My previous structure was:
+estimate cost of fabrics and supplies
+estimate hours times direct labor per hour
+a universal fee that covers things like wear and tear on machines and other costs not covered by the supplies and labor, like time researching and sourcing
When a quote would be requested, this is was my starting point. If fabrics or other supplies came from my stash, I’d use the approximate price I paid, which means that things I stocked up on while on sale would some with a bit of a savings, and sometimes I could use antique supplies, like easy 19th century trim, that I wouldn’t be able to find spur of the moment. And then creating things would have priority when it came to my time rather than come after other things. If I missed an event for my daughter, then I did. If I missed volunteering for something, then I did.
But at this point, supplies are just sitting there, and time is an abstract concept. The only scheduled thing is some performing I’m working on and show-kittening.
My new structure, for the time being, is that there isn’t one. If there’s something you’re interested in and don’t have a close or strict deadline, let me know what it is, and your budget (either in one lump or in payments), and I’ll see if I have the supplies already and either comp them entirely or discount them steeply. The more free time in my schedule, the more I can come down on pricing. I need a reason to get out of bed by 2 in the afternoon. 😂 And you need something more to look forward to than endless nothingness, just…who knows what there is to look forward to in the future when we don’ know if we’ll even get to have the holidays this year or if it’s another year not seeing loved ones. So let’s put at least something out there to look forward to.
Want an icy blue silk Victorian corset with some silver embroidery on a couple of the panels and can pay $150 (they usually start at $500) and I have the supplies? My thought process: the busks I use and have right now, are German steel spoon busks that I had custom made for about $40 each (made in Germany, custom, no cheap but amazing), and the particular boning I use works out to about $40 per corset, and the silk was 60€/m, plus other supplies like grommets, lining, coutil interlining, etc.. The cost of supplies are more than that $150, meaning technically a financially loss to me whenever I get around to restocking, BUT they’re also just sitting there doing on one any good and I don’t foresee the economy bouncing back to the point that I’m likely to need to restock soon anyway.
So…you got it! Custom embroidered silk corset for $150 and something to look forward to, and I have something to help me keep on some sort of schedule for my sanity.
Want Christine Daeé’s mirror robe in a soft cotton for $250 (usually starting last $750)? My thought process: I have the perfect cotton, so that one would depend on if I have the lace already. That one uses a lot of it, so I might have to add in the cost of the lace, but otherwise…sure.
There will be some reasonable limitations. Want something that would take 300 hours, and 18 yards of French silk taffeta for $500? Or 100 cotton face masks for $100? That’ll be a No, so please understand that, while I’m very willing to scale back a lot and comp a lot more than usual, there will still be some lines beyond which I will say no. Still, go ahead and send your inquiries and offers, and you might find a Yes where you’d expect a No since what I’m considering reasonable is quite far down right now. I’m pretty sure the difference between a corset that’ll take about 15-20 hours, include custom drafting and embroidery, and $150-ish in supplies I already have sitting there several times over, for $150, and something taking taking 300ish hours and $1,400 in supplies that would use all of that fabric that I have left, for $500 is kinda apparent.
If you send an open inquiry, I’ll reply with what my normal quotes would have been or with a link to this post. Right now, it’s less about a for-profit business (if you knew how much time and supplies I donate to non-profits in a usual year, you’d question if this is actually a for-profit business anyway, considering I put more money and time into 501(c)3’s than I actually talk about, and I’m lucky to be in a position to do so), and more about let’s just all try to help each other get through this and have some reasons to smile. The for-profit-ish side of things can wait until life is back on track.
Let’s see who gets the reference in this image, which was going to be my closing line to this post until I amused myself by singing it. 😂
In fact, I dare you to send those offers you’re thinking right now. 😁