Posted by Sherrill on May 25, 2003 at 11:36:21:
In Reply to: Pricing posted by Patti on April 11, 2003 at 21:08:46:
I, too, am a bead artist, Patti. Frank is correct about underpricing and devaluing the work of your hands.
However... to sell one-of-a-kind creations you/I must find the "right" market, those people who value artistic ability and are willing to pay for it. When you find that kind of market, please share the information!!! As will I!!!!!
Regarding amulet purse necklaces, I think the trend has shifted away from that style. Only have sold about 1 per year for the last 3 years. It may be because of so much cheap imported beadwork, or that I'm in an area where that style isn't favored (Oklahoma).
Back to pricing. I would suggest roughly $25-$30/hour plus materials X 35% for good measure. If you value your work, so will your clientele. Not everyone can afford it, but people who can, will buy, and will be glad to have an artistic piece. If you wanted to sell at a craft fair simple strung seed-bead necklaces for the sake of selling something... well, to an artist, it isn't all about money, is it?
I set my prices accordingly, refuse to justify them to the customer, and don't lower my price except for some intangible reason. Like you, I use the best quality beads, semi-precious stones, and am incorporating silver and gold-filled findings more now. Also, I tell the artistic journey, the story, behind the piece the customer is admiring. That tells them that I designed it, created it, and it's the only one that will ever be made. In a cookie-cutter world of throw-aways, some people still appreciate individuality and hand-crafted quality.
Hope I didn't get onto too big of a soapbox this sleepy afternoon!
Keep at it, girl; don't give up. Stay in touch.
Wherever you go take joy!