Almost every day we are asked about the price of a piece we have in our gallery. Why it costs what it does, would you take $20 for for $30 item, if I buy two will you give me a deal?
One of the hardest things for an artist to do is to price their work. There are so many factors that go into it - the materials, the idea, the labor, the cost of your studio, advertising, shipping, etc as well as the skill of the artist. What price are people willing to pay?
Most of what we sell no one really needs, well that is unless they need something to lift their spirits. The things we sell are luxuries. You know we see all kinds of amazing things our artist friends make that we really really want for ourselves but we can't afford them. But that doesn't mean the price is wrong, the piece is not too expensive, it's just too expensive for me!
I know from experience what goes into a lot of the things we sell. For instance I've stayed up all night to get tiles done, I've had pieces crack in the kiln so I had to do them over. It took me 1 hour to do the first tile and 1 hour to do the second tile. (not counting the glazing and firing time) So when someone asked if they buy 2 can they get a better price - well.... no. Then I think of the cost of our mortgage on our building, our employees, the packaging, the insurance, the electricity, etc. Etc. Like my friend says, "no I can't give you a better price."
I don't work in volume and neither do most of our artists. We and our artists carefully create our items, we take pride in what we do and they take as long as they take to make. We rarely have discounts or sales on things unless something is just not selling.
People think it doesn't hurt to ask for a discount, but indeed it does hurt. It hurts my feelings when I think of the time that went into that handmade piece.
We have had Carolina Creations since 1989 and need to make a profit to continue to be. You don't have to buy anything we sell, you don't need it to live but when you do, you support us and our artists and their families. You support ideas, passing on the joy, thought and caring that went into that piece.
So thank you to all of you that come in and say - this is the perfect gift for my friend - she will just love it!
- Jan Francoeur