Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Cost of the Craft

So now that we're all *official* with our blog and our very own Flikr page (which, if you haven't seen yet is HERE) I was really thinking that my first entry might be about the cost of the craft. This occurred to the lovely Sherry as well, and we were sharing financial horror stories this morning. She asked:

"Do they realize just how expensive this whole thing can be? Tools, torch etc., raw materials? I had no idea and wouldn't even dream of adding up all my invoices from Rio. It would probably cause a heart attack!"

I couldn't agree more. I'm making great progress in the metalsmithing skillz department and I love what I'm creating, but the financial hole I'm sinking myself into is truly astronomical in scale. Sometimes my penny-pinching scotts-irish self is huddling in the corner while the metallust takes over and I buy buy BUY. It's disturbing, it really is.

You come to this place where you're soooooo so incredibly sunk it's not even funny. I'm talking $2,500 sunk with about $400 of sales. HOLEE shit batman that hurts. I'm good for tools for the level I'm at right now but there's always stones and metal to be bought and that doesn't come cheap. Precious metals, precious and semi-precious stones. This isn't your polymerclay or knitting hobby.

So I stress, a lot, about the way the money flows like water through my clutching fingers. I worry about it even more since I'm not working and bringing in the dough. I'm lucky that my husband is incredibly supportive of my obsession, but it's hard to show him new work sometimes b/c I know he's thinking "uh-huh, but did you SELL anything?"

Well...noo....but see how SHINY! Someone will definitely buy this one. It's my best work yet!

So I stress, and in the end I can't help myself and I spend what I have to to keep my obsession alive. It's sick really, my apologies for making you play therapist. I'm working to increase sales and I know you guys are too. So here's some reasuring facts for all of us (and perhaps our longsuffering or not-so spouses):

Here's a simply wonderful website for entrepreneurs that talks
about how to figure out complicated things like a business plan and a break even point and has a free downloadable Cash Management Report that will help you know what you're actually doing on a monthly basis and how much you'd have to sell to be profitable.

Mine quite frankly makes me a little ill. I like my friend's business plan better, it's called "Make the beast pay for itself." She took the total amount I've spent so far divided by the # of months I've been doing it for a monthly cost, then averaged out my total sales divided by the # of months I've been selling to come up with my monthly profit, then told me I need to sell $200 more dollars a month to break even. That of course isn't really right because there's also the cost of materials, but we left that out to spare my tender feelings.

So! Here's to selling $200 a month, for me and every one of you who's eagerly building an empire and waiting for the world to come. Keep the faith and attempt to keep the mortgage paid in the meantime, ok?