Why Handmade Items Are Priced The Way They Are

Why Handmade Items Are Priced The Way They Are

Handmade. What is handmade? Well, it's just like it's name. It's something that has been made, "by hand", and not by machines. I personally like to call my jewelry, "Handcrafted". Those two words are fairly interchangeable, but in my mind, I like to say handcrafted because I take the raw materials, and craft those into something beautiful. When I think of handmade, I think of an item that started as something, and became something completely new after making it. Perhaps that is just me thinking to much into it, but I also just really like words and what they mean.

Anyway...So, let's talk a little bit about why handmade is priced how it is. I am going to refrain from using that one word...<whispers>....expensive... Why? Because the word expensive is truly subjective. Something expensive to one person, won't be to another. It depends on how you personally value material items. And from there, you can determine what that word means to you.

So, here are some explanations on:

Why Handmade Items are Priced the Way They Are.

#1. Great Quality
If it's something that hand makers care about, it is the quality of their work. Because each piece that is made is done by "hand", and not by machines, we will do our best to find raw materials that we not only feel comfortable using, but putting our name to is means we won't skimp when it comes to that quality. It's a much smaller scale than using machines that can pop out hundreds of identical pieces in an hour. We are able to trace back our materials from start to finish, and having that ability to create at a smaller scale means we can take the time to find the best quality materials for our products. And no handmade artist wants something that is not great quality to leave their hands without being very proud of it!

#2. Unique
One thing that I LOVE about handmade, is it's uniqueness. That is exactly why almost all of the pieces you see in my shop with me one of a kind, never to be truly replicated. I just love the idea of owning something beautiful and handmade that no one else in the world has. How cool is that?? You don't find that often. And even if you purchase something from 2 different artists, using the same technique, they each with always have their own style. It's so uniquely personal. It's a treasure. You can't find that in big box stores.

#3. Time Consuming
We will speak a little more here about how different handmade is as far as the value of time. Makers seem to have trouble valuing their time when it comes to their goods. How do we put a number on that? How can we have the right to do that? Well, you wouldn't work for your corporate boss for free right? Because you value your time, and your time is in fact, worth money.

Now. Going back to how handmade is time consuming. We seem to forget all the aspects that go into a handmade business. It's not just about picking up the materials, and making it. Let's take an example...it takes a maker 1 hour to create that piece of jewelry. Sitting down with those materials and actually making it. But, that is not the only work they put into that piece. They also spent time designing it, imagining it, drawing it out. You also spent time searching for that certain stone to go with that piece. You also spent time photographing it, adding it to your inventory, listing it on your website, marketing it, and truly many many more things. All of those factors go into the pricing of that piece. So something that took 1 hour to make, also took another hour or more to get that product ready for sale. It still takes your time.

Keep in mind all the work the maker puts into their pieces from the very start to the very end. From designing that piece, all the way to handing the lovely wrapped package to their mail person.

You don't get that kind of dedication and love from mass produced items. There is only one kind of handmade, and it's worth it's value.

#4. The Market
So, this is where things get a bit iffy. The market! Specifically what other makers, making similar items are charging. I will say though, this isn't really the first place a maker should go to figure pricing for their work. Why? Because you will find, generally, that so many undervalue their own time and work. They sell as a hobby. Not a business trying to provide for their families. The number of times I have seen people say that they sell their work for fun only, and just charge enough to make back the materials is astonishing! Not only do they undervalue the market, and those attempting to make a living off their craft, but they are hurting themselves in the process. If they look at their numbers, I guarantee that they are either breaking even, or are always in the negative. Which basically means working a job with lots of time and work, and zero pay.

#5. For My Family:
I don't let the market get to me though. Why? I offer something they don't. Which is myself! I want my customers to know me through my product. I know they buy my work because they respect me and why I am doing it. They want to aid in my small business.

I am doing this because I love it. It brings me so much joy to create. But also? I am doing it for my 4 year old and my 18 month old. I do this so I can stay home with them, and watch them grow. So that they can have a bright future. A future with everything they need in life. I do this so they can be in sports, or dance classes. I do this so they will never have to know debt. So that we can fulfill all our dreams, and ultimately give back.

I hope this gives you a little bit of an insight on "Why Handmade Items Are Priced The Way They Are"

I started this post as a simple informational read. But I wanted to end with my "Why". My "Why" is what pushes me though. Through all the doubt, and worry and asking myself if I am truly good enough to do this. I remember my "Why", and I am no longer scared. I pick myself up, I am motivated to succeed and bring you the best valued handmade jewelry from my own heart. One that has a story that I am not afraid to tell. Because we need to tell it. As handmade artists, we are the brand.

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