Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Climbing the sewing mountain



It's funny how work piles up sometimes without you realising, isn't it?

The day before we left for Coffs Harbour, I gave a Snugglebaby cot quilt to a colleague at work for her leaving present as she headed off on maternity leave. It was the present from the team, and I got the pleasure of putting it together.

There were lots of ooohs and aaahs as she unwrapped it, which was very gratifying, and before the morning tea was over I had orders for another four. Aha! The lightbulb went on. So this is the market for my lovely quilts ... corporate colleagues with no time to shop for themselves, rather than passers-by at my craft markets who have lots of time to browse and choose. I think I'm onto something.

The only fly in the ointment - and it's a very, very small fly in the scheme of things - is that each person needs their quilt in the next three weeks or so. Eep! That's a lot of sewing. I did all the cutting-out on the holiday (I was forbidden from taking the sewing machine on hols, as My One True Love said he would prefer to spend the holiday with ME rather than the machine, if that was alright by me, which of course it was ... somewhat grudgingly....).

So now I'm sewing them together. I'm one down, three to go.

But I also have five markets coming up in the next four weeks, so I have to make a LOT of stock for those. It means a new range of doorsnakes and doorstops. It means fresh soap packs. It means lots and lots of new cushions, and it especially means a bunch of new toys. A big bunch. That's a lot of sewing ... and never mind the full-time job as well!

I was just about holding it together without wilting under the pressure (the pressure! the pressure of it all!) when I got a wholesale enquiry last night through Etsy.

I've never had a wholesale enquiry before, it's my first. And he wants TWENTY Hoots as a start. Ye gods and little fishes, as the mother of the Sister Of My Heart used to say! I am equally proud and happy, and slightly overwhelmed. I've done three, posted at the top here.
Does anyone have any advice for me on how I should price the Hoots for wholesale, by the way? I would usually charge $35 each at my craft markets and I know I have to discount for a big order, but by how much? They take me about three hours to make, so I'm obviously going to lose money on them individually, but for the chance to sell a bulk order into a new market, it's a price I think I'm prepared to pay.

If I just knew how much to discount, then I could relax and enjoy the thrill of getting the order, rather than stressing about it like I'm doing right now!


Cravings Frocks said...

I've been thinking about casting my net to see if anyone wants some piecework done. I can cut, sew, overlock. Handsewing isn't my forte. If you get stuck and could use some cheap labour (really, I always underprice!) I'm available.

bubbachenille said...

Your life sounds similar to mine at the moment, except I dont work outside the home and sew 5 or 6 hours a day. Funny, I never seem to be able to get ahead or even catch up !
Dont underprice yourself, I wouldn't go below $25.
Hope this helps

Tasha said...

Just focus on one market at a time don't overdo it!! make what you comfortably can each night. even 3 items per night gives you 21 in 1 week for one market ;) then if you have 2 weeks to do 2 more quilts then just do the amount that would get you there each night IYKWIM. Pricing I am never good at but I agree not under $25 and perhaps say they can price them at a minimum of $35 so they aren't undercutting your own priced items ;)

Finki (jay) said...

Gosh, when it rains it pours doesn't it. excellent though that there is so much love for flicketty splits.
'Hoot' is a star

Rose said...

Those hoots are GORGEOUS....

As for wholesale pricing, if you sell at $35 each all the time then I would say 15% off for the 20 he ordered, 20% if he orders more maybe?? So that would be $700 - $105 = $595 (at 15%) or $700 - $175 = $525 (at 20%)

I don't know if that works lol, you need to make sure you are covering your costs and making atleast a small profit.

(all of which you know lol)

rabbit and the duck said...

Most shops who buy wholesale will double the wholesale cost (+ add 10% GST) to get their retail cost. Are they going to be sold in Australia or overseas? You might want to check with the retailer first what their terms are - if they are going to mark up this much you will end up with quite a high retail price compared to your market price. Wholesaling is always tricky and the hardest part is working out how much to charge for your time!

Hm didn't mean to write this much : ) Good luck getting through your to do list! Shannon.

rabbit and the duck said...

Oh and one more thing I've learnt - it really is worth the time to figure out your wholesale costs properly first time around - it will be harder in the future if he wants to order more and you've realised you had them way underpriced to begin with!

Congrats on getting the wholesale order btw : )

Nikki @ My Black Cardigan said...

Wow, wow, wow. Can't help with the wholesale pricing - I have no idea but had to post to say woo hoo for you! What an excitingly busy exciting time for you!

myf said...

wishing you luck with all the toil- hope you don't forget to eat and sleep too though.

Margaret @ Konstant Kaos said...

ere is a dust team forum on wholesale pricing ... most people do 30% off what they sell, but speak to the person who is buying it, they generally buy at 56% off what the RRP is. So anywhere between 30-56% off RRP. But you still have to make money from it.