This week I thought I’d give you a behind-the-scenes peek at pricing for my bamboo toques.
My pricing strategy has always been about setting a fair price for quality goods. Think, “You get what you pay for”. I’ve never been a fan of inflating the price so it can then be marked down.
When I worked in retail many moons ago (when Sunday shopping was not a thing…imagine), there were only 2 main sale events a year, Boxing Day and Summer Clearance. Those sales consisted of bringing in lower tier merchandise and slashing the price.
Now when you go to the shopping mall, (if you’re even going to the mall), there is a sale on all the time. That suggests to me that the sale price is really the regular price.
Made in Canada
Right from day one, I’ve wanted my clothes to be Made in Canada. Going overseas meant much lower manufacturing costs. But, I never wanted my clothes to be about price. There are plenty of clothing manufacturers focused on offering the lowest price. That’s not what is most important to you, my customers.
It’s also essential to know who’s making my clothes. I want to see the garment makers at work. I want to meet face-to-face and develop a relationship. It’s about collaborating and supporting one another in a meaningful way.
All this to say, I price my clothes to re-coup my direct and indirect costs and make a reasonable profit. First, I have to cover the direct variable cost of producing a garment. This includes the cost of raw materials: fabric, trim like zippers and buttons, and labels. Add to that the cost of manufacturing. I also include add-ons like size tabs and hangtags.
From there, I add in a sufficient markup to cover additional variable costs such as packaging, shipping above the standard rate charged, and credit card processing fees. And finally, the overhead costs need to be covered like product development, maintaining a website, storage, insurance, etc. The list of overhead costs is extensive even though my fixed costs are fairly low because I operate out of my home studio.
Back to my toques. I’m able to keep the price reasonable because the fur for the pompoms has, so far, come from coats generously donated by women in the COKANNA community. Something I’m truly grateful for. I’m proud to be part of a community of women supporting women. It fills my heart up and keeps me going.
In-person vs online markets
Since the pandemic, I’ve made the conscious decision not to participate in the big in-person holiday markets. Firstly, it’s a lot of physical labour transporting my clothing back and forth and setting up and tearing down. I’ve been very fortunate to have family and friends helping me out in the past. But, that’s not sustainable. So, it’s just little ole me.
Plus, it’s a significant amount of time being there for 12 hours a day. I love meeting and chatting with customers but a good chunk of the time, you’re just sitting there. It feels unproductive because I can’t be making things while I’m there like other crafters.
And thirdly, I don’t know if we’re completely out of the woods with this pandemic.
Given all that, I decided to participate in an online marketplace to extend my reach. With that, of course, comes a fee, a lower percentage of what I bring home from each sale which I’m totally fine with. However, it does affect my pricing.
Pre-order vs in-stock price
Long story short, I’ve decided to go with a special pre-order price and then an in-stock price. In exchange for paying upfront and taking delivery later, you get a lower price. Btw, the toques are locally manufactured right here in Ottawa at The Bobbins Production Studio owned by 2 young entrepreneurs, Brandi & Ivy. I love working with these two because I get to support another local women-owned business. I see where my hats are being made and who is sewing them. And, I see the quality and care that goes into the making.
If you take advantage of the pre-order price, the toques are $49. Once they arrive on the shelf, they’ll be $59. This makes it possible for me to participate in the online market and still make a reasonable profit.
Value for your $
FYI, the toques are absolutely worth the $59. They’re made of soft and breathable bamboo. They’re double layered so fuzzy on the inside to keep your head cozy and warm, and smooth on the outside. The pompom is removable so you can wear it pompom-less for those times a pompom may get in the way. Plus, it makes washing a breeze. Unbutton the pompom, toss it in the machine with cold water and hang to dry. You can throw it in the dryer on low but it may shrink a little bit. It all depends if you would like the toque to fit a little snugger.
Each pompom is handmade so no two are exactly alike. I love that they’re recycled, reused, and repurposed from pre-loved fur coats donated by women in the community. What a great way to bring new life to something that may have sentimental value, that perhaps has been in the family for generations, but has been sitting in the back of a closet unworn. It’s the art of giving, receiving, creating, and sharing.
You can wear the toque slouchy style, or you can fold up the bottom to form an extra fuzzy band around your ears. Then it fits more like a beanie or skull cap.
It comes in black or a warm golden yellow. It’s one size fits all. I measured a lot of heads when designing this toque. I would say most heads are 22″ to 23″ if you measure along the hat line from the nape of the neck and up around your forehead. The bamboo is stretchy so the hat will easily fit up to 24″. And, if your head is smaller than 22″, you have the option of folding up the bottom for a more snug fit.
So, this is my heads up to you to purchase your bamboo toque now to get the $49 pre-order price. Time is running out though. The toques will be in stock by the end of the week. It’s a great way to kick off your holiday shopping. I’ve had several customers buying them for Christmas gifts. Cuz, everyone can use a new hat!
Until next time,
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