This blog has a little bit more information about my pricing which will be changing on June 1st. The reason behind why these increases are needed and what it means for you, my lovely jewellery fans.
I have recently been getting rid of some documents that I no longer need to keep for tax purposes. As I was going through old payment slips from my years of employed work, I took a look at my after tax take home pay, let’s just say I’m not earning very much more now, and this was a document from 10 years ago! Of course this struck me as ridiculous, I’m not earning as much as I was or even enough to cover myself for eventualities like days I may be sick, or the days I spend at craft fairs! Of course I do get excellent benefits working for myself, like being able to take time off to see family, have a walk if I feel stressed at work, have a lie in on a Monday morning or take an afternoon off.
Now I don’t want this to come across as a “woe is the artists life” post, because this is the lifestyle I have chosen for myself! I love my job, I love creating unique landscape jewellery for you. I love being creative and I don’t ever want to stop making things. When I was asked recently about retirement age, I laughed. I don’t ever want to stop making jewellery! Being self employed is what I’ve always wanted to do and I find it’s better for my mental health than employed work. I am so happy that I chose to take the risk and work for myself, and I’ve been happily doing so for the past 5 years now.
I would however, like to pay myself a fair wage for my work.
I have to earn enough over the days I am in the studio making jewellery to invest in new tools for the business; pay for jewellery shows; learning new skills; and to have the time to design and make new pieces, and my pricing needs to reflect this. In the past few years I’ve invested a lot of my time and money in gaining new skills; taking classes with Vanilla Ink and practising skills in my workshop. I’ve also been taking on more and more challenging and varied commissions, increasing my ability and skills. I’ve noticed over the years I have been struggling to design and make new pieces for my galleries and stockists as I’ve been having to spend all my time making commission work to earn enough each month to cover the basics. This pricing increase seems like common sense now I write it down, but it’s difficult to see sometimes when you’re in the middle of it!
I haven’t changed my stock prices in three years. In August 2015 I decided I needed to increase the prices of my stock jewellery, that is the jewellery you can buy from me or my stockists directly. Not changing my prices in two years means I’ve actually been taking a pay cut each year since then.
You may have already read my blog about ethical jewellery making and my desire to start using 100% post consumer recycled silver, Fairtrade gold and ethically sourced gem stones. The cost of this is higher than for standard silver and gold, but I believe in this investment. It has a positive impact for the miners and their environments. I want to make jewellery inspired by landscapes that doesn’t destroy landscapes. As well as changing the type of metal I am also changing the design of the pieces, so my Glasgow Skyline bangle is a hint of things to come!
As of June 1st my prices will be increasing by 20% or more in some cases, this may seem like a large jump in cost but I hope that you’ll understand this is something I have to do, and there’s good reason to do it. Paying myself a fair wage and being able to keep creating new jewellery. As this is the case, I’ll be looking at my pricing on a 6 monthly basis and my prices will increase incrementally after this initial larger increase.
My commission prices have always changed, when I am asked by you to make something like a wedding ring, a bangle for a graduation, or a necklace for a loved one, these are more often than not completely handmade. I price these bespoke handmade pieces individually including that day’s metal price along with the time it’ll take me to make it. What’s not changed recently is my price per hour so there will be an increase in commission prices too, as always you can ask for a quote based on the variables of your design and only when you’re happy with the design and price will I go ahead, there is no obligation if the price is not within your budget.
Many of you know, having bought bespoke pieces from me before, about the time and effort I put in to making your jewellery for you. Often I spend a few days thinking about your jewellery, letting the ideas “rest” in my head, this goes back to my blogs about the creative process, then I’ll take an hour or two to draw up your jewellery. Design charges are included in the price of your bespoke piece.
My stock pieces will always be cheaper than commissioned works, usually because stock pieces are a cast of a master that I have handmade in the studio, like the Edinburgh skyline cufflinks. Any handmade items like the Glasgow Skyline bangle are priced similar to a bespoke piece, at £420. For example the Arran and Arthur’s seat landscape cufflinks, which are cast from a master will be between £110 – £150, up from their current £85 – £125.
On the first of June, the prices will increase, so grab yourself a bargain while you can!
Photographs: Jon Davey Photography