it is not easy.
sure, i spend a lot of time in my pyjamas, and i eat a lot of snacks while i work, but life is a lot harder now than when i was working 5, 6, sometimes 7, days a week in a small shop for minimum wage and zero reward.
the key to making a living from your creativity is learning to put a price on it. learning to know your worth. to value the pieces that you create, and hope that others agree. it is - to a certain extent - creating a hype about yourself, and then believing in it.
if i had opened this shop a year ago, and said with confidence ‘the pieces i create are worth £100’, people may have been hard to convince - but, had i managed to do so, nobody would have then questioned it. so, in that respect, i have gone about this the wrong way. people are less likely to believe your product is worth X amount if, for a year, you have been selling it at a much, much lower cost. crucially, however, i have come to realise that - as when i first started this whole thing - i need to take the leap.
raising my prices is not a greed tactic, it is a necessity. GRLCLB makes no money. and, while i maintain that the goal of this operation is not to make money, the fact remains, unfortunately, that without money it cannot continue. so, the prices go up and either people realise that a handmade, one-off, fair-trade, carbon neutral, piece is worth that bit more, or they don’t. and, if they don’t, then at least i’ll know that i didn’t undersell myself. because i’ve come to learn that being an artist, creating something, is all about knowing your worth. and in the hours upon hours upon hours, day in day out, for months on end, that i have spent hunched over a wooden hoop, sewing thousands and thousands of stitches - the full days spent making friendship bracelets for the orders’ little surprise treats, handwriting 'thank you' letters, individually wrapping every t-shirt in iridescent film and brown paper - somewhere along the way i have learned my worth.
i want to introduce more pre-made products into the store. i want to be able to design pieces, and order them, and have somebody else/a machine make them. and i want to be able to do so without thinking that my customer will now only accept handmade products. and that these handmade products will always cost next to nothing. because, at the end of the day, that isn’t sustainable. it doesn’t work. so, from now on, pieces that are handmade and bespoke and one-of-a-kinds will cost a bit more. printed t-shirts, pre-made badges, and other accessories - which i’ll introduce at the start of next year - will cost less. and that’s the way it’s got to be.
here’s a brief summary of what’s happening at GRLCLB.
- embroidered pieces will be a bit more expensive. to cushion the blow of this, there will be a discount code in place for the next few days that will give you £10 off of every t-shirt - meaning that, for now, you’re getting them at roughly the original price.
- no more random pricing. every t-shirt that is a standard stitch will cost the same, and the couple of pieces that are infinitely more time-consuming and complex will also cost the same. easy.
- the cut-off date for guaranteed christmas delivery is november 10th. until that date, the discount code will be in place - so if you’ve had your eye on a t-shirt for a christmas present, you’ll be able to get it at the reduced cost. fair, right?
- the patches have been reduced. people weren’t convinced by a pre-made patch which cost the same as my previous handmade ones. fair enough.
- the international shipping costs have been halved. sending everything tracked/signed was not only ridiculously expensive, but also unnecessary. having consulted as many people as i could who regularly send overseas, i’ve concluded that tracked/signed is a waste of everyone’s money. standard is, actually, no more risky and takes the exact same amount of time. still getting your package in 5-7 days, but paying half as much? yes please.
- the images on the site have all been updated. you wanted to see what the stitching looked like in situ, so i listened. two views - a zoomed-out, and a close-up. easy.
i am fully aware that, as a business owner, i have no obligation whatsoever to share any of this with you. i don’t need to explain myself, or justify my decisions, or seek validation that i’m doing the right thing. but too many people are dishonest about things. why pretend i’m this high-flying executive businesswoman when i’m not? yes, GRLCLB has a loyal and large customer base. yes, i post parcels around the world on a weekly basis. yes, i sell a lot of t-shirts. but it isn’t profitable, and there is no reason for me to pretend otherwise. changes are not only inevitable, but unavoidable.
i appreciate the support more than i can articulate. everyday i wake up grateful that this is what i get to do. i just want to be able to keep doing it. and, in order for that to happen, i need you to stick by me. i need you to agree with me about the value of my product. i need you to believe my hype even though i struggle to.
i love you all so very, very much.
GRL PWR 4EVR