21 May 2013

More sewing kits - and a note on pricing

The tape-measure fabric seems totally appropriate!

Trying out the pieced-cover idea used in the Binders Keepers
Pricing is always a problem, isn't it - not too high or no-one will buy, not too low either - the low "perceived value" will make people not want it either, it's just not desirable if it's not "worth something". So, you need some good marketing talk to make the item desirable and worth buying. As for affordable, people will convince themselves they can afford something if they want it badly enough ... they will convince themselves they "need" it. 

The Binders Keepers sold at the book fair for £15, and at the open studio they and the sewing kits will be the same price. If/when I do the Etsy thing, it will be £20, to take into account the extra costs.

Is this an adequate pay-per-hour return? If I could get quicker at selecting fabrics, it would be! The sewing part goes very quickly now that I've had some practice. It's the fabric selection - the "creative" part - that takes the time, especially as it includes so many fabrics, some of which are scarp-sized, from my stash. 

But I don't look on making these small items as "work" in the drudgery sense - it give me a chance to catch up with radio and tv via the bbc iplayer, in the background, without feeling I'm totally wasting time. Also they are a project and even perhaps an example of structured procrastination - something to do while my subconscious is incubating the inclination to get on with a Proper Art Project.

All this may ignore the important issues of market value, income maximization, recognition of the value of craft-directed labour, and probably one or two other things I'm ignorant of.


irenemacwilliam said...

There is also the problem when pricing textiles not to put too low a value on work, otherwise we will make it impossible for students and others who have to support themselves by making and selling textile work from teacosies and bags and Binders Keepers to wall pieces and bed quilts. Irene

Margaret Cooter said...

Low value is definitely a problem, Irene - this has been called the hobby model of pricing (in contrast to the business model). The business model would take development and material costs - and overheads - into account in setting the price. The price I'm working with now doesn't include these, but does pay me more than minimum wage if only sewing time is taken into account.

To use an art model, if I made "an edition" using the very same fabrics for, say, 10 sewing kits, and could sell all of those, it would be reasonably lucrative, because the time to choose fabrics would be minimal. Perhaps that's a way forward - make a sample and if it sells, make another to the same specifications. But that would mean keeping enough of each of the fabrics for the "edition" - whereas one of my objectives is to use up fabric!