A talented seamstress makes $15-$20 an hour in the US, and my prices reflect that. A similar employee at a factory in China would make pennies.
I can’t compete with sweatshop prices, and I don’t want to.
People expecting big-box prices for handmade goods. And the sad truth is, most of the time those handmade goods are underpriced just to compete with this mindset. These customers don’t see the hours of design, standing in the fabric store deciding between fabrics, emails back and forth if someone wants a custom piece, and the hours of learning and refining the craft. It’s said that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert on something. Since that first sewing class through today, I have accrued much more than 10,000 hours of sewing.
When you buy handmade, you’re not just buying a dress or a purse. You’re buying the entire handmade experience.
The next time you’re considering buying a handmade item, remember there’s a woman sitting behind a sewing machine in her basement, surrounded by mountains of fabric and years of experience, putting a piece of her soul into that item, hoping that you will get as much joy from the finished product as she gets from making it, and maybe she can pay some bills too.