Time has flown right by me and I've been so flat out making and pouring candles that I've completely missed You, Me & Bones' third birthday. I was only reminded when a nice lady at Sydney Finders Keepers market asked me how long I've been a candle maker for. "Three years yesterday!" I told her excitedly. She congratulated me and said that I have very unique products and wished me all the best.
I know, cool story, but bear with me.
I've been thinking about my prices since before I've left my web developing job to work on You, Me & Bones full-time. I went to a female entrepreneur seminar a couple of years ago and one of the speaker was the creator of Miss Chu, a super cool, no nonsense boss lady. One thing she said that is still in my mind was something along the lines of hand made businesses are never sustainable if you're the only person making your products. My first response was, nah girl - surely it'll be okay. A few months later, however, I was like, dang it the cool lady was right. To be able to make more products and meet the demand, I need hired help with the making and the pouring, the packaging and packing and shipping - but I can't afford to. It doesn't help that the cost of supplies and postage (which more often than not I am still paying the differences between what is charged on the webshop and what I actually pay out of my own pocket) have increased.
Which takes me back to my You, Me & Bones birthday story. The point is that the time and costs of making the products have increased over the past 3 years but my prices haven't. Having to now pay GST on the products not only adding another 10% to the cost; it is pretty much as if the ATO is grabbing me by the shoulders and yelling to my face "you are not doing this as a hobby anymore; this is your business now" and therefore I have made the decision to increase my prices.
Candle making industry is huge, but I can confidently say I that offer awesome, unique and quirky hand poured products. If increasing my prices means that going forward I can produce more awesome work with beautiful packaging and offering unique pieces to customers who want them for what they are and not because they can buy it for the sake of it being cheap enough, then I am all for that.