Friday, 16 October 2009

Happy Friday!

I can't show you all of this, it's one for the Card Marathon next month, but I thought the text was a good thing to wish you at a weekend.

My friends Teresa and Necie have been involved in a fund raiser for their local hospice. They did what works best - sold craft stuff and teas. The Ffrog posted on her blog last week about a bit of a marathon card making session to get the stock up for Wednesday's event, so I sent her a wedge of mine to add to the pile. I have to admit to a flicker of pre-disappointment for them; I have been spectacularly unsuccessful at selling cards for Charity. Sad to say my experience has mostly been of the 'well they're a bit over-priced considering they're for charity' or the character that flips through the basket, bending the just seen cards in half whilst working through the rest, and announces that there isn't a 'single one with 'Happy Birthday Tarquin' and so sadly, no sale today - but how lucky that you have time to sit around making cards'. This is one of my all time favourite insults; guaranteed to wind me up! I've developed one line and a smile: "I make time to do the things I want to do".
Now the real point here is the 'over-priced' thing - what is too much? The Ffrog said today that people were buying the cards in threes and more, for £1 and £1.50. She floored me. I would have argued that at £1.50, a card wouldn't sell easily. You do not need to remind me about the cost of any of the materials embellishments or doodads - because I've bought them all - nor do you need to remind me that if you extrapolate it far enough, that £1.50 amounts to about half a pence per hour. I know all of that. But I can rarely get non-crafters to understand that without a long whining explanation (like this!). And I do maintain that if you have to explain it, you've lost the sale. But if you're lucky, the husband will park himself in front of you whilst his wife is busy bending your cards, and he'll share with you the benefit of his lifetime's experience of sending cards. Print them on the computer. They look properly professional then - and you can choose the colours. Yeah. Thanks for that. Step away from my table so that other people can buy a card then. So tell me really - how often and for how much do you sell your cards?
I can't tell you how pleased I am for Teresa and Necie and more importantly, for the Hospice; they raised over £500.

And this leads me on to the give-away that I talked about earlier this week. It wasn't intended to be a hugely philanthropic gesture; I thought it might be a bit of fun, a possible relief to a busy person at a busy time of year. No more, no less. Don't worry about what I should do/am doing/have done for charity, that's between me and my heart. If you are the recipient, feel free to use them, sell them, donate them - just enjoy the doing! So Mr Dunnit picked Ann from my technically excellent draw...we know her as CoventryAnn. Thanks for playing y'all.


Neenie said...

There's something disheartening about people rifling through your lovingly created cards whilst sneering, isn't there? Makes you wonder why we bother. I tend to either send them up to my son's school to be sold to raise funds or I send them to people for their intended purpose. I can't be doing with other people re-inforcing my self-doubt, so I duck out of craft fair opportunities. That's not a huge amount to ask for a card and I've seen them on sale for a lot more than that. It's great that you've donated a pile for the hospice's benefit and that the've sold well. Some people will always want something for nothing, don't let the b*$^£&*s grind you down!x :)

Angie said...

What people buy and what they are willing to spend at fairs will always be a mystery to me.£1.50+ for a special card(nana,gran,brother etc or extra work ones) seems fine. £1 for a basic is fair too ...many charge a lot more as they price the time as well...which is fair too. You would think that if it were for charity they would spend more ....but no. Some how ..because it is hand made they feel it should be cheaper ... when the opposite is true. Most 'ordinary folk' have no idea what materials cost ...and you can forget your time.
I had a 'husband by the table' ...just like yours ...when I did a jewelry stall for a friends school ...many moons ago.I had to leave the stall in DD's hands and walk off for a fag (I smoked then)before I throttled him or lost control verbally. lol .

Angie said...

Totally forgot to say that I LOVE the peek ....cant wait to see the reveal xx

redsmudge said...

Have sold cards at xmas only and generally end up letting the purchaser decide how much they would like to pay as am to uncomfortable to ask, the same was said of wedding invites recently!!! And am frustrated when male onlookers (namely a work colleague!) call you a cheap skate for making a card instead of buying one!!! (I swear I could probably buy half of Hallmark with the money I have spent!) Not generally comfortable asking for money so prefer to make to send only instead!!!

Chrissie said...

Well... I just love reading your posts, were you a journalist in another life? Your way with words is commanding and your humour dry and exactly to my taste!! Sounds a bit like the descritpion of a martini.
As to where and how much for our handmade masterpieces... I sell mine at my choir where I give a large percentage to boost choir funds. I charge £1.50 or £2 depending on size. Obviously size matters! One chap gave me a fiver for a bespoke card for his son the other day as he was so knocked out by it!
I also have a stand at my gym where the prices are similar with some at £2.50.It's a good job I have an outlet for these creations otherwise I'd be running out of space to live in my house.
I must add that I have a pile of nobodywants ready for the charity shop, which may end up in their recycle bin.
Enough already!

Anonymous said...

seriously, have some manners innit! i think it's really rude to diss someone's craft, in front of you aswell! cheeky sods.

Carmen said...

I don't mean to sound suspiscious or anything but you want to watch that the hubby by the table isn't shielding the wife pilfering your cards. So trusting me. Not.

We have been having this exact conversation with Devon, her and her BFF are starting to make cards to sell. The friend reckons they are cheeky asking for 50p a card (decoupaged Forever Friends cards at that!) Craig, me and BFF's Mum all say at LEAST £1 to £1.50 but I think it's a confidence issue with them.

I know the 'look' too. When I gave Devons BFF Cupcake Duckie I was rewarded with tears and squeezy cuddles. When she showed her Mum later in the day and told her that I make them... I was rewarded with 'the look' and the feeling that I should explain why I am covering rubber duckies in pretty paper and ribbon and not doing something 'constructive' with my time instead. And then other people tell me I should sell them - mixed signals, not good for the confidence... somehow makes you feel exposed when people rifle through stuff you've made as well, or is that just me?

If you go into any card shop and see how much they are charging for the mass produced tat in there - I think they are the ones with the cheek personally.

CoventryAnn said...

Being pulled out of the hat is the best thing to happen to me all week! :)
And my experience of selling handcarfted cards is that most people really don't appreciate them (why haven't you got any with Nan, Uncle, Brother on etc...) and they just want something for nothing.

Ann said...

Love your witty writing as always, Julia.
I've never tried to sell my cards as I work full time, haven't the confidence to face punters, but more importantly I wouldn't want to feel I HAD TO MAKE MORE cards. It's my hobby, that I love, and I hope it stays that way a long time yet!
Fot those of you who do sell your creations, remember the fun you had making them and ignore the ignorance of those who sneer. Bet they don't know one end of a pair of scissors from the other!

Anne said...

I've never tried to sell anything I've made - no confidence whatsoever. But - I have to say (in the nicest way possible, of course), that I see others selling things quite successfully that don't seem to be as good as things that other people make, who have no confidence at all in their abilities. (sorry, that was a VERY poorly constructed sentence! - but you know what I mean).