This week I did a series of books for clients including three different versions of the shell books, a double lace book, embossed Leather book and beautiful antique gold book. Finishing up all the details this morning.
Finally catching up with the work after an eventful June. I have several projects in mind once I do. This month has seen the retirement of 4 different long running series because of the end of the lot of materials to work with so will have to come up with a new sets for the fall….
Just a quick update as I’m editing this on my phone. We’re still without electricity getting onto 5 days so I’ve been disconnected. But progress is being made have made five books all going out when the ability to print out personalization returns. It has been. some month with a sprined ankle at the 1st of June and then the end of June this strange storm that hit the east coast.
I wanted to draw your attention to the new service I’m offering of “Help me Choose My Book” I’m doing this because as a handmade vendor my time is limited and many people haven’t purchased handmade before and so have trouble ciphering out all the decision making. Fill it out, and submit it and I’ll make suggestions which will stay within your budget and give you some possibilities for creating your dream guest book, photo album or combination photo guest book. With this form that I’ve created we both start out with some ideas to work with, you with an idea of what you are looking for and hopefully saves us time. Plus after you submit your form you can print out your own list and know what have in mind as well.
Recently ”The Knot” published an article about how bride’s should negotiate “flea market style” for bridal services. It was brought to my attention through the Etsy Wedding Team in a discussion on this article and how it was hurting the market for Bridal Vendors. I looked at the reference given on a photographer’s Blog, Bobby Earle, and read it through.
I wanted to add another perspective that of the handmade vendor. While it is perfectly understandable why Brides’ would want the best price for the items that they purchase, who wouldn’t and comparison shopping is inevitable, let me explain why I don’t negotiate.
My products are all handmade, by one individual (me) in its entirety. Whether I make 1 item or 100 I still invest the same amount of time in each. I fold and cut the paper, I sew the centers together, I cut board and I design and assemble the covers. Buyers should look at this as a worthy investment to support this type of effort and the individual entrepreneur, instead of trying to compare it to buying and selling at a flea market where most of the people are reselling something that someone else pre-owned and made.
While some people buy pre-made centers, and just cover a cover and call it a handmade book, other’s may buy pre-made books with blank covers and just add embellishments. I look at that as a deceptive practice. I actually do everything. Because of this I invest a fair bit of time in my books, I can only make about 5-8 a week and I work full-time as a freelance entrepreneur. So here’s the deal, let’s try looking at this from a perspective of something that you may have created. You’ve bought the yarn, and the knitting needles and now you’ve spent a week perhaps two making the perfect baby sweater and you put a price of $165 on it. Someone comes in to your shop and ask you to halve the price. Don’t you think that the time that you spent making that sweater is worth something? Are you going to do a deep discount? How are you going to replace that sweater if someone expects you to sell it for material cost not even counting the fact that this buyer took up of hours of your time making that decision? You’d have to go out and buy more yarn and spend another week making it wouldn’t you? And what are you going to have left over for yourself when you sell it for materials cost alone? Nothing. No money to buy a little something for yourself. Perhaps the sweater isn’t the best example cause I don’t think anyone could live off $165/ week much less a discounted price, with gas, electric and mortgages could they? People like myself, and there are alot of us, trying to make a living using their skills, their time and their online businesses should not expected to discount like someone who buys pre-made or sells something that you could buy at Wal-Mart. You wouldn’t expect to go to a work and work 40 hours a week and get nothing for yourself to live off would you? Why Work? It would be more productive to close up shop. The Brides lose because you are no longer making handmade items for them and they are stuck with the mass manufacturers. So I ask, why would you expect the handmade vendor to discount? It isn’t good for either the market or future brides.
The Knot Article has since been revised. It now is related more to the type of vendor that has a contract, but the residual of the original article, which didn’t really specify the type of business one should expect negotiate has deeply affected the handmade marketplace and we are just beginning to recover with just half the time left for this year’s market.
Been working on several projects this week and some new things as well. I have made several revisions to my offerings as well. For example: One book which I renewed was a moss green book or celedon green with a very pretty floral done in guipure. That was a one of a kind but I realized I have many beautiful designs which would lend themselves to this idea so I decided to let you choose which one you wanted rather than making up a OOAK and then that is it for the lace, if you wanted a different color silk uh oh…. So this is why I put the lace ideas up as the first image, to make you know that this is completely your creation, so many have gone before you and now it is your turn.
After two years on blogspot with a well earned history of work and news from the workshop we’re moving our blogs to Word Press. For those who want to see my old blog which I’ll continue to update for awhile until everyone has found this new blog. I’ll try to figure out how to move archives over as well please see http://artbychapin.blogspot.com For some reason Blogspot is no longer updating in readers, or stats so I need to connect in new ways to the public. Best Wishes. Debbie
Check out my new layout on my website at http://www.artbychapin.com
New this week, I’m busy working away in the workshop and done with trying to figure out how to please Google, Bing etc… it is impossible as they keep shifting the mark…. Instead I’m concentrating on the beauty of spring and coming up with a new ruffled look inspired by two things….
a pair of shoes, a pair of earrings from http://ederajewelry.bigcartel.com/ which I thought were fabulous and my own rose garden…. A beautiful OLD Double Rose with sent galore.
I’m also doing a new design with cockle shells… I’m reminded of
Apparently it is a faux pas to thank people for putting me in their blogs and treasuries and showing people what you are talking about, who knew. So I’m moving the thank you posts over to a new page called Thanks! and I’ll just keep adding to it as I go along, sorry it won’t be a pretty I suspect. Thanks
I’ve been working on my designs and am coming up with new ideas all the time, using knots, hand painted silks and shells in my new line of Beach Wedding Guest Books. Perfect for the Luxury Resort in tropical climes with the swish swish swish of the ocean, these books will fill with memories and thoughts from the day. My books are made with all archival materials, can have a matching pen. I love the natural tones of the beach and sea together so I’ve played with that in shimmery shantung or champagne twill giving the books an opalescent look while customizing the colors and shells to a particular client. Each book is a unique wedding guest book since no two shells are alike and no two dyed silks are alike. The knots are special as well bringing ancient skills to light and giving them new purpose and uses. Check out the details on my website at http://www.artbychapin.com under beach wedding guest books. Check back often as clients add their ideas and I come up with more combinations and styles you’ll see this evolve just like the lace books did. Come Customize your book. Each book can also be personalized with name date and place as always in the script of your choice, have lines added, and are lay-flat construction as all my books do.