Brandi Hussey is offering an awesome free ebook on pricing. If you are selling your jewelry to make a few extra dollars or running an empire - I recommend giving this one a read. In fact, you should download it right this second, read it and then come back and read the rest of this post.
It brings up many good points, but two that have been on my mind over the last few months is charging what you are worth and charging prices that are going to sustain you over the long-haul.
There is a tendency among hobby jewelry designers to charge just enough to cover their materials. I'm not calling anyone out on this or want to make anyone feel bad for doing that - what you charge is your own business and I'm only asking you to consider the following. If you were paying someone for their time the amount you pay yourself, could you honestly look them in the eye and be okay with that? Are you treating yourself fairly, asking for a living wage for your time or are you underselling yourself because of fear?
Maybe you feel like since this isn't your 'real' work, you are just happy to make back your expenses. Even if you love every minute of it and it feels like play, you are working and spending your time making something of value. And you should get paid fairly for your time, skills and creativity. Don't undervalue your work!
There is a saying from a historic labor strike where women reportedly carried signs saying, "We want bread, and roses too." Don't feel guilty about wanting your business to provide roses too - don't be afraid to charge fair prices that allow for you to reward yourself for your hard work. And not merely with covering your expenses or even just meeting your bills for the month. Dream bigger, dream about your business providing luxuries. Dream about a business that could allow you to contribute to your family income. Or provide for a vacation, yes artists are allowed to afford a real vacation. Or heaven forbid, let's really dream here and set our sights on a business that could provide for the expenses of health care and a 401K!
It's okay, you can have bread and roses too!
Women have fought long and hard battles to earn a fair wage, why would we undervalue ourselves when we own a business or we are trying to start a new business? Stand together in solidarity with your handcrafting sisters and ask for what our time and talents are worth. I don't want to see you burnout or give up on your dreams because you are working too hard for not enough pay.
I think undercharging often comes from a place of not feeling worthy and fear. Maybe you don't feel like a 'real' artist or feel like your local economy wouldn't support fair prices. By arming yourself with a little business know-how and doing the gritty work of seeing how much money you are actually making or losing from your jewelry business, you will start moving in the right direction.
Jewelry designers of the world unite! You can have bread, roses and new beads!
Right Brain Business Plan - you can download the Kindle version on your PC or mobile device.
Business Growth Planner - from Crafting an MBA