I often get inquiries about a dress, give a price quote, and then never hear from the potential customer again. Sometimes I hear that the price is too high or someone will ask if I am willing to make it for less etc. So I thought I should explain my pricing so you all know exactly what you are paying for!
Since the casual princess dresses are pretty popular right now, I'm going to use one of them for my price break down.
I'll use the Aurora dress since it is one of the simpler dresses. The picture is of a size 6 dress.
I followed the pricing tutorial posted by Create Kids Couture here.
Fabric required 1 3/4 yards at $8 yard on average = $14
Ribbon - 1 yard at $1 per yard on average = $1
Thread - it's hard to estimate how much thread is used per dress. I only use high quality thread for both my sewing machine and serger. Each spool of thread usually costs me around $3 and I estimate that I probably use around 1/4 of a spool per dress so thread = $0.75
Elastic - 10 inches = $0.30
So total for all materials is $16.05
Poly mailer = $0.10
Business card = $0.03
Label = $0.05
Ink = $0.05
Packaging total is $0.23
Labor - this is probably the hardest to put an accurate number on. Initially I was really just sewing for family and friends and didn't pay myself for my labor. As I began sewing for others it became evident that I needed to reimburse myself for the hours of time that I devote to each piece. I've been sewing for most of my life. I have developed quite a bit of skill and feel that I should be reimbursed for that. So I decided to work for no less than $12 an hour. That's probably really low, but my primary purpose for sewing isn't for monetary gain. I have a full time job that I love. In that job I am paid more for what I know than for what I can physically do. The bulk of my salary is based on my education and skill I possess. With sewing I feel that the opposite is true. I get paid more for the product that I produce than the skill I possess (although the only reason I can produce a quality product is because of the skill I possess so I guess it's a catch 22!) All of that to say, I'm paying myself $12 an hour.
$12 per hour x 1.5 hours = $18
Packaging hours x 15 minutes = $2 (This includes the time it takes to photograph each item, package, weigh, the package, print off the label, drive to the post office, etc.)
Labor total = $20
At cost total $36.28
Wholesale price (2x cost) $54.56
Retail price (2x wholesale) $91.12
Right now I charge $45 a dress.......according to these calculations I'm losing $9 per dress....hmmmm.
Things that aren't included in the cost:
Machine maintenance costs - I just had all of my machines (1 sewing machine, 1 embroidery module, 1 serger) serviced and with just TLC care and some minor repairs I ended up paying close to $700. Sound high? Yup, it is, but I have high quality machines that require service from a technician who is trained to work on my machines, so I have to fork over the money in order to ensure that they are properly serviced.
Power to run the machines- I don't even know how I would try to calculate this!
Cost of pattern - this pattern cost $8
Advertising - I pay to advertise on various blogs and occasionally have a print ad in some sewing magazines. That cost can vary but averages around $250 per year
Professional photos - I try to just trade out for services as much as possible, but if I have something specific that I want photographed - like a whole line for summer or winter - then I usually end up paying a photographer which averages $300.
Last but certainly not least - cost of time picking out fabrics, hunting down specific fabrics for custom orders, prewashing all fabrics to get rid of the nasty chemicals used during production, prevent shrinking, and color bleeding, etc.
Boutique clothing is expensive. Handmade clothing is expensive. You definitely get what you pay for. Can you purchase clothing for cheaper elsewhere? Of course! I completely understand that sometimes the price of items can be prohibitive, but that doesn't mean that I should charge less. Remember that when you buy something from a small boutique you are paying for boutique quality not mass produced pricing.
So, could I reduce my prices, yes. Will I, no. In all honesty if anything my prices will increase. I'm worth it, my time is worth it. It is time that I start respecting my time and talent enough to insist on being paid what I am worth!
Friday, March 14, 2014
I've been looking forward to setting my sewing room up since I moved into my house in October and this week that time finally came!
So off to Ikea I went and got everything I needed to make these tables! The pink legs were on sale which sweetened the deal. My best friend helped me out by drilling the holes to drop my plugs down through and fastening the table tops together.
The hanger on the wall is old thread spools and I found it at Rod Works!