I decided, after several suggestions from friends, to start an Etsy shop. It isn’t a big deal–I just listed a few extra knit items I have and the lip balm I make. I’m really not convinced my stuff is actually good enough to charge people money for it. When friends and family say they like my things, I always assume they are just being nice.
I have trouble setting prices. As anyone who knits knows, if I actually charged for my time and materials, no one would buy my knits due to the cost. I recently listed a baby tunic in my store. This one piece took me two years to complete because I struggled with the lace pattern, the small needles and the lightweight yarn–it wasn’t something I could do with other people in the room, or with regular interruptions–I had to count stitches! I kept putting it aside and coming back to it. I probably made and remade the thing 6 separate times. If I used minimum wage to determine the price, not even including materials, the cost would be in the hundreds.
Last week I was asked specifically to make something for a friend, and I did–so why did I feel ashamed specifying a price? She didn’t seem to think what I asked was too much. Other items are relatively easy to make, so I feel stupid charging people because they could seriously make them themselves. Yet my sister-in-law says that even if they could, not everyone would, which is why a pair of boot cuffs (that take about 2 hours to make) sell for $20-30…and people actually pay that.
I had a conversation with a friend this weekend about how hard it is for me (and her) to self-promote. She has to as part of her job, so she’s learned, as she says, “to fake it to make it”. However, I am definitely passive aggressive in my approach (writing a blog post about it? Soooo passive aggressive!). I’m confident in other areas of my life, so why am I having such a hard time with this? Other people sell their crafts regularly, and I don’t think anything of it, so why do I care so much? Is it a Midwest thing to feel like promoting myself is actually self-aggrandizement? (By the way, I would never mark my own post as “super-awesome”–why is this even an option, WordPress?) Since I am trying to work through this, I am going to go ahead and link this post to my Etsy store, SixthStreetKnits. And blush while I do it.
Who else struggles with this?