Sunflowers and a sale

Autumn flower headbandWorthy of it’s very own post, I just want to shout out a big zippadeedoodar. I’ve just sold my first headband and it’s a gorgeous orange sunflower that I made whilst sat in the sunshine yesterday. It’s a bittersweet story though as I was sat there thinking of our dear friend who has just passed away on Monday. Monday was such a grey, dingy day and then yesterday the sun was shining and it was glorious. I truely felt blessed to be alive, basking in the glow of the afternoon sun creating this gorgeous 3D flower.

Anyway, I posted the lace headband on a Facebook group and it was snapped up almost immediately. I’m so pleased that I’m making things that people want to buy and use for newborn photography props. It’s given me a real boost in confidence.

I can’t wait for the other half to come home so I can tell him all about it.

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Business planning

Blog planning

Over the past few weeks I’ve really been hitting the “getting organised” button. I started in our dining room and it’s spiraled until the entire house is now fit for guests, finally (we’ve only been here 6 months).

Business planner

So I started off the day by looking on the lovely pinterest for some planning printables to organise my time a little better. I’m finding I’m procrastinating a lot at the moment and not enough progress is being made. I’ve found the following and printed them out.

Stash organisation

I also created an Excel spreadsheet and printed it off to keep track of all the different yarn and notions I have purchased. This should save me time and money in the future when I’m trying to work out whether I need to buy something new. One thing I did get a little stuck with was trying to suss out what colours of yarns I currently have available. I’m going to punch some holes in some card and tie small pieces of coloured yarn to them. This should prevent the inevitable confusion that arises months after throwing away the yarn sleeve.

Time keeping

Today I’ve had a lunchbreak and an afternoon break. I’ve been fairly efficient today as well having allocated my time in the morning I knew what I was meant to be doing at any one time, I kept social media time to just in my breaks and was more production because of it. I’m amazed how many hours can be lost to facebook and pinterest.

How do you manage your time and your business?

Business – deciding on your target market

I’ve just had a small(ish) rant on a Facebook page regarding how prices should be set for handmade items. I think quite a lot of us go from making things as a hobby to suddenly deciding we’ll try to sell our wares to try to earn a bit of cash without really thinking about the business behind. When deciding to setup a business, whether as a hobbyist or to take the leap into self-employment, it’s a good idea to try to work out who your target market are going to be. To do so you need to take into account a few pointers:

  • What type of product are you going to be selling? Budget/high street/premium
  • Will your products be unique, batch runs, or mass produced?
  • What quality will your items be? How long will they be expected to last?
  • Will your products include embellishments that can increase the pricing to make them stand out from the crowd?

From here you can start to build a brand that is recognisable against the sea of Joe Bloggs items that are similar to yours.

You also need to take into account who your target market are going to be:

  • What disposable income will they have for spending on your items?
  • What occasion are they going to be buying for?
  • Their age range
  • Gender
  • Who are these people and what do they do?
  • What do they expect from vendors?

Once you’ve got an idea of your target market, your brand and the type of products your going to be selling you’ll get a good idea of your price point and if you’re happy to make 10 lower cost items for a high turnover than fewer higher cost items but fewer sales.

Pricing Crochet

I’ve been having a conversation this morning with my sister about how to price the things we make.We both differ in our opinions. I think this is something that most people deliberate on when they first start out selling their handmade items. We tend to believe that Joe Bloggs that shops on the high street isn’t going to pay what our item and our time is worth.

I’ll give an example, I recently made a cotton crown which probably cost me about £1 to make as the pattern was free. It took me 30 minutes to complete including weaving in the ends. There are listings on Etsy selling similar items for £2.50. However, if I sold mine for that price, which is what my sister considers is fair, then I’d be making a measly £3 an hour. My initial thoughts were the crown should be priced at about £5, this took into account that I could make 2 in an hour costing me £2, however my time would be £8/hr which I thought given that I have to sit there and make the item was much more reasonable and I’d be happy with that.

Newborn cream and pink cloche with bow detail

My sister didn’t see it that way. She’s of the viewpoint that if people can buy the same item for cheaper elsewhere then why would they buy my item at £5. I’ve read several blogs on this very topic, and what they all seem to resonate is that when they rose their prices the number of sales increased. This seemed to go against logic, but then should we not be aiming our target market at those that are happy to pay for our time and not slog our guts out trying to make cheap items in mass? Does that not detract away from the beauty of handmade in the first place? What do you think?