January 8, 2013

progress, pricing, and why I can't sell this tote

studio waterstone bags
Ah - how I love this tote! Sometimes however, I have (what I think are) great ideas and spend lots of time planning a new bag only to find that a concept won't work. I have dreamed of making a unique, usable tote compete with whimsical stitching, zippered, patch and pencil pockets. Maybe a little leather.

So, why can't I sell it? Pricing. Once the labor was calculated I realized that it's not marketable. [[sigh]] I can't complete with China. Or someone who works way faster than me. But I'm not giving up. Thoughts? And don't say, "work faster". Ain't gonna happen.

In spite of this, I'm seeing lots of realistic progress in the studio...

studio waterstone bags
Unique suede and leather artist's pouches in the works.

studio waterstone bags
And I'm supah excited about this - another concept.  Can you guess what this project is?


  1. I wish that I had answers but that's the same reason that I sell jewelry but never sell any of my crocheted or knitted items. I sometimes make pieces of jewelry that I could never sell, too. But those are always for me and not intended for sale.

    The whole China situation really is awful :(

  2. I hear you loud and clear and feel your pain! This past year, my time in the grocery store alone has doubled, as I read every single label looking for ANYTHING made in the USA!

  3. The China situation is beyond aweful! I do shows all over and I had banners printed up that say, "100% Handmade in Texas" to try to get business back to where it used to be before all the imports. I gave up on the crochet items because booths around me import those and sell them for $5 per item when the yarn alone cost me $10!

    @Patti-I do the same thing-reading labels for items made here in the USA!

  4. Patti and Donna - I guess some things/treasures are lucky enough to be kept with family and friends, right?

  5. there is a market for every price point. handmade items may not always get the price you'd like to see but they always make awesome gifts. perhaps with your artistic talents you could do some type of painting/stamping that resembles your stitching that could go a lot of faster? leave out the side gussets on the tote requiring less time sewing? it surely is a beauty!

  6. Well, I can only compare this to something I experienced with a friend. We were in an art exhibit together. She was a decorative painter, who did lovely work. She loved to paint on wood. She painted the most gorgeous, elaborate design on a wooden umbrella stand. She spent days on the thing. Had this been a lamp ... same design, just outfit it with lamp hardware, she could have sold it for $500. As it was, I'm not sure she ever sold the umbrella stand. She could never recoup her investment in time. You items are so upscale and posh, using wonderful leathers and upholstery fabric. As much as I love this piece, because I love everything you make, I don't think the canvas fabric would ever allow you to recoup your time investment. Make the same design and hand paint leather ... yeah, that's the ticket!


I love reading each one of your comments. Thanks for your visit and have a wonderful day.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Let's hang out! @lori_plyler

Follow via Email...

but seriously folks...

©Lori Plyler 2008-2017
Unless otherwise noted, all content on this blog from artwork to photography and everything in between is copyrighted. Anything offered for download is for personal use only (no retail and/or commercial uses are allowed).

Please contact me for permission if you are planning to use anything I use online and always show your link love and respect by linking back to the original source. Thanks!