So today was “Small Business Saturday”, which always follows Black Friday and precedes Cyber Monday...and while I didn’t have potential buyers knocking on my “door” regarding either of these days, I couldn’t help but feel like I was doing something wrong by NOT offering some kind of deal.
So this morning I decided to mark my shop down 10% (and it didn’t make a difference, it was a quiet Saturday) but I found myself being pulled in all sorts of directions...is 10% even enough to make people care? Should I mark it down more even though that seriously cuts in my very small profit margin?
When I first started Wopatula I had things priced on the higher side...I fully dove into the idea that people will pay just about anything for a shirt that says Nantucket 🤦♀️ And listen, I’d rather get $50 than $25 for a sweatshirt anyday, especially now that I’ve begun printing myself and my costs are down - but what I found (and this is only true for myself, absolutely positively NOT all small businesses) is that its more important and fun for me to lower my prices so more people can buy my stuff.
Take a hat for example - a typical adult hat will take me approx 3 hours from start to finish...if I have to make a pattern it might be closer to 3.5 or 4. My material cost, luckily, is neglible because I have a disgustingly large yarn stash and I actually haven’t bought any new yarn this year (and thats a legit miracle).
But all said - I spend a lot of time making one hat that I could be spending folding laundry or vacuuming my house (full disclosure, I’d rather knit) or even working at my real job (where I make alot more than my hat hobby brings in) but, and again this is just for me, I just LOVE that keeping my hats at $35 makes it easier for more people to buy and enjoy them.
I’ve said it before, I don’t have a lot of money. I just don’t. But I try really hard to spend it wisely and on important people and things when I can. During my very first craft show back in 2014, I had put out a collection of things I made...greeting cards with photos I had taken, some stuffed animals I made from various materials, and a few handknit hats I had lying around...I also had just given birth to my first child TWO weeks prior to this show and I was taking pumping breaks in the high school locker room every two hours 😂 This is relevant because it was a big deal for me to be there...I was totally out of my comfort zone trying to sell these things I wasn’t even sure if anyone wanted my shit AND I was two weeks into motherhood (and out of an emergency c section - sorry for the TMI). Long story short, it was a big god damn deal that I was there - and I will NEVER forget when two women walked up to my table, picked up one of my handknit hats priced at $25 (!!!!!) and she said “Well this is nice but that’s just too much for a baby hat” and walked away. Like WTF. I probably should have whipped out my newborn (and my post c section mesh granny undies...you know the kind) and told this broad to hit bricks! But I didn’t. I’m very very nice. 😂
Anyway to round this all out...I have made my choices regarding my prices...I price my swag to be approachable because this is NOT my full time job and I do not depend on this to make a living...maybe someday (guys, you need sweatshirts? I got sweatshirts...) but just because I have made my choices this way does not mean I get to question another business’s prices. I don’t get to judge how someone else values their goods and their creations. And I certainly don’t need to wait for some hardworking craftsperson to knock their prices down just to catch my attention on a Friday thats absolutely ONLY meant for purchasing and decorating a Christmas Tree and nothing else. 🤣 On Thanksgiving I bought some XMas presents online from a small biz that I’ve always liked. I saw something in their Insta story that caught my attention so I jumped online and scooped up $100 worth of gifts. Next day everything was 20% off and for a hot second I was like “daaaaaamn what did I do?!” Then I thought , I know what I did - I paid these people what they need to make to sure that their business survives and their employees get paid and they can keep selling amazing product. Duh idiot, you did what you’re supposed to be doing! I would have saved $20 and seriously, I’ve spent more money in far stupider ways than that.
So, let us all remember to shop smart, spend our money in the right place, and support each other as we all figure out how to keep ourselves and our businesses moving in the right direction (for us).