I know I have many people on my friends list and among my readership who make some sort of art for money, whether it's writing, drawing, painting, beading, knitting, spinning, pattern design, woodwork, sewing, etc. Some of you even, like me, choose to create your beautiful art in exchange for money, but I have no idea how many of you, like me, struggle to justify why you're worth what you charge.

By and large, the response I get to my prices for hand-knitted items is acceptance, with the occasional person who is stunned at how reasonable they are.

When I got an offer from a brick and mortar store to carry my knitted goods for sale I was really excited, but the more I learned, the more apprehensive I got. The final straw was that I charge 20 cents per yard of yarn to my customers for cabled items. This is pretty standard, maybe on the low side, and certainly less than minimum wage for a craft that takes a lot of time and skill. I offered the store owner 25% less than this, to which he countered that he wanted to sell the items for what I sell them for directly, and undercut my price by $20 per item. That's a lot of time and knitting, especially considering he wanted me to provide the yarn.

It felt great to say no.

It's hard, though, because we don't have a lot of scratch to play with and I use my knitting money to pay for all the yarn/fiber I buy. There's no room in our regular budget for that kind of thing. It's hard when I know all the things I'd like to get and make and try and when I go and look at the website for the spinning wheel I'm saving for. It's hard when I think about how much Arlen's green card will cost if/when we ever have the money to pay for it. It's hard to say no to work I need. But I refuse to be slave labor, especially to someone who is, frankly, rather rude about what I do, and who perhaps has no idea of the value of what I am providing.

I was polite, but firm. Take my price, or take your business elsewhere. I'm not counting on a reply. It really was just the icing on the cake of this irritating day.
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