I keep getting asked how and why I price my pendants and jewelry so low. I decided to write a little bit about the how and why, because I think it is important for folks to know. Especially my fellow talented artists, who also make jewelry, and think I am trying to undercut them.
First of all, and the main thing in low pricing, is expenses. I have very little expense in my jewelry. A lot of artists have to buy there gemstones, or cabochons, that are similiar to mine. I don't. I have a lot of rocks, right out behind my house! I cut, cab, groove...all myself (90% of the time), so there is no money spent on any stones. Every once in awhile I see a slab of a rock I just can't live without...and I will buy it, but not very often. So...that eliminates a big expense that a lot of folks have....I enjoy cutting the stones, and cabbing them myself, to me it is just part of the creative processes in creating the pieces I make.
Second, I would like to assure everyone in the jewelry business, and anyone considering buying my pieces, that, my stones, and wire wrapping may be worth just as much as yours, maybe not. Either way, what matters to me MOST of all, is that I continue to enjoy what I am doing. I don't want this to turn in to a "job" per say.....how many of you out there actually ENJOY your jobs? I want this to be something that I do, because I love it, not because I have to get up at 5 a.m. every day, and start working, get off at a specific time of day...blah blah blah.....thank you...I can do without all that. Today maybe I feel like doing something new, or maybe I feel like cutting cabs....or maybe just a stroll down to the rock pit to hunt rocks....but it's my "choice" in what I do every day, not something that is dictated to me, by a schedule, or market demands.
Third...I have no job, and no little children to run after, nothing "pressing" to do every day....I can pretty much do what I please, for the most part. So, there is no demand for my time, like a LOT of stay at home moms, because I don't have those things to worry about. I completely understand tho, where those folks are coming from, and I see their point, because I used to be just like them.
Fourth....I used to decorate cakes....wow...I cannot tell you the thousands of cakes I decorated from home, and it was very very good money earned, BUT......now I have all this cake decorating stuff, and I just do not want to do it any more, because I burnt myself out on it. I turned it in to a job you see....ready and available any time someone needed a cake done...any day of the week....and I did it. In the end tho.....I just didn't enjoy it any more. I do not want to turn this in to "that"....I enjoy making the jewelry too much.
Finally, and maybe this is the most important part of it all, if I don't have a lot of money invested (except the wire) and I enjoy what I do...truely enjoy it deep down...and I get to choose how I spend my time doing it (which area) ......then how can I possibly charge you a fortune for one of my pieces, and still sleep at night? I mean, I am NOT by any means knocking anyone out there who charges more than I do, go for it I say, and I do wish you all the luck and prosperity in the world....I just can't personally do it. It doesn't make you wrong at all, it just means it's not right for me.
Bottom line is, I charge what I know will make the money back I have invested in wire, so I can buy more, and extra for my time. I just wanna be able to buy more wire, or blades to cut the rocks, so I can keep going, and keep making more. I am not in this to "get rich"...I just wanna be able to keep doing it.
Is this wrong? Well, Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.....but I have also been in retail sales for over 20 years, and have run successful businesses, made a lot of money at them all in the past.....and I know what works for me. In retail, the rule of thumb is NOT to sell 1 piece of merchandise for MORE money....then you only have 1 piece of your product out there in the world, the rule is simply this: Sell cheaper, sell more, and more of YOUR BRAND is out there for even more people to see. This same phylosophy worked so well for me in the cake business.......the local store sold a cake, same exact size I did, for 45.00......mine was 25.00....who do you think sold more cakes? yep...you guessed it.....me......To give you a simple example of this concept....I was making 400 a week in 25.00 birthday cakes, in a town of 7,000 people......I'd say the idea works, wouldn't you?
In the end, we all have to do what works best for ourselves. Not everyone would agree with me, in fact...a lot would not agree. But when you apply ONLY logical thinking to the process, this makes sense. Hahahahaha............seriously...how did all these big chain stores get so rich, so fast...........think about it.
Good luck to you all in your endeavors, I seriously hope everyone is a huge success at what they do.