I’m writing my own take on what you are really paying for when buying handmade. If you happen to follow my Instagram account, lately I’ve been posting handmade greeting cards. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t sell handmade greeting cards. I enjoy making them and pride goes into each one, but not to include in my Cindy Ho Designs product line. I don’t enjoy making them for other people. The time and the money spent on materials, I’d want a minimum of $10 to $15 for custom card work, which 80% of those who ask are caught off guard with sticker shock and try to negotiate!
“It’s only paper!”
“I can buy that from Walmart for $3.00”
“I can make that myself!”
“What? I should get a discount, I’m your friend!”
I’m the type of person who can stand firm and move on if the project doesn’t happen. Offended, yes, but try not to show it. For many sellers, these comments hits them in the heart like an insult and they can fester.
“How could these people trivialize the heart and soul put into this piece of art?”
These customers are not in your target market anyway. I do admit when these people react in a way that my art has no value and calling it ugly that stings like someone throwing sand in my eyes.
Side note: There’s many artists out there who make really nice handmade cards that are much nicer then mine. Okay, on that note, I’m plugging Lucky Charms Card Collection. Her cards are nicer because that’s her passion. Tell her ‘hi’ for me!
Back to the topic. When buying handmade, take into consideration the quality of materials, expertise, time and love spent for the artisan to create an original and unique work of art. For a one off custom design by me, it takes at least an hour, hence the $10 to $15 price tag. That’s barely minimum wage.
If you wondering why I even take on cards orders at all? Honestly, it’s good seed revenue for the shop and helps build up a indirect portfolio to showcase my style. I also love the designing step, transferring it into a cutting or illustration design. If I choose to take on a project that pays me way below living wage, it is to design for future products.