We need to make sure we are making money for our efforts or else we will get burned out. It’s kinda like caring for your baby. At the end of the long, exhausting day we need to see a drooling smile to rejuvenate us and help us do it all again the next day. How about these three little rules that have helped me.

1. Factor in your materials.

Materials are expensive so make sure that when you are pricing out your product to factor these into your cost.


2. Know your market.

Make sure that you know what your product sells for IN YOUR AREA. If you price too high then people may opt for a different shop to save money. Chances are there are many people out there doing what you are doing and we are all looking for a good price when we buy items. However, if you are too low, shoppers may also think that your item is not as…”special”. I know that if I buy a shirt from my favorite shop I am going to treat it better than if I buy something in Target on my way to pick up the wet cat food. There is room for experimentation here.


3. Pay yourself.

By this I mean labor. Oh, the labor! I don’t have a formula for factoring in my time, but I know that I put a lot of effort into my work when I could be finishing up a book or chatting with neighbors. I could be napping for goodness sake! Be sure you give yourself a percentage that is not the materials, marketing or raw piece you may use (if painting).

I love you so much for turning your creative talent into a business! You are amazing and you are meant to make money from all your work.



  1. Lorraine Desrosiers says:

    Hi Christen, make price, it’s tuff! If it’s to high, people don’t buy and if it’s to low, we work for nothing. Tank You for your help.
    Lorraine (sorry for my english, I’m french canadian

  2. love this article! what kind of a percentage do you pay yourself usually? do you double what you bought the product for? ex..if you bought a piece for say, $50 and it is a beautiful dresser or desk that you refinished…what would you charge? i know it is area dependent….thanks so much!

  3. Christen is right when she said know your area. I live in a rural area in the mid west where painted furniture is not real popular, yet. I recently purchased an antique dresser for $50, have it listed in my consignment shop for $150. After the small commission of 10%, I will still have a nice profit, and someone will have a nicely painted, shabby chic dresser. I use a DIY chalk paint recipe.

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