Crafters really are the lowest paid profession in existence.
So many times I have heard people almost gasp when they have heard the true price of a handmade garment or product. It's like you've asked them for their first born!
As a result, many crafters now feel almost obliged to lower their prices and sell for well below what they are truly worth.
I had a chat this morning with my sister in law Leanne who I shared a market stall with for about 5 years. Leanne made the most divine hand knitted blankets and she has very generously provided some figures for me to share with you, to give an idea just how little profit is made.
Of course this doesn't relate to all crafters, some are making a nice profit and rightly so. But overall most would fall into the following category.
- To make the above hand knitted blanket you would need 8 balls of 50g wool (400g).
- As a rule of thumb - each 50g ball takes about 2 hours to knit.
- Wholesale cost of the wool used $2.50 per ball x 8 = $20
- Leanne at times employed local ladies to help with the bulk of the knitting (they just loved to knit). Not including trims & embellishments. They did sew squares together. Equivalent to about 6 balls (10-12 hours) $35 per blanket. ($3.00 per hour)
- Crocheted flower embellishments - yarn supplied, dropped off & collected to local crocheters. Cost to Leanne $0.50 + small scrap materials
- Leanne took 6 hours to finish off the blanket by knitting & attaching trim with mitred corners, attaching flowers & steam pressing.
So the final result:
Cost of wool: $20 + Labour for knitting: $35 + Embellishments: $2 = $57
Sale price of blanket $85 less cost $57 leaves $28
Divide by Lea's 6 hours = $4.67 per hour
Now add on the associated costs of having a market stall plus all the running around she had to do - she made a grand total of 2 cents per hour (OK that's an exaggeration but you get my point!)
If crafters charged what a handmade product is really worth, would the increased price make these items unaffordable?
Do you think we would then see a dramatic decrease in the number of online marketplace sellers & buyers with all consumers going back to buying from commercial retailers?