Saturday, 22 January 2011

How much am I worth?!

I wish you could feel my delighted sigh as I FINALLY get these 3 'babies' of mine finished and photographed...aaaaaah and relax!
For these are ALL I have done over the last week (and longer!)...every stolen moment, every back turned of small child...I have been like a woman posessed!
And while I have laboriously loved and sewn and cut and stitched I've been wondering all along how on earth I'm going to put a price on these babies of mine...because I don't know about everyone else but I find the whole task of pricing near impossible.

I've been doing a lot of thinking and dreaming whilst making these fabric books and this voice of inner assertion has been repeating over and over "stop selling yourself's time to ask for what YOU are worth".
Well yes, this is all very good advice..but how do I put what I am worth into money form?? And I have a good handle on value when most things I see in the shops I think...well its lovely..but I could make that for £1!! (I know I'm terrible!!)
Ah well, all i do know is that I need a little time to let the frenzy settle and the rational mind etsy shop shall just have to wait!

Do you realise this will be the first time I'll actually be selling something with my art on..which is a baby step but the BIGGEST baby step I've taken yet. Deep breath!!
I've been experimenting with transferring images onto fabric and thought why not turn my two favourite things into one...painting and boooooks! They still have the feely fest of my JOY journals, and a few pages are adorned with stitch/fabric/paper doodles...the rest of the pages are all nice and thick, some smooth, some with a bit of texture, made from a variety of re-purposed, art and hand-made paper. Of course there is an odd envelope thrown in there too.....gotta love those envelopes :)
some little stitched doodles that adorn the pages

How do you guys feel about pricing your items...any tips on working it out? I would sooo love to hear :)x

Oh and please come and join in my JOY journal giveaway here....there's still 3 days to go!!!


  1. Oh Jenny.... these are SO beautiful! Pricing is such a difficult dilemmia because we know how much time, effort and love has gone in to each thing we make. I do agree with your inner voice, you should not sell yourself short. There was a programme on tv a while back about a woman trying to sell hand knitted scarves. She was somewhat slated by the business advisor, then astoundingly her scarves were cut up infront of her, restyled, price hugely inflated, and a different market place sought. By doing this she achieved what she wanted. Hand knitted scarves at a price she was worth.
    I think it is about finding the right market place. That will be my hope anyway. I'm still keeping my baby steps in my babygrow right now but my mind and ideas are expanding and I am quietly following my whispers.
    At the moment my work situation is in turmoil so there is not much space for my creativity. Big changes will be taking place over the next couple of months, so it is a time of keeping my options open. I do believe sometimes that if you follow your intuition (my word for the year!) you sometimes find it takes you in the right direction. So I am going with the flow.
    Perhaps my 'Flying' and spreading my wings a bit into new areas (blogging, crops & residentials) is all part of a bigger plan that might unfold. If it doesn't, I'm meeting some wonderful people and having lots of fun anyway, so no loss.
    One thing I considered for selling my own items is to put it on ebay with a sensible reserve. That way it gives people the chance to pay what they think it is worth to them and you don't under sell yourself. I've not thought this through fully so there may be a flaw. An etsy shop is more professional perhaps, but it may be about trial and error to start, and a bit of experimentation.
    Good luck and let me know how it goes!!

  2. I would say to keep it up on the higher side--look around and see what other people are asking for the same type of art (although these are absolutely amazing!!) --you have to try to stay competitive without underselling yourself.
    Sometimes, when I make something that I don't want to part with, I'll put a higher price on it. I want whoever purchases it, to love it as much as I do.

  3. OMG these are awesome!Pretty!Amazing !
    You have put so much work in these I can just imagine how amazing these look in real life!
    i LIKE Diane comment put a higher price who ever buys it will love it as much as you do.:)

    you are so Talented!

  4. WOWSER! These are amazing. I love everyone. No help in the $$ department sorry:-( I wouldn't have a clue!

  5. Jenny- I echo the 'These are amazing" comments- they're sending chills down my spine- you have clearly hit on something by combining all of your loves into one piece- I've never seen anything like them!
    I know what you mean about pricing...I've struggled with that a LOT. All I can say is that I research similar items as best I can, try to guess at the cost of materials and the hours I put in, and then try to come up with a price that doesn't make me feel like I'm being robbed. I don't try to think "ooh- how much can I get for these!!?" It's almost more like I try to figure out how what price I can accept without feeling like I've been taken advantage of. I've found a good price range for most of my work by now- which is largely based on the above factors, and has been confirmend by people actually responding to in terms of sales...
    Definitely don't sell yourself short- especially on these. You'll find a market- the right audience and the right venue- that will accept them and recognize their worth.
    Wow- glad I stopped by!

  6. These are so beautiful, I can see how much love and work has gone into them.
    But pricing. The thing I hate most. Like others have said, see what else is out there - but definitely don't sell yourself short, I see soooo many things underpriced on etsy and it's heartbreaking to see artists de-value themselves (and others work too).
    Marketed right and in the right place I'm sure you will get what they are worth. Maybe these would do well in a gallery where people can touch and see how detailed they are?
    Oh, and if you work out a magic formula please share!

