I tend to be a pushover to inertia; when I'm working, I keep working and find it difficult to stop. And when I'm not working... well, I tend to have a really hard time overcoming that inertia hump and starting back up again.
Of course, I love my work and have a visceral need to be creative, but I also really needed that break. Sure, my shop is still up and I've been slowly working on some readymade things to fill it (and I still have some very delinquent things to finish for some very gracious and forgiving friends) but it's really my custom work that sells. And so I really haven't sold anything. And, it turns out, I can't make any money hanging out with my kids and organizing my house.
I am not really a fan of money. I wish we could all barter for what we need and not have to think about money. But, alas, there are bills to pay and children to feed and clothe and deck out in silly bands and the silly band peddler isn't interested in my work.
The mister and I have been thinking a lot about how we can live well with little money. We're firm believers in the idea of right livelihood (which I talked about a little bit here), doing and making as much for ourselves as we can and "working" (for money) only as much as we need to, doing things that we love and care about or at least don't hate. Skye is really starting to feel burnt out on carpentry (mostly physically, but also a bit psychologically) and I've been feeling more and more determined to actively contribute to our family's income.
Seriously. I'm ready to jump right in but I'll have to take it slow at first. I don't have much time with the kids home for the summer but I'll make it work. Thinking about starting up custom orders again has me thinking more about money and the sustainability of my business and I realize I really need to rethink my prices and make sure I am charging enough. The reality is that I have been charging far too little for some of my work (even though it can seem like a lot, I know!).
I'm working on a system of pricing that will make things more manageable for me and fair for all. It's based on lots of choices and hopefully there will be something for everyone and options that everyone can afford.
The idea is this: Books will be priced according to their length, the complexity of the images on each page, embroidery and cover style. There is a base price for each book length and then everything else is á la carte. This actually doesn't change book prices too drastically--in fact there will now be some even more affordable options--it will simply mean that the more complicated images that take so much time to make (but are so cool!) will be priced accordingly.
I'll be back on Friday with some concrete numbers for all of this and will spend the weekend listing some custom options in the shop. Stay tuned!