Friday, June 18, 2010

Silly Guilt

I have been at it (making my leather bags, that is) for a year. Still, when it comes to putting prices on my work, and calling them out to buyers, I still experience surprisingly weightily discomfort....

I am very critical of what I do and tend to second-guess my time, effort and cost calculations; I also question if my work is actually WORTH the amount I am asking for it.  And, of course, then it all escalates into questioning the appeal of my design work and quality of craftsmanship.

It doesn't take much longer till I am feeling unsure and apologetic about my prices.

Sure, we all have heard customers saying things, like "That's so expensive!", or " I love it, but can't afford it!" Some of us will then step in to "help" these customers by cutting deals, giving discounts and specials for mere appreciation of our work.

But that means we're voluntarily under-estimating ourselves and everything it takes to make our products, let alone diminishing our proceeds - and setting up our fellow crafters for unequal competition.

Nowadays I have been exploring deeper into the emotions, which the changing status of my Design Company brings to me. What once was a tiny free time project, fuelled by compliments, has now grown into an Indie Brand, carried by several retailers and featured in the independent press - just one year later.

Pleased, but surprised, I found myself not quite ready for it. I realize that I am yet to learn to detach from the "tiny free time project" past , and start treating my Brand as a business.

I teach myself to accept the changes:

My craftsmanship has improved - and so have my designs. I am more aware of characteristics of the materials and challenges beyond various styles. I design and make my stuff all on my own. The bag styles, that have received so much response this spring, have all started with me. And they ARE worth everything I am asking for them.

If you, as the person behind your product are sure of yourself, others will believe it....

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