HAVE FUN WITH FINISHED GOODS
Did you know that over half of all Chalk Couture™ Designers earn some level of income selling completed projects? Even after success with workshops, online sales, vendor events, and pop-ups, selling finished goods is still a great way to supplement your regular Chalk Couture income. We’ll walk you through the foundation of creating compelling finished goods—from design basics for mass appeal to how to set pricing that’s both competitive and profitable.
UNDERSTAND THE VALUE
Just as the iconic art instructor Bob Ross once said, “there's an artist hidden at the bottom of every single one of us.” The simplicity of using Chalk Couture products makes it possible for every Designer to quickly and confidently create beautiful finished goods. And, thankfully, there's a market for beauty. Let's talk about what that really means to the masses.
You've heard the phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and, when it comes to finished projects and artwork, nothing could be more true. What one person finds beautiful may not appeal to another. A creator may value an art piece at $50, but that doesn’t mean every consumer will. As you create projects specifically to sell online, at retail outlets, events, or pop-ups, keep in mind that you're creating for everyone and no one at the very same time. Your goal should be to create a project that will appeal to as many people as you can. This is best accomplished by utilizing colors that will match lots of interior spaces or projects that celebrate themes or holidays with mass appeal.
LET’S TALK COLOR
To create projects you can be sure will have mass appeal, start with neutrals like white, cream, gray, beige, soft brown, black, or creamy pastel shades of blue and green. All of these are usually safe bets for everyday design. Colors that are considered trendy—or that are on trend for a specific season—should also be considered when you’re creating projects to sell. Even if you don't personally love the color or you wouldn't showcase it in your home, incorporating a little of what's popular isn't a bad idea.
Not sure what's trendy? Not to worry. Chalk Couture has teams who work hard to stay on top of the latest in home décor and interior design, including developing En Vogue Chalkology® Paste colors according to the top trends. In addition to receiving suggestions provided by Chalk Couture, you can always search online for direction and inspiration for a particular time of year. Pantone is considered the global standard for color trends and usage, so their predictions are always good to watch.
We'll also tell you that when it comes to holiday projects and color scheme decisions, it’s usually best to embrace the spirit of the season. Use purples and oranges around Halloween and bright greens and reds for Christmas. Most people purchase holiday décor and accessories in popular or traditional colors, and you want to meet that demand.
Once you've determined the best Transfer or theme for your project and have settled on a broadly appealing color scheme, give some thought to your project’s composition. This simply means the placement or arrangement of visual elements within your project. Thankfully, the amazing illustrators at Chalk Couture have already taken composition into consideration. If you apply a Transfer exactly as designed, you can be sure it will pay off. Keep in mind: less is more. In most cases, the more whitespace (blank background) you have, the better.
PRICING YOUR PROJECTS
How do you know how to price a project so that you can make a profit without it being so expensive that your customers won't buy it? The answer isn't always simple. Pricing goods is more of an art than a science, but we can give you a strong foundation to build from. Once you're sure your pricing falls within the range we’ll soon talk about, use trial and error to find perfect price points for your clientele, geographical location, and the competition.
To start the pricing process, begin with identifying your cost for all materials: include your Designer price for all the Chalk Couture products, paste used, and Transfer and tools wear and tear. How you account for wear and tear is totally up to you, but we recommend including around $1 USD/$1.60 CAD, for a single use of Chalkology Paste from a jar (use of paste singles may increase the cost). For Transfers and tools, assume you'll use them around 10 to 12 times each before needing to invest in new ones. So, for each use, we recommend adding 1/10 of your Designer price for each used item to your materials-cost. If you choose to incorporate non-Chalk Couture products into your finished goods (e.g., ribbon, glitter, sealants, etc.), add the retail price for those elements to your running total. Next, you'll want to add the shipping and tax costs that you paid on all the materials included in the project. Finally, add your cost for any packaging, including gift or shopping bags, if you choose to use them.
Once you've determined your materials cost, give some consideration to the value of your time and the amount of time it costs you to produce the project. Let's assume you work at a traditional job and are paid $25 an hour; if you completed a work project, and it took you three hours, you would expect to be paid $75 for your time. The same concept applies here. If you believe your time is worth $25 an hour, your time-cost would be $12.50 for a project that took 30 minutes to create. Add your materials-cost and your time-cost to generate a bottom line break-even price for your finished good. If we assume your materials-cost was $22.50 and your time-cost was $12.50, pricing the item at $35 would mean you recoup all of your costs but do not actually make a profit on that sale.
Of course it's good business to make a profit on all of the goods you sell. Therefore, at this point, you'll need to determine a dollar amount for the minimum profit you're willing to accept for this project and add that amount to your cost-total. This establishes the low end of the price range for this particular finished good. In our example, our cost-total was $35. If we assume you're willing to accept earning a minimum $5 profit, the low end of this project’s price range would be $35. To determine the high end of the range, we'll look to the retail model for product pricing. In most retail settings, it's standard practice to price items at least three times their actual cost. So, continuing with our previous example, our high-end price for this project would be $35 multiplied by three, totaling $105. Our overall recommended price range in this example is $35 to $105.
Here's where the art of pricing and knowing your clientele comes into play. You know that charging $35 or higher for the item will ensure that you make a profit. You also know that in the affluent areas, and at the most high-end market possible, you would price it at $110. What works for you? What can your customers afford? And what would they consider a fair price? As we stated earlier, finding the exact spot in the middle of your range will require some trial and error. Start by considering your customer base and their typical spending budget for items like home décor. Take a look at your competitors and at similar products that are sold in your area. Ask your friends, family, and current customers for feedback. Research similar goods on online retail sites. After all that, choose a price and see how it goes. You can always increase or decrease prices at the next show or event, or offer discounts or sale prices mid-event if things aren’t selling as you had planned.
AGAIN, HAVE FUN!
At the end of the day, if you’re considering selling finished goods, that tells us one thing: you are an artist who loves to create! That shouldn’t change, in fact, focus on it. Your projects and creations are yours. You know what they’re worth, and we want you to continue to enjoy expressing yourself with Chalk Couture, as well as make a profit. So, use the advice we’ve given in this course to make the best decisions for you and the way you want to work your Designership!
How To Determine Cost of Materials