Thursday, January 19, 2012

Emboidered Felt Cuff Bracelet

I saw this bracelet from Waterrose on Pinterest and thought two things: "wow, how beautiful!" and " hmm, it is pretty expensive". Then I tried making it and realized that the price is very appropriate. This brings me to a point to ask you guys how you price your beautiful hand-made products? If one looks on Etsy there are similar or same products that one can purchase for 5 dollars or for 20. Are the ones for 5 bucks of a lesser quality? I think the problem is that many people do not use any formula to calculate their prices and name the value from the perspective: "how much would I pay for it?" I suppose it also depends on the goals of the seller: do I want to sell as many pieces as possible?, or am I selling genuine, high value, high quality, unique work? One says that made in China was yesterday and that many people are ready to pay more for stuff that is hand made and unique. The problem is that if other people sell without a particular pricing formula, they are exploiting themselves by earning 20 cents per hour for their work. So the point would be, that made in China or India shifts to made in the US (in Germany in my case), cheap.

How do you guys calculate your prices?

I researched a bit and came up with the following formula:
- Material costs +
- hourly rate+
- 30% markup on the above costs for the time and shipping to buy the materials, wear and tear, maintenance of the machines and tools used, packaging, etc. and last but not least the yield or winnings +

This would mean that the price for the bracelet below would calculate as follows:

- Material costs - 4
- hourly rate of lets say 15 dollars- 4 hours of work is 60 dollars
- 30% markup - 19.20

So the final price would be 83.20

And I really think that if someone likes it and understands how much work goes into such a creation, they will pay for it. So if you like it, hurry and go to Waterrose and buy one or two! I am not selling mine - it is mine!:)

On the inside I made a little wallet to hide emergency money.

My point is that one should always stop to think twice about how much work went into something and what kind of added value the product carries. If one isn't still convinced that the cost/performance ratio is worth it, then the product is not made for one. One can buy made in china and made in CHINA if you know what I mean-  ironically.

Another thing is that I think sometimes we have to realize that a specific product cannot be sold for economical reasons. Someone asked me recently if I would sell / make to sell the door frame theatre. I told her that I would charge 120 euros for it and also sent her some links to commercially made ones that cost about 30. I think that she must have fallen off her chair as she read my mail:) And honestly, I do not blame her, because if you can get a theater for 30 that fulfills its purpose - if that were your intention, then why would you pay 120? OK, I could argue that no one has it, that is probably of a better quality, that the applique is more intricate and personal etc. And if I think about it and calculate the price according to the formula, 120 would have not even cut it. Conclusion: This product is not sell-able because of economical reasons.
Calculation for the theatre: Material - 50, hourly rate - 9 hours is 135, Markup - 55.50, final price - 240,50
I am shocked! But it is true. Please note that I used designer fabrics and that imported fabric is about 3 times as expensive here in Germany in comparison to the US.

Made a few more of the cute cuffs...

This one would be one of those not sell- able ones:) 11 hours of work!

this is a variation made with the embroidery machine

and this one made with heat transfer


  1. Your barcelets are so beautyful - I like them very much. Have fun with them.
    Re from white turtle

  2. Hallo Kasia,

    ein sehr schöner Post, vielen Dank für diesen Einblick.

    Viele Grüße,


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