"Buy less. Choose well. Make it last." Vivienne Westwood
If there is one thing that makes running this business HARD, it's pricing. Actually, not pricing really - just the general public's expectation of, and reaction to, prices.
Even over email I can hear the intake of breath when I quote, having to hold my own breath until it becomes apparent that this price is a) ridiculous or b) reasonable in the eyes of the beholder.
I try, with varying degrees of success, to respond along these lines:
Thank you for your interest in my handmade work. It takes time and effort to make each piece - there are no corners cut or time saving devices. Bigger brands offer 'genuine leather' belts, wallets and bags at far lower cost-, offering a solution that most can afford. For those looking to invest in a leather item that is more environmentally friendly, made with love and care, that helps keep a traditional skill going, that is unique and long lasting, that is made from gently tanned, well sourced, high quality leather, then my pricing seems reasonable. I really do appreciate the sales and support I receive - it means I can continue to do this wonderful job.
For the bag or accessory in front of you to have come into being, it started as a concept, has been through several rounds of product development, moulded into a pattern, tested, sewn and sewn and sewn. Hours, days and often weeks have gone into it, and that is before you think about the skill being developed and honed over years to get to this point. The unique nature of each piece, based on the organic nature of the material and the hand crafting involved, is pretty powerful.
Unlike high street and online brands, I do not want to build in buffers and move stock quickly. I like life and sales in the slow lane, taking time over each step to make the whole something I can be proud of and that you can love.
Lastly, I am a small cog in a system. If I price too low, other leatherworkers will be undercut, resulting in an unsustainable system. I understand that my prices are not right for everyone and that is OK.