Thursday, February 17, 2011

Making Baby Shoes?

A couple of weeks ago I was approached by someone who wanted a small wholesale order of baby shoes from me. I already know how much time these take for me make and how much materials cost, but I worked it all out again just to be sure and offered her my best price. I also added in some other things for her to consider if she were to buy my shoes and included that I would need to start soon and would have it all done within less than a month because I am expecting our 3rd bub at the end of the school term.
Even though I had short but friendly emails with her prior, after I sent her a larger email with costs etc, I have not heard back from her at all.


I'm O.K with her choosing not to use my shoes in her store. It is her choice. She was probably hoping for something cheaper, and probably not aware that the design being lined and seamless uses more materials and details on them make them a bit more on the fiddly side compared to some other shoes I have made.
I just think it's very bad form to not send a short reply and say she is no longer interested.

It's a tricky one for people making things by hand. You don't tend to make much money on hand crafting things. I think most people simply do it for the enjoyment, compulsion  and with things like sewing, in many cases it's the practicality of being able to work on something at home whilst you have little ones around or evenings you aren't doing much else.
When you put in the time you spend on sourcing materials, developing ideas, electricity (yes - sewing machines, lighting, irons etc all cost money to use), photography, write ups (if your selling online), packing and setting up (if you sell at markets), commissions (fees for selling online, having a market stall or a stores cut) and lots of other little bits and pieces your not left with much of a profit. (Sometimes I look at what people sell some things for and can't figure out how they can be even covering their costs).
But you get a  kick when someone else likes something you have made and is willing to buy it. Something you have created is valued. And someone else enjoys having something thats not mass produced (which is part of what I enjoy about making things).

Anyway, I had a friend who makes and sells to stores tell me that she thought my quote was low and the time it would take was not worth it at this stage of pregnancy. S also said the same thing to me the previous day (but I'm not always sure I should listen to him ;) ). But  I'm pleased they both said those things to me because within a day after sending the quote I realized I could do the job and it would have been nice to make up some lovely shoes (I had even eyed up some beautiful Kaffe Fassett fabric that I was looking forward to ordering) but it is best for me not to take something like that on right now. I am nesty nesty nesty and need to take these next weeks to organize my house and get some R&R.


Toni said...

I get it. People who don't do hand crafted items have no idea what's involved -- and people who DO them often want to try it for themselves.
I have a GF who paints beautiful canvasses, and she's had people sneaking photos of them so they can copy them.

Can't WAIT to see this baby!

Toni said...

OH and PS your shoes are exquisite!

Toru said...

Thanks Toni:)

Emma said...

Yes indeed, I have done production runs of teeny leather shoes, and it really is a labour of love. If you charge what they are really worth, it all seems a bit ridiculous, and I often find that the commerce kills the creativity.

Glowless @ Where's My Glow said...

Wow so many creative people linking up is making me want to go and learn how to sew (I've been saying it for years). Gorgeous shoes!