Had a question on professionally pricing your work….
It takes a long time to get practiced enough to charge for time…. That is really hard to figure out. It really depends on your skill level.
I look at my piece when it’s done and think of the cost of materials: I double that cost upfront. Sometimes I can’t include the cost of a really expensive stone – that cost I don’t double I just want what I paid for out of the stone. I usually then look at that price – how much is it $$$$ this is my wholesale price or do I need to triple the cost of materials because of its complexity? Look at that price, $$$$. Then I ask myself should I make more of this? Is it profitable? Did I enjoy it or was it a pain. Can I do it in a reasonable amount of time? After I answer those questions I look at a retail price: a great profitable retail price is doubling your wholesale price. You can’t always do this in our current economy. A retail gallery/store gets 50%. As you grow your business stores will want you. You cannot undersell them. They will drop you. It’s a very small world so they find out if you are underselling them. You will eventually go out if business if you don’t sell at a retail price. The buffer in the mark up is for wear and tear on tools, new cameras, new computers, insurance, travel, customer service, returns, and everything else that goes with any business….. This formula is fair. I don’t know too many jewelry artists making too much profit. We usually give the shirts off our backs.
Whenever possible take a workshop. It revitalizes you. You learn more in a day with others than a month on your own.
Some pieces are a work of love. These pieces have no reasonable price. I have a few pieces that took hours and hours and hours. I do it for the love of doing it. I have put my heart and soul into it. How do you sell these pieces? You put some price on them that if they have to leave you are ok with it and the person buying it obviously will give it a good home because they are willing to buy it for a cost that is abstract.
I sold one of my favorite pieces to the wrong person one time. I still think about it. I still regret selling it. He was a super rich guy (or was posing as one) and could have cared less. The piece is probably laying in his 22nd mistress’s jewelry box unworn and unappreciated. I’ll never do that again. Wish I had it back.