I know I’m not the only artist that has ever been offered an amount for my work that didn’t cover the materials. And I know I’m not the only artist to have accepted that lesser amount because I really needed the cash.
I’ve written two posts about the value of quilts. In the first, I give you a formula for calculating the actual time and money you invested in a project. In the second, I talk about why I think we get lowballed. Go read them because they give depth and reason to what I’m asking here. Go on… I’ll wait for you!
It’s time for the tide to change, and I’d like you to help me do this. We quilty gals and guys need to stick together. We are the keepers of our worth, and we have to claim it as a team for all. We absolutely MUST have each others backs. Every time one of us gives up a quilt for far too cheap because “I don’t need the money” or “I already had the fabric” or “I made it from scraps” we are perpetuating the cycle of having our work undervalued FOR ALL.
Yes, I know that we can’t triple our prices overnight and expect the market to bear it. But we CAN educate our buyers on what goes into our work, and we CAN let them know just how good the deal is. And I think if we start doing this, our prices will go up and we’ll start seeing our work respected – which will help our prices go up… which will increase the respect some more… and so on.
So I’ve created an invoice template for you. In it, I give you space to state the value of your materials, and the value of your time. And then a space to state what you’re asking. No, I’m not asking you to charge $4000 for the quilt, but I am asking you let them know that $4000 is what it’s worth, so they can see that the final number you’re agreeing on is one hell of a deal. These two numbers are crucial to the education. Some of the people we work with really have no idea what it takes to do what we do – they’re not trying to be mean, they just don’t know any better, bless ’em. Only WE can help them understand.
And as for the meanies and slime-balls? I’ve found that a simple “You can’t afford me” usually does the job, along with a refusal to do business with them. Don’t make a deal that’s going to make you feel like dirt, ok? You are worth so much more than that.
So go spread the word. Let’s do this. Because truly, we are SO worth it.
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NOTE: on the invoice templates I typed in SAMPLE numbers. Please change them to what works for you!
The invoice in MS Word is here (you have to do the math and type it in) >> Sew Worth It – Word InvoiceTemplate
The invoice in MS Excel is here (does some math for you) >> Sew Worth It – Excel Invoice Template
The PDF version of the Excel Invoice is here, just in case you don’t use MS Office, and want to see the format to make your own >> Sew Worth It PDF Example
A post about how to track your time, with a worksheet download, is here.
The custom Sassy Buttons for this are here.
BTW – Did you join my mailing list yet? Do it here. I’m dreaming up groovy exclusive stuff for you!