Monday, July 28, 2008

The Pricing Bug-a-boo

One of Little Brown Sparrow's exquisite cuffs.

We were recently given a blog award by Little Brown Sparrow. (More on this later.) If you haven't yet visited this blogger you must do so right now! She features her work and often showcases the work of others. All of it a breathless venture into a world of texture, color and beauty. Little Brown Sparrow recently blogged about the conundrum of pricing handmade products. This is a subject that crops up regularly here at Secret Leaves World Headquarters. Sharon and I go round and round trying to figure out the pricing on our handmade wares. LBS discusses this issue eloquently and brings up very smart points about the value of one's work.

We are constantly worried that we are pricing our journals, cards and cigar box kits beyond what the market can bear. But it also isn't sound business to under charge and have the profit margin not reflect the amount of work and original design you have put into the piece. I think her point of not under-valuing your work is well taken. We must charge what we have to. It will all come out in the wash whether the market can bear it or not. I personally think there is an audience for all of us who are trying to make the world a little more beautiful.

The one point she made that I take away with me is not cutting corners. Sometimes we think we should streamline production and have fewer designs. But in the end, we always come back to the books as individual pieces and fuss over each and every one. Her comment about taking the soul out of it when you start doing work assembly-line style really hit home with me.

Secret Leaves Cigar Box Kit black box pile detail

What makes our journals and journal kits special is all the time we take searching for the bits and pieces, all the time we spend on what color the endpapers should be, the exact placement of an image or how we present the item to the public. This all has value and the price should reflect that. And when people buy our products... Ah ha! Validation!

Secret Leaves Cigar Box Kit black box endpaper

Again, please go read the Little Brown Sparrow blog, it will make you feel better.


1 comment:

Tyler said...

well said. will read lbs asap as this certainly is a complex issue. i love the idea of not diminishing the 'soul' of a work. a fine balance that you two seem to master. your work is lovely, thoughtul and obviously crafted with care. worth every penny.