I got a convo today that got my grey matter whirling with questions, clarity and ideas, and since this is my personal blog, every once in a while I am going to get all diary on it.
This is one of those moments.
The general gist of the missive asked about the price of an already marked down item: could be marked down even further due to the fact that "mookaite isn't expensive" and the metal wasn't listed as sterling (it was in the tags, which aren't always what the eye is drawn to).?
This honest question got me thinking on the subject of price and the oversaturation of this particular style of jewelry on Etsy: it has some customers obviously thinking that perhaps those of us who are making a living from our stores are marking our pieces in a dishonest way to drive up our profits.
I don't buy my stones on the cheap: I want to offer something exceptional and rare as often as possible and I want to put it into a sterling setting that will last lifetimes.
I work very hard.
The price of a piece doesn't cover all the administrative work that goes into my business: the convos, the mailing, the promotion...
I am going for the long haul kind of bag/ring/belt/necklace/cuff.
I want archaeologists to find it in 500 years. Ok, perhaps that's a pipe dream, but still...
I have a formula I use with utter devotion: it means a fair price for the consumer and a fair hourly wage for me so that I can continue working in this medium in this way.
This is my joy, my life and my spiritual bread. When I am in the studio creating a piece, no matter if it is leather or silver, a little piece of my heart and soul are also mixed in with the fire, metal,stone, water, hide and hammering.
You the customer are receiving not only a well-crafted piece, but also my prayers, my Celine Dion vocal impressions (priceless, ya'll) and greatest wishes for the work: I pray for it to go to someone who will cherish it as much as I have in making it.
When selling jewelry or accessories it is so important to fairly assess the cost of your materials and the cost of your hourly labor. Even if this is a hobby, please honor yourself enough to compensate yourself for your time:
you are worth it.
Your creations are worth it.
The macrocosm of craft is worth it.