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Here’s why I charge you ‘so damn much’ for my items…

Heads up, this post is a little pissy….
…maybe even more than ‘a little’.

I love crafting. I love crafting. Being creative and making things is hugely satisfying but there is a bit of a downside. One that frustrates me like you wouldn’t believe.  It’s non-crafter’s who don’t understand that if you’re trying to make a living out of crafting, or even if you’re crafting predominantly as a hobby and selling your goods, you actually need…and deserve…to get paid for the work that you do. And you need to get paid…enough to at least cover the cost of your materials!

It irks me that if I make…let’s say necklaces. It’s acceptable to ask me to make an obscene number of necklaces…without much notice (e.g. I need 100 in the next 6 hours please). It’s also acceptable to just assume I’m going to happily cover the cost of everything even though the cost of materials alone can be pretty damn high (OK, a hardcore crafter will almost certainly have the necessary materials at hand, but that really isn’t the point), and then it’s acceptable to be shocked and appalled if I ask for payment, and gasp incredulously and say things like ‘its just beads, they cost like, 10p for a million right?’.  I mean, am I just being unnecessarily sensitive about this?

Masks are my thing, but it’s gotten to the stage where family and friends will just casually announce that they need 10 masks for Friday…and its Wednesday today…and it takes 5 days to make each mask because paints and glues have to dry, and also you know, I have a day job! So, then I apologise for not being able to deliver X amount of items in X amount of days…or I remind them that it costs me X amount of £££’s for the materials and X amount of money for my time, so therefore it’s going to cost them X amount £££’s for the use of my materials and time (and yes…I’ve even gone ahead and given them discounted ‘mates rates’)…but I’m still a terrible person for not immediately dropping everything and handing over hundreds of pounds worth of work…For. Free. Or at least for like a £10 token payment for everything.

And then I get told things like ‘but I can probably buy it cheaper on online’.
Yes. In fact, I know you can. But the reason why is this: it’s more than likely being sold by a large company…who employs 1000 people…who can also source the necessary materials for 5 pennies…and have the machinery needed to churn out 1000 of these items a day.
I am not that person.
And then they say things like ‘but I could probably make it myself’
…and I’m like OK. And I laugh when they’re faces drop when they find out the cost of the paint alone.
…then I stop laughing because they hit me with ‘I’m your friend/family so I don’t have to pay right…right?’

*Sighs deeply* they are the worst!

Look, even if I buy in bulk, materials are expensive. And my time cost cash-money. Here’s what you’re failing to consider…using my masks as an example, these are the most basic things that I consider when I decide to give you a quote. I’ll keep it simple (and, also these are not actual prices…just an example for one mask):

  • The cost of materials: Including rhinestones, sequins, feathers, paints, adhesives etc…£10
  • Let’s say minimum wage is £8 (yes, that’s right. I pay myself. I pay myself at least minimum wage. If you spent 5, 10, 15+ hours of your life working on something for somebody else’s business/craft idea you’d expect payment, right?!)
  • It takes at least 5 hours to make each mask (over 5 days because things need to dry)

That means £8 (minimum wage and the bare minimum I’m willing to work for per hour…it’s actually so much more) multiplied by 5 (the amount of hours I spent working on the item)…that is £40…plus the £10 it cost for the materials…that makes £50…and you want 10 of them soooo….no, you can’t give me £10 for my troubles (also in this example, I didn’t even factor in things like taxes, transportation, packaging & postage costs etc).

And it was really hard to get out of the mindset that it was just crafts and just a hobby and I should be grateful that anyone has shown any interest in my hobby at all, and they were somehow doing me a favour by advertising the existence of my goods. Especially when it came to family and friends, but it was also one of the best things I did to put my foot down and demand payment. I mean really, if I worked so hard for another person and they didn’t pay me for my time I’d be seeking legal advice.

Anyway…to all you people out there who have friends or family who  enjoy making lovely things. Stop being douchebags and hand over the money when you need or wants goods from them…or…learn to craft the item(s) your damn selves.

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