Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Creative Musings

I know it's Wednesday, and it's supposed to be Artists Answer, but I've decided to make Artists Answer every other Wed. I think it will be easier on me and easier on the artists that I'm bugging loving.
So, today, I've decided instead to deal with some creative issues that have arrived recently.

It all started this week when I received a convo from an admirer. Let me say this person was very respectful and kind, but I was given a lot to think about by what was said.
After complementing my work this person went on to say that I could be selling my work for a lot more money and that I should be paying myself for my time, that if I valued my time and work, so would others, and that I should at least be giving myself $10/hr.  
This didn't hurt my feelings or upset me at all, but I wondered if the implication was that I must not value my work to price it the way I do.

Now, here's where I confess a few things:
1. I think I'm slighty ADD, meaning I don't like to work on a project for more than like two or three hours. One hour is ideal.
2. I make mostly small pieces as a result of #1.
3. Big confession here: It takes me only about 45 min. to create a Carnaval Pendant. (an hour if you include picking out beads and making cording for pendant to hang on.)
4. I am paying myself $10/hr., it just so happens that I'm getting a lot done in an hour!

The comment was also made that sometimes raising the price of your products can also attract a higher clientele and that I could be selling more as a result.
But, I don't feel right raising the price of something just because I can.
I price things based on my time/cost of materials/fees/shipping (because shipping is free in my shop).

I remember a long time ago watching Isaac Mizrahi on Oprah, back when he started his Target line. He said that it had always been a dream of his to create fashion for "every" woman. One day, he said that he woke up and realized that the only woman who could afford to purchase his work made up just a small percentage of the population which was why he approached Target to start a line.

Now, I know I'm not Isaac Mizrahi, but I really like to think my things are affordable because I work to make them that way, not cheap, but affordable. I think handmade shouldn't mean ripped-off.

I dunno, a lot to think about, no? What do you guys think?

Oh, by the way, I finished this Pretty and Petite Ring yesterday. I'm crazy about how the bead embroidery looks like a bezel! It's so exciting when unplanned things occur...


  1. I love very much what you do and I am eager to discover your new jewelry each time I come here. Do you think to do the pattern for your Esmeralda ring and sold it in your Etsy shop or do you plan to publish it in Beadwork as your color swirls?

    Catherine from France, Br├ętigny

  2. I dont't know how the conversation came about with the person, however, pricing is really a personal thing. There are seveal formulas one can use for pricing but if you are happy with what you are doing then let it be.

  3. la verdad Marcie,yo pienso que prefiero que mis piezas sean mas asequibles a la gente que subir su precio.Si realizo este trabajo es porque me gusta crear y me realiza hacerlo,y mi mayor satisfaccion es cuando veo a la gente que lo luce y eso me hace sentir orgullosa por ello.
    Creo que cada uno sabe valorar mejor que nadie su trabajo,su creatividad y sus metas.
    Que sepas que yo adoro tus trabajos!!!

  4. Concuerdo 100% contigo en todo. A mi me hace super feliz saber que una pieza mia es adquirida y valorada por una persona. Ese es mi mayor recompensa.

  5. Oh if you are comfortable with you prices then stick with them! They are very affordable for such one of a kind pieces and their value is knowing they were handmade by a wonderful person who wouldn't dream of ripping off a customer. I love your work and in a perfect world I would buy each and every piece! I also love that you make tutorials for those of us who do like to make our own pieces. I will be one of those customers soon!


  6. You should check out Lorelei's blog today [Talk is Cheap]...she just knocked $10 off every piece in her store - she said some had 500 views and 18 heats - maybe you could approach the admirer's comment in a different way. If it is all about pricing (which it isn't) and raising prices will attract more people willing to pay more (this is what I got out of the message), perhaps you could have a handful of triple-fully loaded know, the big pieces (the 2-3 hrs pieces)that you would price higher. Maybe this would satisfy all sides of the issue.

  7. I was actually thinking the same thing amiga.

  8. I think at the end of the day if you are happy with the prices you are setting then that is what is most important. You can price your pieces reasonably and sell them or you can set them at the high end of the scale and they might sit in your store forever.

    I think whatever makes you happy is what you should do.

    I am with Kristen... if I had the money I'd be buying lots of your beautiful pieces so am happy to see you keep the prices down!!

    By the way have you/are you releasing a pattern for the Stellar pendant?


  9. People tell me all the time that I sell my jewelry too cheaply. I love seeing someone wearing one of my pieces.

    And isn't that the point? To create, do what you love and hope someone will love it as much as you do.

    If my prices were too high, my pieces would all be collecting dust.

    Go with what you think is best for YOU.

  10. It all depends on your objectives, Marcie...why are you selling? Hobby or business?

    The price point is usually the most obvious sign as to whether an artist is a hobbyist or a professional...someone who sells purely for fun and to make a few extra dollars to keep the hobby going, or someone who makes their living by selling.

    Even if you are only a hobbyist, when you create jewellery to sell, you have to buy your supplies, design the jewellery, create the jewellery, photograph/list/promote your work, package it beautifully, and have fuel in your car so you can drive to the post office to send it when it sells! And you're willing to do ALL of that for how much???!!!

    Honestly, I always thought you were selling yourself short, Marcie. Your workmanship is fantastic and your designs are beautiful. If your pieces only take you an hour to make, that's great! But know your worth as an artist...even if you are only a hobbyist ;-)

  11. I'm with you, girl. I've had a few people tell me to charge in excess of $250 for some of my bags. But it just seems a little odd to me at the moment.

    Love the pictures, btw.

  12. Thanks for getting back to me about the Stellar pendant... I can't wait!


  13. I need to say I tend to agree a little bit with Belinda. Don't get me wrong - I love your prices - lower make me buy more. But I think I would still want to get some when they were more expensive. I think your Work is so gorgeous, people would not be scared off if the pieces were $10 more expensive.