Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Scary Halloween Story: Jenny does the MATH

Happy October Friends!  In the spirit of all things spooky and scary on Halloween, I have a nightmare on Knees and Paws street to share.  Cuddle up with a blankie, light the candles and think brave thoughts...

Long ago, in the time of yore, when I was in seventh grade, I became stricken with a math phobia that clouded my life.  This phobia extended to a habit I developed of never remembering a person's phone number, as it just flew out of my brain as soon as my ear received the string of abstract numerals. 

If anyone were to imprison me as a hostage, the way to terrorize me would be to seat me at a desk and order me to complete algebraic formulas, long division and timed multiplication tests.  Then, when I've made a mess of the paper with my tears and smudged eraser marks, check everything wrong with a big red pen and never tell my why I miscalculated.   Write a big fat F at the top with a frowny face and make me feel like I'm permanently defective, a lost cause, an unteachable wretch.

In those days I never would have believed that one day I would pass my Praxis exam on the first try, one point above utter failure in math.  It was a major victory, which helped me to actually look at my check book once and a while.

My husband is a gorgeously handsome, loving, affectionate, intelligent, spiritual guy who knows how to kiss...but friends, he can do the math.  I depend on him for that.

 Through his complete understanding of all things mathematical, I have gradually released my firm grip on numeral aversion. 

So, three years after starting my Knees and Paws shop, I did some math!  I don't mean the kind of math where you check the bank account figures and either breathe a sigh of relief or grab a box of tissues and go back to bed.

This week, I found a formula for pricing an item and figured out the actual real numbers behind a set of products that I offer.  It turns out that my prices are closer to wholesale than retail.

Here's the formula:

Note: For a handmade item, labor is 10.00 per hour minimum.

If it takes me one hour to complete a set of cat ears, paws and tail, the basic black cat costume accessories set adds up to the following:  (warning: the following contains graphic images of NUMBERS!!!)

Time per hour + 2 (cost of materials) x 1.1= wholesale price.  Wholesale price x 2= retail price

So here we go:

One half yard of basic black cuddle plush (not faux fur, I mean the economy version) on sale works out to 6.50.  Thread, satin, headband and poly fill bring up the material cost to 8.50.  Packing materials cost 1.50, making a beautiful round number of 10.00 for materials.

Double that, and we have 20.00

Add in one hour of labor  10.00

x
1.1= wholesale price    33.00

Double that for retail    66.00

don't forget the gas!      4.00 per trip to the fabric store.  If I'm purchasing multiple yards then the cost is distributed to approximately .50 per item.  Taxes in North Carolina come to approximately 5.00.

66.50 + 5=  $71.50

When selling on Etsy, the customer pays shipping, unless I offer a free shipping sale.

To California, this might be an extra 8.00 just using standard USPS mail, not priority.


 But this story has a happy ending.  I do what I do for the love of it!  Last time I checked, there is no formula to calculate love.




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