where the heck I’ve been

I’ve been plenty discouraged about dyeing, that’s what. I went through all my inventory and added up all my expenses this year… yuck. I am horribly in the hole. And there’s just no room in our house to store all this stuff.

So, I’ve started by having a fire sale on all my dyed clothes. While I love tie dyeing shirts and the shibori kimono tops were a hoot, they just didn’t sell. So I won’t be expanding into clothes again. I’ve given some away to friends, put some in my own closet, and vowed to only dye clothing for myself or in one-offs on commission henceforth. The clothing projects also brought out the worst in a few of my fans, I have to say — these are people I love and care for dearly, but they got a case of the “if only”‘s. If only I had that shirt with more purple… if only I had that with less blue… if only… and that turned into “Next time you dye a bunch of those, do one like THIS and I’ll buy it.” Multiple people have said that… I tried very hard to explain that if the current ones didn’t sell, there would be no next time, but they seemed deaf to this fact. It’s one thing if someone wants a custom item and are willing to put down 50% — it’s something else again when they really only have a passing interest.

I also got very frustrated by people who would tell me “that shirt’s priced a little high.” Well, yes… for Target. But the price you are suggesting I sell it for is equal to the cost of the blank shirt I bought. I learned quickly to just not respond to those comments. If they really wouldn’t pay more than $8 for a shirt, they need to shop at a thrift store.

I have also been toying with ceasing the dye work all together. It’s very hard on my back, for one thing. And while I love it, it is both space and time consuming. But all I had to do was mention to a few friends that I might stop entirely… and suddenly I have custom orders on hand. Hmm.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Darlene
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 17:06:10

    I so want to comment on this! I think any artisan has been there.There should be rules. In fact, there ARE lots of rules that we, as artisans, should abide by to keep us from going broke or insane. Some of them are so freakishly simple one wonders why they have to be mentioned at all, but I don't know how many times applying common sense rules of business to artistic pursuits are met with comments like "but if I did that, I would lose a *potential* client" or "I can't do that … they're my friends!"I'm going to think about the rules again and see if I can write something later that won't insult anybody. Always best to think before I speak; I don't want to take over your blog either with a long winded tirade –which is highly likely considering the subject! 🙂

  2. Vashti
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 18:47:27

    You write those rules and put them ANYWHERE and I will read them!

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