Ah, I'm finished. I haven't shared, but I've been tatting my fingers to the bone the last few days to finish one of my most interesting custom orders to date. I made a total of 72 inches of lace in the same pattern as this choker. I'm told this lace will adorn sleeves and a scarf edge and after all this work, I really should ask to see the finished garment, but I don't want to impose. Anyway, the reason I bring this up is, it got me thinking about pricing again. I know that many creators have a devil of a time pricing goods and I think I might know where the problem is coming from now.
I knew that it was going to take many, many hours to create this order of lace, so despite a small discount for being such a large order, I priced the lace accordingly and I assumed my customer would balk at the price and the request would be rescinded. I was pleasantly surprised to be told that the price was fair. As I completed the project and held all this lace in my hand, I thought, man I wouldn't pay that much for this. And there it is, right there, our whole problem! Of course we wouldn't pay that much for our products because we can make them, but we are not our target audience.
Okay, so here's my comparison. I don't sell my knitting anymore, but I have mad knitting skills. When I go to a craft fair, I take one look at the prices on knitted scarves and I laugh, not because they are over priced, but because I would never pay that much for one. I can make that scarf and I'm not just one of those people who just says that, I really can. I however take a look at the prices for metal worked jewelry and think wow, I wish I could afford that. See, I have no skills in that area so I would pay a premium for it. Here's another example, my husband is a computer tech, I know so is yours probably, but I digress. He fixes and updates all our computers without a second thought and he also works on the side for a few select folk on occasion. He had a really hard time decided how much to charge for his work too, because he would never pay someone to fix his computer he really didn't know how much his skill was worth to others.
It's always hard to step out of our skin and look at our goods as if we didn't know how to make them. My 72 inches of lace looked so amazing as I was wrapping it in tissue, like something imported from an exotic land, every knot made by hand one at a time. It is worth the price paid for it even if I would never pay that much for it. Perhaps we just need a fresh set of eyes every once and a while to remind us that while we are surrounded at etsy with other creators, it's not like that everywhere. Our concentrated numbers online has blinded us to a general population that does not actually create things everyday. It's easy to forget that not everyone knits, throws pottery, paints, tats, lathes, crochets, solders or sews as a hobby or for a living. We are still few and we have every right to charge what we're worth. So forget what you would pay for your goods and think about what you would pay for mine or for something else you don't make. Then maybe you can start to attach a real value to your pieces. It is, after all, all about perception.