Friday, 20 September 2013

Handmade vs Highstreet – The Price Battle!

Originally posted 8 August 2011.

As a designer/maker I’m often faced with tough competition – not only with the products I make, but also the price I sell them for. Many times at a craft fair or event I’ve heard customers say to other stall holders (and myself a number of occasions) “That’s too expensive.” or “I could get the same one on (insert name of high street chain here) for £10 less.”

For your future reference, every single time a independent designer hears something to that effect A BABY UNICORN DIES! Don’t do it. No really, for the sake of the unicorn race.

Baby Unicorn Sculpture by Indigo Ocean


Can you find a cheap, knock off necklace in Primark for £3? Probably.

Will it have been made by hand, had hours of labour poured into making it the best it could possibly be and contain a little bit of the makers personality? No. (and in Primark’s case – if it was made by hand, those hands belonged to a 3 year old Indonesian boy called Paul. He only has 3 fingers left and works for 2p a week to try and save his family from starvation.)

It’s also a common misconception that handmade equals bad quality. Whislt this may be the case with some people who just do their craft as a hobby and don’t take it seriously, for most crafters who want to earn a living doing what they love, they will work on a design until it’s perfect. Afterall, what we sell is a direct reflection on us.

The fact is – you can’t get anything similar to what I make and sell on the highstreet, and that’s exactly why I make what I do. My price fairly reflects the time and effort that has gone into making each item. I’m also very proud to say that I source all of my materials from within the UK, which helps the British economy and I am an avid supporter of local businesses. I could quite easily choose to get my materials imported from the States or China, but I don’t. I buy from local businesses, so that the money I spend can go straight back into the British economy because we sure as hell knows that it needs all the help it can get right now!

The next time you hear someone at a craft market say “That’s too expensive! I’m off to the highstreet!” why not ask them if they’d work for less than £5 an hour?

If they wouldn’t, why should we?


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