Tag Archives: business

Yoga bag update

First of all, just in case you haven’t noticed, this is the first post since ages that is not a quickly written apology for a badly done Scrap Sunday post. (Don’t worry, there will be another one tomorrow).

No, today I wanted to update you on one of my many projects I am currently working on (really been working on not just making plans).

Yogastueble’s Ludwig and I thought we should offer a cheaper alternative, meaning for me, one that does not take 4 -6 hours to make. So I have set to work, threw the zips out of the window  (trust me, that strolling cat passing under the window did not look happy – I guess he is not into crafts) and half of the round sides of the initial Yoga bag deluxe model and came up with a simpler drawstring version.

The removable small bag inside got removed as well. And so so so, here it is, yogabag 2.0

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The contrasting fabric at the bottom is actually a pocket which goes around the whole bag and is divided into three compartments. There is an elastic band on top which keeps the pocket closed when the bag is fully packet.

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As I am making every bag individually, I often develop the design during the making process, so there aren’t any strict rules (apart from the size I guess)… sometimes I am using the main colour for the strap, sometimes it is made of the pocket fabric (pretty, no?) That is what I really like about being a small business. Whatever I have made so far, no two things have ever been alike.

I have also been asked to make a few for men with “dark colours, simple not too much patterned stuff going on”…. that was a tricky one for me. If not impossible.

These were my first attempts:

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I actually really like them. I have my doubts if they are very manly but they are definitely different from the usual rather sweet and floral ones. They are a bit more on the “cool” side (I guess it is not called “cool” anymore, but I haven’t been cool since a while…. not for the last 37 years I think)

So after these two attempts which I consider to be failures in the sense of not matching the criteria I got from the customer, I tried again to stay really plain…

But surely, I can not make the pocket in the same colour as the main bag. The pocket would not be seen, would it.

And which thread to use? I don’t have any in the exact matching colour, so lets just take a very contrasting one instead.

Hmm, that looks good. Dark (mostly) and plain colours.

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Oops, where did that blue piece come from? Someone must have broken in at night and changed it. Oh well, I really tried my best.

Oh, and the best news? I have started to go to yoga classes. To sort out my back problems I am getting from bad posture at the sewing machine.

But knitting and yoga! I will be the most relaxed and patient person! I can feel it already.

Have a lovely Saturday (Valentine if it is for you) and talk to you tomorrow. Ommmmm.

Pricing

Before actually starting Atelier Oursonne, I was thinking and researching a lot about the pricing of hand made items. There seems to be an agreement in the online world that 2 or 3 times the price of the material is appropriate and I have to say that I find that calculation a bit odd and does not value at all the amount of work that goes into a knitted item. I came across this blog post http://ittakesballstoknit.com/?p=2457 from a guy who is even suggesting that people should not buy any hand knitted items sold at ridiculously low prices.

And on Portobello Road Market I once saw a stand with lots of hand knitted sweaters in children sizes for about 8 to 10£. They were only made of very cheap acrylic yarn but still, this is ridiculous. It barely covers the costs of material. So where did they get the yarn from and who has been knitting? Certainly no one in London, or the UK, or Europe… I still regret that I didn’t ask the lady when I passed. I was clearly under shock.

Obviously, if I would calculate the price of a very simple sweater for a baby by adding the costs of the material to the labour costs (even if I just used the minimum wages for my calculation), then I would have to price it somewhere in between 100 and 150£. Some might find that a tiny bit too much for any garment for a baby…. And I have to say that I personally would not pay that kind of money for a knitted sweater for one of my children even if it is made of 100% pure merino wool. I would just knit it myself 🙂

I know that some people are actually prepared to pay even more for a special piece of their toddler’s wardrobe but I also think that every child should have the right to wear a good quality woolen sweater during the cold winter months rather than the statically charged and sweaty acrylic version. Well, “every child” is probably a bit ambitious considering that already the material costs easily 10 – 30£ depending of the size of the sweater.

So I have finally decided to take many things into account when calculating my prices: the amount and quality of the used yarn, the complexity of the actual work (sometimes it is simple and you can do it whilst doing other things too, sometimes you really need to focus), labour time to a certain extend and the “intended purpose” to name just a few.

Intended purpose  means that the price of the necessary woolen sweater for a child will not depend much on the labour time whilst the price for the pretty cushion or for the delicate lace shawl knitted from a silk-merino blend will reflect those hours of work much more.

So, having high and low prices in the same shop might look odd at first but I hope I could make my choice clear with this post.