parcels 5

7 things I learned about pricing my craft

Kraken lovers, after three years I’ve finally come to the realisation that I’m underpricing myself here at Kraken Kreations. I’d suspected it for a long time (like that gut fear that you’ve started the menopause) but feared a mass exodus of customers. Fact is, though, that prices now have to go up. It’s that or watching me wrap myself in newspaper to keep warm in between slouch bags and commissions. And in the mental wrangle that’s preceded this development, here is what I’ve finally realised.

I’m not actually shit at this. What I mean is that my sewing is professional, my customer service is sparkling and I take on all manner of insane commissions. My pricing needs to reflect that and stop being so apologetic. Anyway, a price rise will keep me in the the only important food source there is… Jaffa Cakes.

I’m worth more than I think.  In other words, my work is worth more than I’m told by Shit FM, the radio station in my head. It repeatedly plays songs entitled, “Anyone can make one of those!”, “Are you sure someone will pay THAT for a tote?” and, “There’s no room for you in a crowded market!” Well to each of those songs I hollerback, “No they can’t!”, “Yes they will!” and “Tough shit!”

I haven’t put up my prices in three years. Three years. I said THREE YEARS!

I’m not Amazon. I don’t have a warehouse of stock that’s so big that I traverse it with golf cart. Instead I make every item from scratch, in my shed, every time it’s ordered and that’s worth any price rise. OK you might be able to pick up a dirt cheap toiletry bag from the aforementioned global giant but it won’t be handstitched, unique or the result of me spending eight hours a day yelling at the radio while I sew.

Pricing is really bloody hard. I mean, I can add up the cost of materials and time (if I use all of my fingers, toes and Ferris Mewler’s bean paws) but then I get a figure that runs into all manner of noughts. That’s when I start to fret about how well received it will be, nibbling at it by taking off a pound here or there and accepting a (lot) less than the minimum wage. Before I know it I‘m actually paying YOU to take a car bucket off my hands.

I’m scared of losing customers. There. I said it. But fear has to go fuck itself, right? Otherwise I’d never leave my sewing shed. I was terrified when I started Kraken Kreations but I got through that. I was terrified when I went for my last MRI scan but I got through that too. So it’s deep-breath-and-work-my-way-up-the-calculator time because that’s just another hurdle I know I have to leap.

I need to listen to my customers more. That’s because several of you thought I wasn’t charging enough but didn’t dare say it, bless you. Well, you’ve now been brave and wonderful enough to message me with your thoughts (at the risk of setting off The Kraken) and I’m glad that you did. It’s been a virtual slap to the face of this hysterical bystander.

So, yes, prices will be going up on several ranges on Monday 7 August. If you want to join me on my adventure there’s lots of room for you. And if you don’t? I hear Amazon is selling 20p sky pockets. You’ll be missing out on handstitched wonders without a hint of child labour though (unless you count Kraken Junior posing with bunting). Now, loosen me from this strait jacket, will you? I have fingers and toes to count.