Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pricing your work

{via Etsy via Kelly Rae Roberts}

I'm a big fan of Kelly Rae Roberts. I adore her and her style, but most importantly I love her honesty, eloquence and humility on discussing topics that, as an artist, I find myself bumping up against on a frequent basis. 

One such topic is pricing you work. Etsy recently featured an overview of her thoughts on the matter, and I found them to be incredibly helpful. Though I think there's a difference between selling art in the traditional sense versus art in furniture or home decor, I do think a lot of Kelly Rae's points still apply.   

As someone who is just starting out, pricing my work has been a struggle for me. With my furniture, some of my pieces took ages to complete. I am entirely self taught in my craft and this first furniture collection involved a massive learning curve. I learned, repeatedly, the hard way when something didn't work. As a result I spent a lot of unnecessary hours redoing and amending mistakes that (hopefully!) can be avoided in the future. 

My goal for the furniture side of this business of mine is to create beautiful, funky, one-off pieces that are not only original and unique, but also affordable. I truly believe that every home should have a piece of furniture or decor that they love and that speaks to their character. Trying to find the balance between pricing based on current economic situations, competitiveness and affordability versus costs of materials and time put in though, has been nothing short of difficult. As this was my first collection, I found myself undervaluing pieces. Basing my pricing off what I would spend on the piece. I also found myself consumed with the tinnest of flaws and despite no one but myself bearing witness, or even knowledge of these, I still felt compelled to price things accordingly. 

To give you a bit of perspective, the first piece I sold, after I took away the costs of materials and the stall at the market, left me with a wage earned of less than 5 euros an hour. Impressive I know. 

Kidding aside, I realize that as I grow in skill the time it takes to complete each piece will decrease and my rates will be able to better reflect my ability. But at the end of the day I didn't start this purely for monetary gain - I did it out of love and passion for what I do.  

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