A week or two ago, I had an appointment with a newly opened bead shop's owner who was interested in carrying some of my jewelry. She'd been really impressed; said it was really unique and all that jazz, and I was excited.
Well, it turned out the only way she was going to outright buy any of my things was if I didn't charge for labor--at all. Wanted to buy meticulously beaded glass and crystal rings for $1. Double-sided UFO pendants, done in peyote/herringbone stitch with Delica beads, for $5. I'm not calling her a 'bad person', and understand that it's a cutthroat world out there in business.
Now I'm pretty hard up for money (no allowance, no job and no prospects despite months of trying hard. Though I do make about $3 a week from my zine, so I'm not complaining much). And it's difficult to sell jewelry. Even if you're good, it's hard, really hard, to actually make sales on a regular basis in the jewelry field, to break into the market on your own. But I would rather keep my beautiful works and not make any money at all, than devalue them to that level. Pricing half an hour's work at $1, or two hours' work at $5, even at wholesale prices, goes against everything I have ever read on the subject.
No handmade jewelry of that quality should ever be marked at those prices. It encourages the Walmart-pricing mindset, which should never mix with the handmade market. Just because one lady thinks charging $60 an hour spent beading a pair of earrings with inexpensive materials doesn't mean the rest of us who are happy with $10, $8 or even $6 (that's me) for an hour of meticulous work, shouldn't be paid for our time.
I was so down about that meeting that afterwards I actually started crying when my mother and I had a difficulty communicating to each other during a casual discussion of something totally silly (how the media that loves the Jonas Brothers, treats Hanson like pariahs--while using their appeal to market the aforementioned Jonas Brothers, who, for the record, I haven't much beef with).
The upside of all of this is, it's been weeks since I've felt like this, kind of down all day. I'm trying to concentrate on that aspect. My inner Pollyanna trying to stay awake.