Bouncing around on the internet this morning I happened on one of my favorite blogs, Boston Handmade. Today on the site a video was posted that really hit home. Having freelanced as a graphic designer & illustrator for most of my career, I could totally relate to this snapshot into the glamourous world of design and creativity. Although more blatant and apparent in my former industry, the art of "negotiation" or "dismissing the value of creativity, uniqueness and creativity in an effort to get a reduced rate which will totally benefit the buyer and not the seller" exists in the world of fine art and crafts as well. Just the other day I was manning my booth at a craft fair when a patron asked me how much a necklace cost. When I told her it was $30 she recoiled as if I hadn't brushed my teeth in 3 days and let out a resounding, Fonzie like "Whoaa". I explained the process and the materials used: PMC, a custom cane made of polymer clay and an 18" sterling chain. Silver is $34.84 an ounce at this publishing. She reconsidered and deemed the price appropriate.
I am the self proclaimed Queen of Bargain Shopping - I grew up on a steady diet of the original Filene's Basement and Jordan Marsh dollar days! But even I don't expect an artisan (that's probably only making about $1.26 an hour if they actually stopped and broke it down after considering actually designing the product, producing the product, the materials, the equipment, the show fees, the travel time, hotel fees, I could go on and on... the marketing... ) to give me a break on the price of their wares.