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I had an interesting conversation the other night with my mom in regards to the pricing of my products. She was worried my prices for many items were too high. I have recently adjusted many of the prices of my products. Some products, the price decreased, and others the price went up. There's a reason for it all.
I had completed a t-shirt quilt for a friend of my moms before I changed the prices of the quilts, so her friend paid a pretty reasonable price for a 24 T-shirt quilt with extra large patches. After completing this quilt among other t-shirt quilts is when I decided the price was just not where I needed it to be as a business owner.
The thing about T-shirt quilts especially, is that they are very time consuming. It takes roughly 1 hours worth of work per T-shirt. So, a 24 T-shirt quilt will take me anywhere between 20-24 hours of hand work. I could skip out on a few steps, but that would compromise the quality & then your quilt just won't last as long as it can & should. I refuse to compromise quality of your order in order to save myself a few hours.
So I broke the price down. I realized that after the countless hours of work, the cost of the backing of a quilt, the interfacing (which prevents your t-shirts from stretching over time) and thread, I was only making $5 an hour.
$5 an hour for really hard work that not everybody could sit down and do. When I said that to my mom, she was astonished. How many people who could control how much they make in an hour would actually work for just $5?
Pricing my products is hands down the most difficult thing for me. Often, I get so stressed out that I have my sister do it for me. But a lot goes into the price of each product I create. I think of first, well how much would I pay for a handmade item like this? What are other places; retailers & other small businesses selling this for? What price can I keep it at that will make my time worth while creating this product?
All of those factors have caused products to no longer be made and they have opened the door to other new products. It's such a delicate process for me to choose a price of an item & I don't take it lightly.
When you order from a small shop, whether it's a small boutique in your neighborhood or from an Etsy shop, you have to think about what goes into all of this? Chances are, you might be spending a few extra bucks, but those few extra bucks go a much longer way than you think. But then again, the prices might surprise you.
For example, I searched Walmart's website to compare coaster prices. A set of 4 coasters, handmade & customized from me is $8. The least expensive on their website, was $13.33 for a generic set of coasters.
Or I compared our Makeup Case prices to those at Victoria's Secret. You can get a large makeup case from us for $10 or a large case from them for $24. For $25 from us, you can get a makeup case set of 2, a coordinating tissue pouch & a sunglasses case. Just one more example; let's compare some prices of notecards. All of our notecards for any occasion are $2 each (prices will decrease if you order multiple), where the average cost at Hallmark for one card is $3.49.
Sometimes us small businesses can surprise you!
Small businesses have the ability to work directly with customers in a way that large retailers just can't. All of my products can be customized & the majority of them require me & my customers to talk. I work with you all for customization, whether that is picking out fabric for a makeup case, adding wedding dates to engagement mugs or discussing a plan for T-shirt quilts, I am here for you.
Working directly with my customers is a big part of the reason why I love doing what I do. It makes creating each product even more special for me. My local customers I will often meet in person for delivery & seeing the expression on their faces is priceless. Having repeat customers or talking to customers who were referred to us is a feeling like none other.
So next time, if you have some shopping to do, skip the chain & check out what a small business can offer you. Give us a chance. Don't just assume you're always going to pay a ton more for products. Sometimes you might, sometimes you won't.
And before you critique the price from a small business, ask yourself;
what goes into this made to order item?
to learn more about supporting small business vs large business, click here!
My name is Kristina and I'm the founder of Love Struck. Read about how Love Struck came to be, see how I make it happen or just read a random thought I just might have! Anything can happen at our blog & I wouldn't have it any other way! It's time to get Love Struck, and what better way to start than right here!