Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2009! It's that time of year when folks make resolutions, then spend a bunch of time trying to stick to them. One of my resolutions is to give thanks to the Etsy folks who include me in their treasuries by way of a nod back in their direction on my blog. I am borrowing my method of doing so from Carol Dean Sharpe of Sand Fibers. You absolutely MUST see Carol's work. Her Green Bargello Hearts Peyote Cuff is one of my favorites.

All About Treasuries

Here are the treasuries that include items from my shops.

andeesigns included Vineyard Oak Leaf Bead Part Deux in her Treasury West

andeesigns included Napa Oak Felted Vessel in her Treasury

Thank you Andee!! Visit andeesigns for beautiful jewelry such as this prehnite and gold freswater pearl necklace. Yum!


Blue Lagoon Beads included Dusk Nouveau Felted Vessel in her Treasury

Thank you Angela!! Visit Blue Lagoon Beads for jewelry and lampwork, such as this gorgeous set of cranberry beads!

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Finishing Old Projects

I'm very happy that I've FINALLY finished the second scarf that had been sitting on my work table forever. I blogged about it in November, vowing that I was going to finish it that day. Best laid plans, and all that... I must say, I'm very pleased with the result and I'm ready to start on my next fiber project. Here's my finished piece - full shot, and a detail picture.

I'm trying to decide whether or not to list this scarf in my Etsy shop. It's interesting, I had my first scarf listed there for awhile. I put a high but fair price on the scarf, and after it had been there for a few weeks I got the following message from someone. "I think this scarf is stunning, but at almost 10 times the cost of most of the others listed on etsy, it's way out of my price range.". Wow!

This got me thinking (that's a dangerous thing...) and I decided to do a little checking. When I searched for "nuno scarf", I found 333 of them. I sorted them by price, then I determined how many of them fit into the category to which this person was referring. From there, I saw that my scarf was at least 10 times the cost of 37% of the nuno scarves listed. That meant that my scarf was NOT more than 10 times the cost of 63% of the nuno scarves on Etsy. Are you with me? I also found that my scarf was not the most expensive nuno scarf out there, but it was right near the top. I noticed that the bulk of the "expensive" nuno scarves were more than half the price of mine - without the same level of complexity.

So what does all this mean? Nothing, of course - I was mostly just curious. However, given the equation of "10 times the cost of most of the others listed on etsy", had I charged "the cost of most of the others listed on etsy" to which this person was referring, I would have gotten about $2.00 an hour to make it. Criminy, does anyone in this country get paid $2.00/hour? I sent a response to this person that said, "Thank you for your kind comments. Glad you like the scarf.". I mean, what's a girl to do? Not everyone knows what goes into making a piece of fiber art.

Here's a footnote to this story - the person who sent me the note has no items for sale, hasn't sold anything, has no feedback, has no favorites, has no information in the profile, and has been on Etsy for about 10 months. Hmmm - just a rabble rouser? And on a final note, I love that first scarf of mine so much that I decided to keep it all to myself. At $2.00/hour, I figure I'm worth it. :-)

Starting New Projects

Now I've got to determine whether my next fiber project will be another scarf or some smaller items. I have several scarf ideas and I've started creating components for one of them, but I've got a show coming up in a few months at which I'd like to offer some small felted wearables, perhaps some pins. I'll have to think about that a bit. Meanwhile, I have several jewelry projects going on. Here are my scarf components and another jewelry WIP (it will be another lariat).

And on that note, I'm going to sit in front of the TV and finish up this lariat. Ciao-der for now!


andee said...

Shirley, the scarf is absolutely stunning! As is the other one - don't let that person's comment bother you. Sadly there will always be folks underpricing their own work, but that doesn't mean we all have to do it.

Nunofeltdesigns by NESchwab, San Francisco said...

As one of those other nuno felters on Etsy, I loved your story about the price complaint, because I worry about mine a lot, since many nuno felted scarves are woefully underpriced there. They are also way over-felted.
Your scarf is stunning, and I know what goes into creating a design like that, and I do know how I would price it.
Each nuno design is so unique, that pricing is tricky; direct comparisons are impossible. And every seller on that site needs to know that there are great pressures to go bargain bin, since the average selling price is only $15 per item.
These days, I only sell on Etsy to my loyal, returning customers who know my work.
There is a very low price ceiling on Etsy, and it no longer accomodates high quality products. You have to look at other online options.
That customer was
price shopping" which is now very common on Etsy, and is one more negative effect of having an unjuried site with a quarter million stores, and an emphasis on promoting trends for too-low prices.

Shirley Cook - Jumping Jack Glass said...

Andee, thanks for the wonderful compliment. Regarding that person's comment, what bothered me was the fact that someone would have the cajones to actually send me a convo of that nature. But then, that's Etsy. And from experience in the world of lampwork, I know all about people underpricing their work. Frustrating for those of us trying to make a living with our art...

eneeFabricDesign, thank you so much for your compliment and the input on my story. Your work is fabulous! I'm looking at a few other online venues for my work, one of my 2009 resolutions. I don't think Etsy is the right place for higher-end work. I came to that conclusion awhile ago, but I've had too many other things going on to set up shops elsewhere. Now is the time! You're right about pricing being tricky - that's another thing that us bead makers struggle with. With a bit more felting experience under my belt, I think it will become easier for me, as it did with the bead making.

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