  7. Well, I think you should give them all to pricing really isn't an issue....

    I think they are beautiful! ♥

  8. What a great thing to do (cue me cheering you on from the sidelines).
    When I began selling my paintings I worked out my hourly rate in my paying day job, kept a time sheet of how long I'd spent on that piece and then factored in costs such as gallery tax and framing. Then I sometimes round it up or down to make it a good psychological price.
    Hope that helps a bit. Claire x

  9. Oh wow, Jenny. These are amazing. I recently read a wonderful article about pricing your work. I will go through my files and see if I can find it for you. I might suggest cost + 25% + your hourly rate as a basis point. See where that flushes out and if you think it is fair.

  10. Oh Jenny these are soooo beautiful!!!
    I know what you mean about pricing. I have a problem with it. My original art is in shop right now. And one of the pieces I have priced really high because I love it so much. I kind of go with how I feel about the item that I am selling. If someone buys it that most likely means they love it.

  11. These are stunning - they literally made me gasp! I am soooo envious of your skill. These are too gorgeous for words. But to put a price on them....I really don't know. A few years ago I used to sell craft stuff regularly and struggle to balance what it was worth with the reality of wanting it to sell. Now a few years on I'm in the process of setting up an Etsy shop and have already started to have the same dilemma. It is even harder because I can't get my head around the dollars to pounds exchange rate. Sorry I couldn't be of help.

    Kat X

  12. Oh my gosh Jenny. I don't even know what to say because those are magical!

  13. I'm not sure if any of you pop back to read comments but can I just say a HUGE thankyou for all your wonderful comments and little tips... they are definitely helping me inch forward to finding "my worth" :)xx

  14. Oh these pretties are deliciously divine!! You may have been a woman possessed, but so well worth it!

    Selling art is a tricky part of business. I find that if I think the price is too low than I'm selling my art cheap and not honoring myself or my talent. You always need to consider your time, which is priceless, and the cost of your materials. After that BELIEVE in the price you set. The more comfortable you become with selling your art, the more comfortable the energy is that surrounds your piece. It's part of the journey in being a working artist!


  15. These are so lovely, I have no idea about pricing, but I am not an artist, I just go to work so I can buy beautiful things like this!!! Will be checking on your shop regularly to see when they are for sale. They are just lovely, they make my heart jump.

  16. These are absolutely amazing!! I'm so excited for you.

    As for pricing. I understand your dilemma. I've seen formulas about it and it feels to me that I could never ask as much as I "should" when I figure out how many hours something really takes me to make. Sometimes I'll have an amount in my head and then I take a look and see what other people are asking for somewhat similar items and try to come up with something reasonable.

  17. OH MY GOODNESS. Jenny, these are lovely. Pricing is so hard sometimes, especially when you add so much time and love to the equation. I wouldn't want to part with these...i cant stop looking at them. Adore how you have combined fabric, stitch and paper. I think there is a formula to pricing - timing, materials etc and I usually do some benchmarking to look at how others price similar work and question if I would purchase at the price. Whatever you do, do not under value what you have done here. xx

  18. These really are very lovely.

    Pricing is so hard as you don't want to under-rate your work but at the same time you would like it to sell.

    In the past I have looked at other similar work on etsy, ebay etc to see what they go for a consider that when I decide on my price.

    Hope that helps.

  19. These are literally the most beautiful journals I have ever seen. I love journals and am forever writing in them, and think yours are completely gorgeous. As for pricing them, I know how hard it feels to put a monetary value on the things you make when only you know how many hours you've spent on them!!! I'm not selling the things I make yet, but a friend and I sat down to work out how much we'd charge based simply on time spent making along with a base rate for hourly work. Do people pay £42 for a lavender bag?

    After a bit of a blogging break, I'm back, and so excited and happy to see your gorgeous art work xxx

  20. Thank you for the lovely comment you left on my blog, Jenny. And yes - I do sometimes revisit a blog to read comments left :)
    It seems most people feel it is important to value your work and I also liked Diane's comment about if someone buys at a higher price it means they truely love it. That makes it even more rewarding, so go with your gut instinct and bite the bullett! Let me know when you put them in your shop and I will put a link on my blog x

  21. Jenny!!!! you are amazing!!! this post is full of amazing photos of your work....I also just got something special in the mail!!!! what a sweet and amazing gift you have sent me!!! I feel so blessed to be the winner of the journal you sent me!!!! Thank you so much.....I will use it and post some pages .....I am really blown away by your work and your generosity!!!!

    Thank you so much for making my day!!! so bright and filled with "JOY"

  22. Dear Jenny, Wow, wow and wow!! Your journals look amazing!!! I agree with the others that you should price them at the higher end. Wishing you all the best!