That’s a tricky question, isn’t it? And it’s a little hard to answer. The more important question, I think, is: Can you make money doing something you love? And, the answer to that is a resounding, “Yes!”
But, not so fast…
Making money with a hand craft is a little tricky. First, let me be very honest with you. You will never get paid for all the time you put in, nor will you ever recoup the time lost in learning your craft. That’s just a fact. However, if you have the right price point for the right venue, you can actually make a profit on your flowers, or bouquets or any other hand crafted item you love to spend time making.
So, how to price those items…
With handmade items you have to figure in time + materials + shipping or transportation. I usually start timing how long it takes to make a particular flower after I have mastered it. Practice makes for decreased time – and you pick up shortcuts along the way. One of the ways I save time on an order is: by cutting out all the pieces I need and then move on to assembling them.
If I am making a bouquet, I write down the type of flower or foliage and how many I estimate I will need. Then I can proceed to make them in order and assemble the bouquet without having to stop and make more flowers. I always make a couple of more of each flower/stem just in case I need them at the end. It saves time to do that instead of stopping in the middle of making a bouquet – and if you don’t need them, they can always go into another arrangement.
As far as pricing, do your research. Visit the online shops of other paper florists and see what they charge for individual stems, bouquets and arrangements. Pay attention to the number of flowers and foliage pieces in each arrangement or bouquet. Soon you will get a “feel” for what the market will bear as far as price.
The best advice I can give you that might help if you are shy about charging what your work is worth: Never price too low. Pricing too low with the thought of raising your prices later is a slippery slope. Instead, price your flowers or bouquets, etc. what you think is fair – remember time + materials + shipping/handling. Then, discount the price – as if you are having a sale. If they are in your online shop, discount them but in a way the full price tag is known. I use WooCommerce and there is a place for a “sale” price and your “regular” price will remain visible. This gets your customer use to seeing the “regular” price and they are delighted they are getting a bargain, so they won’t be surprised when the “sale” is over and they are more likely to return for another sale.
Another way to charge less, in the beginning, is to offer coupon codes if you are online or print up coupons you can hand out if you are selling directly at a fair or a pop-up shop. Bundling flowers is also a good way to let the customer know the worth of your work, but give them a small break if they are buying in multiples.
The point is: let the customer know what your full price is up front but give them a discount. That way, you control the price with discounts instead of raising your prices later – which no one like to see. Make sense?
and off you go…
Enjoy your hand crafting – creating flowers and bouquets give me immense pleasure whether I sell them or not. Don’t let it become a chore, move into selling slowly, learn as you go, ask questions! And always, always make it for love and the money will come.