Peer pressure, personal pressure. Pressure all around. Pressure, Pressure, pressure! This is something I have struggled with for years and still continue to do so. Perhaps this pressure is also mixed with anxiety and a big anxiety for me is my pricing. (Well money is a big anxiety trigger for me and something I am working on)
I know how to price my products correctly, I've been on jewellery business courses to assist with this and I've also been to talks with the Crafts Council and learnt from other jewellers but when you sell primarily online, well, you can become nervous. Nervous because so many people are under selling their work, therefore under selling the market and then make you question yourself. Until very recently when I read a post on social media.
This post reminded me that I'm within the 100% hand crafted jewellery industry, not the mainstream mass produced one. It reminded me of my long days (5am starts to get to Uni and home by 10:30pm/11pm 4 days a week) to get my qualifications. It reminded me of the training positions I have held on a low wage to develop my skills. It reminded me of the crazy jobs I have done to give me the time to attend additional tuition to develop my skills. It reminded me of all the time, hard work and money I have put into becoming the jeweller, goldsmith and teacher I am today.
This post isn't for me to moan, complain or any of the above. It's simply me, reminding myself and others that we are worth it. Our jewellery is worth it. Our time is worth it. Our knowledge is worth it. Our designs are worth it. I was right to offer lower prices when I was learning, because you can't expect someone to pay full price for you to learn from their purchase, that I don't agree with. But if you are established and have the knowledge and experience then you should be paid correctly for it as it would be in any other industry.
Your customers will be happy to pay the correct price. Not everyone is your customer, it simply can not be. You can not reduce prices for a friend of a friend. This is your living, your time, your skills. And in my case, the past 16 years of my life. Would you expect a friend of a friend to reduce their prices for you? If you would, then you aren't their customer.
We just need to remain true to ourselves, our skills, our knowledge and remember that a bespoke or completely hand made item of jewellery (or any product) takes time. Lots of time, not just the time to make it but all the time you have spent before learning.
So today I promise to release myself of this pressure, and I invite you to join me.