Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Balancing The Books !

I’ve been putting off writing this for quite a while; I’ve tidied my sock drawer, alphabetised the cd collection and written my Christmas cards, okay the last one is untrue but it gives you an idea of how difficult this is to write.

I have recently taken a step back from stitching and taken a close look at my ‘business’. You see I even find it problematic to call it that, but with the help of the wonderful  Creative Business Network I felt it was time to investigate my earnings and try and separate my love of creating from the need to pay bills.

Embroidery is everything to me, the creative process feeds my soul and without it I feel unfulfilled. But there is something about this creativity lark that seems to make me want to apologise for trying to make a living and worse still undervalue what I do. Guiding me through the process of unpicking costings, Helen at The Creative Business Network was a fresh pair of eyes who ultimately helped me to work out my bottom line. I had a few shocks along the way, perhaps the greatest being that I was paying myself about £3 an hour for some of my pieces.

Why do we find it so difficult to ask for our worth? Why the lack of confidence in our work? I’m sure not everyone has this but I know a lot of my creative friends do. This idea that someone will accuse us of not being worth it, tap us on the shoulder and call us a fake? It’s even got a name ‘imposter syndrome’.  I’ve had a few incidents that have exposed this raw nerve; once at a craft event when an incredulous woman asked me three times how much something was and then brought her family and friends back to my pitch to once again express her astonishment at the ‘huge ‘price tag. It was a brooch for £20 that took me over 2 hours to make. I didn’t respond I just stood there and smiled.
It’s funny isn’t it that those events stay so vivid in the mind whereas all the lovely things that are said get filed away.
So what I am trying to say is I am going to adjust my prices not because I want that holiday in the Maldives or that 3rd luxury yacht but because I’m worth it. I trained for 5 years at Art College and university, I have practised my art and my heart and soul goes into what I do. I am working on confidence and being able to say I’m proud of my work and I’m good at what I do.
I also have incredibly tidy drawers!
The price increase will come into effect on the 1st September, but I will continue to make items to suit a range of pockets.
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  1. Well Done! Everything you have said in this post is entirely true and the problem of charging your worth is something that plagues all crafters and artists.

    Because we are all so used to the low price of mass produced items, we are oblivious to the amount of time and effort it takes to produce a truly handmade, individual item.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. I have the same problem. I am a watercolour artist and find it very difficult setting my prices.