|my printed softies|
My husband tried to explain what goes in to making one monster, the time, the materials etc and that for the last 3 years my monsters had been sold for £18 each, but due to rising costs, they had just gone up to £20 each. My husband did a great job, but I so wish I had been there to speak to them so I could have talked them through the making process so they could appreciate what it takes to make a single monster.
I buy all my jumpers second hand either from charity shops, ebay, and occasionally boot fairs. You can't buy a lambswool jumper in a charity shop (well not the local ones to me) for less than £5. I have a rule that I'll never pay more than £10 for a jumper, but on average I'd say that one jumper would cost me £7 (this is a round figure). The size of the jumpers largely depends what can be made from each jumper. I buy jumpers more for their pattern and colour than their size, so If I'm lucky I could make 4 monsters from a big men's jumper, and maybe 2 from a small ladies jumper.
Each monster has button eyes and other features (mouth, scars etc) that are hand stitched with cotton threads. They are each stuffed with polyester toy stuffing and then machine sewn with polycotton threads. They also have a tag attached with my name on.
The hidden costs are the ones that are hard for people to understand. Time is a huge hidden cost. To make a monster, starts with a couple of wool jumpers which need to be cut before washing in the machine. They then need to be air dried and ironed before I can begin cutting the pattern. Then there is the time taken to actually make the monster, which on average can be made in an hour.
Other hidden costs (let's call them overheads shall we) is the cost of electricity - for the washing machine, iron, sewing machine, heating and lights.
Then there is the cost of paying for the craft fair, which depends on the size of the event and venue, and of course the cost of petrol to get there and back and parking charges. Let's not forget to add the time spent labelling and pricing the product (and packing and unpacking) and the time spent at the craft fair to sell the monsters that have been made. And then there is profit.
I know I'll never be rich because my profit margin is low, but I make this decision in order to actually sell my products in the first place. There is no point of having a lot of product that you just can't sell.
I have no doubt forgotten some costs here too.
When I've made a product I'll often show it to my husband as ask him what he would pay for it. He hates it when I do this, because even though he knows what goes into making something, his estimated price is always lower than what I think the item is worth.
A couple of people (other makers) told me that they thought my work was really well priced (i.e. probably too cheap), but then they understand what the real cost of making and selling is.
So, no. My items are not priced too highly, very much the opposite in fact.
Despite this, I did have a good couple of days of sales. The majority of my sales were for items of £10 or less. Times are hard for everyone at the moment, so I know it's always good to have items for £10 or so at the sales events I attend.
On a different note, if you haven't already, go and enter my fabric giveaway here. You can get your hands on a yard of any monda designed fabric from my shop completely free!