Time. Do You Value It?

That is the hardest question isn't it? It doesn't sound hard, but when it comes right down to it, it's excruciatingly hard.
Do we value our time? How often do we spend hours and hours designing and creating and then let it go for the price of a 5 minute job, all because we feel that no one is willing to pay us for our time? If you're a hobbyist then maybe you don't mind doing it. But if it's your business, you're going to get burnt out really fast.

Fun turns into a drag, making enough money to provide becomes hopeless, there's no longer enough hours in a day.

Yep, I experienced it. I look at some of my very first listings and realized, "Holy cow. That's all I charged? I charged $1 for a bookmark that took me almost an hour to come up with? Was I in my right mind?!" I didn't make any money back then, that's for sure!

So I resolved to start raising my prices. At first it was just a little bit. I upped a few of those 1 hour bookmarks to $5. Still not much, but it was a start. They still sold. And then I gradually began to realize something.

Those bookmarks are handmade, they are unique, they took anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to make, plus 30 minutes to 2 hours to design and come up with a pattern, not to mention the time I was spending creating listings and promoting them.
My bookmarks are worth a lot more than $5 dollars, and there are people who know that!

My bookmarks are handmade, and I'm not Wallmart, I'm Joyous Treasures.

And you know what? I've been raising my prices a little higher, and they're still selling! I'm now considering how much I make per hour. My prices vary now, based on the complexity of the bookmarks. I charge as much as $15 on some, and as little as $5 on others that only took a few minutes.
People love them. I still have return customers, who, though they bought from me before I raised my prices, are happy to come back and pay more, and tell me they are not surprised at all that I've raised my prices!

I'm not greedy, and I'm not trying to make a fortune. I love for people to be able to use my handmade products affordably. I don't even sell tons of them, but enough to make a difference.
My time is valuable. I have family to spend time with, gardens to tend, friends to grow closer to, clothing to buy, bills to pay, well, you get the picture!

So start thinking about how much time you spend on your craft, and charge a fair price. Every second, every minute, every hour you spend, that's valuable time taken away from your family. From holding your little one, from reading a book to your toddler, from giving your teenager a word of advice, from spending time with your 20 something year old daughter before she's married and gone.

I hope my story has helped inspire you to value your time as I have been learning to do.


MYSAVIOR said...

Your crocheted items are very beautiful and detailed and even though I crochet, I am not as skilled as you are. I do know that artisans need to value their time.


Julie Riisnaes said...

Always a difficult one but you're right of course!

cksilver said...

So true, and something very important for us all to consider!

Joyful HandKnits said...

Good Thoughts! Great Blog!

Art and Sew Forth said...

A good word. I had a bag listed for quite some time. Was sure it would never sell. Thought about lowering the price too. But alas! Sold last week. Too low of a price can backfire too-make others think it isn't quality. Thanks for the reminder!