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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Craft market research

I'm sitting here (in the lovely new computer chair that the boyfriend bought at the weekend) feeling pretty smug that I got in from Bluestockings this evening and did all the laundry before either doing any blogging or yet more knitting. To be honest, laundry was fairly necessary after a ketchup related incident at the pub. Amazingly and in defiance of all the laws of knitting physics the only place that the ketchup didn't go was on new knitter Amy's cream lace project. I'm not sure she'd have come back if that had happened!

We had a really great knitting night. There were 4 (four!) new knitters - Amy, Jenny, Jen, and Meryl - Felix came over from Reading and Helen arrived with her new dog Poppy who instantly became the centre of attention. She is a German Spitz and is just the prettiest dog ever and very well behaved. It was our first night in the new reserved spot by the bar and I think it was a success. There was lots of light all evening and enough space for all the knitters. There was even a little spot for Poppy to zonk out - I think she was exhausted by all the petting.

I took advantage of all these knitters to conduct a little market research on my owl brooches ahead of the craft market on Sunday and I'd like to ask you guys the same questions.

First question: do you prefer the goggly eyes?

little brown owls

or the sleepy eyes?

little brown owls

Here's a picture of the two owls side by side to help you out.

little brown owls

Bear in mind that these are actually little brooches so do think about what you would prefer to wear.

Second question: how much would you pay for a little owl brooch at a craft market? (Assuming you wanted a little owl brooch that is.)

For this one there are a few points to think about. The brooch is handmade (each one takes about an hour to make) and I don't want to sell myself short, or undercut other artists and crafters at the market some of whom will be doing this to make or supplement an income (rather than just as a hobby). On the other hand, I know from experience (my own and that of others) that very few people will pay an amount that would be a fair recompense for the time, skill, and materials that go into making a handmade item.

I have a figure in my own head which I think I'm going to charge but I'd be really interested to have your comments on this.

Edited to add: Thanks for all your lovely comments so far. One or two people mentioned that pricing might depend on the size of the owls - they are around 2 1/4 inches high (5.5 cm).

22 comments:

Jodi said...

Sleepy eyes! It looks more artsy and charming.

Not sure what I'd pay... esp. since I think in US$.

Good luck!

Knitosaurus said...

I just bounced over to your blog from needled and the Neep and just have to say, I adore those little owls! I think if I were to wear one, I would want some sort of stationary eyes, not googly ones, but that's just me. I like the eyes open look, but the googlies seem a little twee for me to wear as a brooch.

As for monetary value...it's hard to peg. How large are they? I've seen knit brooches on etsy anywhere from USD 2.50 to 20.00. I think USD 20 is a little dear, but I would certainly pay between USD 5 and USD 10 for one!

Lucie said...

They are v cute! I prefer the sleepy eyes, though I am fairly confident my 4 year old will like the goggly one. Pricing is v difficult - I think about £4.50 (I know - a bargain) for something lovely and handmade but a novelty item nontheless.

ruthcrafts said...

wish I were there :) the owls both look great - but I agree with Lucie - I prefer the sleepy eyes, but I think children would love the goggly ones. No idea on price, but I hope you have a great time!

janet said...

I love the awake eyes (I love the googly, but I have the mindset of a child, so that probably doesn't help) on the dark on - I think sleepy eyes might not stand out so much, and vice versa for the pale.
Maybe embroidered awake eyes?

Wrt pricing - hard, as Lucie says, because it looks like a novelty item. I would pay $AU15 happily, maybe $20 on an impulse.. BUT that doesn't really cover it from your point of view....(no help, I know...) I presume they are reasonably small if they are brooch?

katieh said...

I prefer the sleepy eyes. Very cute.

I can't remember how tall you said they were, but I think you could charge £4-7 - which isn't a bad hourly rate for knitted things.

tinebeest said...

Shame I couldn't make it to knitting night- though dinner in College was pretty tasty!

I am nowadays prepared to pay more for handmade, just because I know how much work goes into it! £5 would be less than minimum wage for labour, and doesn't even cover your materials. How about £7? Much higher than that and you may have trouble vacating your parliament by the end of the craft fair.

And I'm still waiting for the first person to pay more than £20 for a pair of handknit socks, even though that doesn't even begin to cover labour...

Kate said...

sleepy eyes is killing me- I love it! Ruth is right, though, that kids will be inevitably drawn to the googly ones. Comparable items at 'concrete wardrobe' sell for £15, which would reflect the labour involved and your Design Genius. Given that people will be passing your stall and buying on impulse, I suggest £8.50.

Kate said...

PS can I buy one?

Knitosaurus said...

At 5.5 cm I think I would pay up to £10 (about USD15). Just a thought, what about tiny button eyes? Not sure if they make buttons tiny enough, but that's another cute eye idea.

And I agree with Kate's postscript!

Kyoko said...

I love the sleepy eyes. It is very cute!
In terms of prices, I would say around £7 (or approx $14 on etsy). It is gorgeous!

Petit Filoux said...

Thanks for your encouraging comment! By the way, might be too late, but thought I'd let you know what I think about the eyes - definitely sleepy eyes is the answer! and I also reckon £8 sounds about right... but i guess i'm a little late now!

Louise Schelde said...

I really love your owls...If one hade such a little fellow one might feel like Harry at Hogwards
:0). I like both type of eyes and hope that you would show us more owls when if you make more.

Yours Louise, Denmark

Shosh said...

I love them both, but particularly the sleepy eyes. Not only would I buy one, but I would buy the pattern, if you ever released it. My thoughts on pricing will be unhelpful, as I'm in Australia...

But I really would buy the pattern!

Anonymous said...

are you selling this pattern - please do - it looks lovely!

Roobeedoo said...

Sleepy eyes! And I would snap it up for £5 and come back for a second look at £7.50...

Lynn in Tucson said...

They're just wonderful!

I prefer the sleepy eyes as well; I think the googly detracts from their handmade-ness.

In this economic climate it's hard to say but once upon a time I could see charging $15-$18 USD for them.

I think selling the pattern is a great idea!

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

Hi. Popped over from Needled's blog. I love the sleepy eyed one!

Have you considered selling the pattern on Ravelry or your blog? That might be easier on you (less effort than knitting them all) and you might find that if priced right you might make more in the long run.

Shana said...

Sleepy eyes! Sleepy eyes!

sajbat said...

Love the sleepy eyes! I think I'd like them even more if they were shaped like little "u"s. And I'd pay anywhere from $10 to $15 for the brooches, and would love to buy the pattern! adorable!

EJ said...

gosh I'm surprised at the pricing opinions- my first thought was for handmade plus v small plus such a neat slick design you could sell them for $30 here (NZ)- but I suppose people buying things in pounds are used to the benefits of good exchange rates with any manufacturing countries so that is against you. Pricing would also depend on the type of crowd the craft fair attracts but surely you can get at least 10pounds for them!

colleen said...

This is months after the event, but I just came across this link and thought of your question. Hoep you like doing sums....

http://www.designspongeonline.com/2010/02/biz-ladies-how-to-price-your-work.html