Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pricing handmade

The straight calculation of handmade in terms of time and materials starts making sense in terms of entertainment, but there are other aspects, or ways of thinking about it:

Skill level can be a factor. The more your skill level lets you be in tune with the process of what you are making, the more cost-effective your time will be.

Professional attitude. To sell things professionally, you need a certain attitude. That can involve things like understanding and identifying your market and exploring new ways to market your product.

If you are stitching as a way to cope with stress in your life, that can get in the way of thinking professionally.

I really enjoy stitching as a problemsolving methodology, so I would much rather teach people how to knit or crochet than make things to sell.

There is a balancing act between complete mass production and complete individual production. I know very few people who do much of anything truly 'from scratch.' I certainly don't grow the cotton that I crochet with, for example. As we have more choices every day for how we meet our needs, it can be a comfort to know that we can just go to a store and buy what we need. But it is also a wonderful thing that we can indulge in a process that connects us with the past, with the future, and with our environment.

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