The “Cost” of Handmade

As a soap & candle maker / handcrafter for almost six years now, pricing has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make from once hobbiest to local vendor, to managing every aspect of an online business. As my love for learning, educating myself about my profession, inventory grew and demand increased through the years along with economy fluctuating, we (my hubby & I) have had to evaluate and adjust pricing accordingly. Unlike modern, big corporation retailers who may price their products as a “loss leader” or strategically price them as high as the market will bear and items are more cheaply made, quality is sacrificed for quantity. Artisans like me however, generally price our products with a simple and transparent formula: (the cost of Materials + Time) multiplied by a markup). 

Materials and organic ingredients is major aspect in keeping my business in motion and relevant but so is my time & energy like anyone who works outside the home. Indeed, time is very valuable and precious especially as a “mompreneur.” There’s a careful balance to consider when choosing to step into becoming a homemaker & handmaker in business. 

Before I purchase the material and ingredients at craft supplies store, it has already been marked up at least three times — by the supplier, the distributor, and the retailer. When dealing in small quantities, and as a small batch soap and candle maker, the raw and organic materials I use in most of my products will always cost more. All these factors are actually what make my products some of the highest quality soaps & candles in the market and ones my customers have enjoyed through the years. 

Candles and soap are generally very common everyday items, which make them an important and frequent consumer purchase. As a maker, I take my time carefully constructing each of my products, I specifically design them to take time to create. I pride myself in crafting quality products with careful workmanship and with as much consistency as I can.  All of this, factors into the final product cost as well. 

At last, owning and managing a business no matter the size, need to profit to continue to exist. You do not have to buy anything we make. But when you do, you support a craft that serves value, family, wellness, an idea, a lifestyle, art. You encourage the production of products that are truly healthier, hold love, thought, care. You pass that joy onto the people who receive your gifts from our small business. You infuse your home with warmth and meaning when you light our hand poured soy candles. You perpetuate a world where healthier products can exist that weren't made by machines or underpaid workers in third world countries to line the pockets of corporate CEOs. You encourage a wife, mom like me, an artist, a maker, to put my own unique touch on an everyday item and that can enrich everyone!



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