Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A lesson in VALUING your time (for small business owners + creatives)

I keep debating whether or not I should post this but my heart is heavy this morning and I'm sure many of you can relate (especially if you are a small business owner or creative) and if not, maybe gain some perspective.

This morning, I received an email which sadly was the first thing I woke up to and read. There were words in there from someone who wanted to express her feelings (which I respect) but said things that went a little too far because they were statements that she knew very little about.

Statements such as "I know that once you've made a crown or 2 should only take up to an hour at most to perfect a crown. And while you do have embellished flowers with pearls in the center....there's no way your costs are that high." & "While your crown is gorgeous, a price tag of...seems to me highway robbery." As well as several other VERY HURTFUL statements.

Although, I DO NOT need to explain my business, my passion and why things are the way they are, I feel like I need to speak out for those who DO own a small business as well as many of whom who are juggling several roles as a wife, momma, care-taker, home-keeper, student and many other titles all at once.

First off, my prices aren't just the way they are because of supply costs. Yes, they are in there BUT my time is what I value the most. I am a stay at home momma (one who is also currently trying to potty train my son which is not an easy task in itself), I am a wife who needs to make time to spend with my amazing husband, I am a home-keeper who is trying my best to make sure that the dishes are clean, laundry is done, the floor is swept, the same messes are picked up every single day amongst SEVERAL other things that go on throughout the day.

I run my shop the BEST I CAN because I LOVE what I do but I can't do everything all the time. Each floral crown piece DOES NOT take "an hour at the most". In fact, it can take double that if not more at times and triple that time on many other pieces. There is quite a bit of hand-stiching involved, petals taken apart to create completely new flowers, measurements taken, trimmings done, etc. etc. This all takes time-time that I choose to take away from my family to fulfill my customer's needs. Not only that but I love creating and working with brides and many other women who want a special piece created for them to celebrate important moments. It also takes time to list items, schedule photo shoots, market items and the shop, schedule collaborations, package items, ship items as well as the time it takes to get supplies. 

Supplies in itself is not a one stop shop and go. My supplies do not come from one store. In fact, there are 3 retail stores and several online stores that I order from. The retail stores alone take me about an hour round trip (EACH) to drive to and from and many times, I have to take several of these trips a week so I can get the supplies needed for custom orders as well as stocking up for current ones. Many times, I even drive up to a 2+ hour round trip to get supplies.

Running a small business is completely different than creating something for yourself or even a friend once in a while. Keeping up on inventory, marketing, emails and SO MUCH MORE is a full time job in itself. Most handmade sellers pour their hearts into what they create. There is no dollar amount that can equal the value that we give into our passion.

Handmade DOES cost more and if it doesn't with some sellers, it SHOULD. Our creations are NOT created by machines. Most handmade shops consist of ONE person. Two hands to create. One mind to think and One heart to give. 

Not everybody knows the story behind each piece that is created. Many assumptions can be made but unless you are in that makers shoes, it's unfair to make hurtful statements devaluing someones time and effort they put into their pieces. Who is one to say how much something is really worth unless you poured your heart into it?

Yes, opinions are opinions but they don't have to be unkind. 

Creators, VALUE your time. You only get a certain number of hours in each day. What are they worth to you?


  1. Absolutely love your Instagram and blog post you were very inspiring and I know the Lord is using this trial to help other creative small business shop owners value their time more! I struggle with not making sales and pricing things so cheap just to make a sale when I'm starting to realize that sale isn't worth my time. Why should I feel snappy tords my family because I'm trying to push out a product that isn't worth the effort I pour into it and the time I take away from my family. I am going to take a deep look into my products and prices and make sure that my time is valued! Thank you for this!!!

  2. The nicest thing I can say to myself in situations like this (being an owner of a brick and mortar small business) is ~ silly people are silly. And by silly, I don't mean funny or cute, I mean the actual definition of the word- "having or showing a lack of common sense or judgment; absurd and foolish."

    We struggle with this every day. We sell used video games and import hobby items straight from Japan. Some people thing that just because a game is 5+ years old it should be cheap. They don't take in account supply and demand... you know, economics. And as far as the import items, we have to pay to have them shipped over (sometimes even FEDEX'ed with costs even more) so we price things accordingly. We don't price gouge, but we're supplying a product you can't get else where, and we'd like to make a profit. That's all part of business.

    It blows my mind just how ignorant people can me. They just don't even stop to think. It makes it hard not to become jaded. That being said, I think with the right amount of love and passion a business owner won't become jaded or discouraged. If we keep doing what we love, and pouring our passion into it, our product (whether it's my store or your store) will continue to be high quality and worth every penny. That person doesn't have to buy your product if they don't find the value in it. There are obviously MANY people who do. Keep up the amazing work!!

  3. This is very thoughtful & explained in such a humble, tasteful way. Love how you handled hurtful comments and made them helpful to not only your own business but all of your readers as well! This was great advice you gave me, & I definitely appreciate the consideration. You get 24 hours each day, to spend with your family, with God, & even just relaxing sometime, it should not be wasted or squandered on petty things or people. I agree with everything you posted and am so proud to know you ;) keep on keepin on girl! You're doing great, and WE who know how hard it is to do it alone value your time & effort....and darnett even your prices! Lol


It makes me really happy to read your comments. Leave some LOVE and have a sweet day! :)