A sample interaction between an uninformed customer and an artist on the price of one of his/her creations: "Wow- that's a lot of money! Why is it [ bracelet, necklace, beaded tribal mask,], so expensive?" -brief pause as your customer waits for your response- "Because I saw something almost exactly like it at -- [fill-in with the name of whatever discount super-store is in your area], for like $10... and yours is over $50... What's up? Why should I buy yours, when I can get something that looks almost the same- for way less money?"
How does an artist best respond to this type of inquiry into the value of one's work?
For me: After getting over my own self-righteous indignation- (thinking: 'who are they to question the worth of my jewelry; and say what is and what isn't worth the price? Harrumph and grumble, grumble...') - I realized that I was taking a business transaction way too personally. And by removing my ego from the equation, I saw that there wasn't one broad response that would work in every situation that this question might arise.
Unfortunately, our society has become more and more reliant on the fast and the cheap. We are all looking around for the 'on the down-low' deals. Increasingly expectant that everything should abide by this quick/cheap mentality- that when something does not fall within these parameters, we are unprepared for the "sticker-shock", and are therefore, frequently at a loss for how to go about business as usual.
So even if we are able to keep from reacting with indigence, we still don't understand why there would be such a disparity in price for similar enough looking goods.
Along the same lines, because we have all become so used to those lower prices- we are already expectant of its short shelf-life. We know its not going to hold up for very long, so why should we pay a lot of money for it?
But on the flip side, at least in my case- my prices are higher because I hold my jewelry to a higher standard.
So not only am I opting for the higher-quality materials and tools to begin with- (thus bringing my prices up)- I also stand behind my product. I am confident that I am selling the best product I am capable of producing, and if for whatever reason it isn't right- I want to rectify that- So my customer leaves happy- and will hopefully be returning for something else in the near future.
I could go on onto the problems inherent to living with this type of mentality- but that would be an entry for another type of blog post...
So I suppose I'll just leave off with the notion that the customer, or person who sees the value in paying a higher price for a higher quality item- will be the person who buys from you...
And I'm not saying that those individuals who choose not to pay the higher prices for your custom wares- are discounting the value of your work. They may simply just be unable or uncomfortable paying more for something that, especially in today's economy, is considered a fun, luxury item- which trust me, it pains me to say...
But for those individuals on a bit of a stricter budget- I am still here to work with you - Creating something fabulous for you that you can still feel good about how much you spent.
In which case, happy shopping, spending and designing!!
I'm just a girl with simple- albeit refined- tastes... Well perhaps not when it comes to jewelry- as I have a rather eclectic style...Both in what I like to wear and in what I like to design!
Although I am always up for a challenge- even if I may not be able to come up with a solution- I'll be sure to give it the old college try!! - (And for someone who finished college with honors, that's saying something... even if it did take me over 6 years to finish up my B.A. in Journalism...
Oh well...As Gilda Radner would say: "Never-Mind..." ; )
But here I am, finally giving this whole blog-thing a go.
Bear with me now, if I seem to go off on a tangent- just give me a shout out to steer me back on track!