Friday, January 9, 2009

Who will buy?

Last Friday after the noon Mass (where I serve as an acolyte) I went out to lunch with some friends. Because D was off work and K was off school, they went with us. We had brought along K's art-on-the-go bag to keep her occupied, and of course people noticed it. They were impressed with the simple tote bag I had made, but when they saw the felt pencil roll they got really excited and told me I should sell my crafts -- I'm not sure where or to whom.

But one friend offered to buy some from me for her nieces and nephews. I said I'd be glad to make some for her but wasn't sure about selling them. I have, in the past, sold blankets and ponchos that I've made, but I've never felt good about it because people have either offered to overpay (in my opinion) or I've had to ask too much to cover materials and feel like I wasn't getting ripped off for the amount of labor put into the item.

Not that I'd mind selling crocheted items at, say, the church bazaar, for a reasonably low price. That money goes to a good cause and not to my pocket. And I expect that this year I will have plenty of handmade goods to offer up for sale at that function. But that's different.

So my questions to you are: Should I let my friend pay me for the pencil rolls? Should I just ask her to reimburse me for the materials (about $5 each, but I had everything to make them right in my studio, I didn't need to buy a single thing, not even the pencils) or should I let her pay me extra, which she will offer to do? If I do let her pay me extra, what would a reasonable price be? (They took less than an hour apiece to make once I got in the groove; I'm thinking $10 apiece would be more than enough.)

Some other folks have encouraged me to start selling my work on Etsy. Does anyone have experience with this, either buying or selling? I've looked at it and it seems kind of confusing.

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