Plaidypus Spotlight: Wadoo Gift Store in Fort Collins, CO

I wanted to show some love to the store that first gave me a chance and helped in the subsequent development of my business. This is, of course, the one-and-only Wadoo.

Wadoo Furniture and Gifts Sign in Downtown Fort Collins, Colorado

Wadoo dwells in downtown Fort Collins (if you live there, it’s in old town across the street from those funky fountains that children are always playing in) and is home to a diverse array of talented and whimsy artists from across the United States (and a few odd places like Canada or Isreal).

20140617-174631-63991813.jpgIf you stroll into Wadoo, one of the ladies who work there will be able to tell you almost anything you would want to know about each and every artist. You go in and you say, “Tell me more about these cup cozies,” and they’ll say, “Oh, those are made from old felted sweaters! The company is called Plaidypus. She’s local. She just graduated from Colorado College. Her favorite flowers are daffodils and her least favorite thing about driving is…” You get the point.

IMG_0026

They are probably the most helpful people you will ever meet.

And a lot of them are also artists in the store! Chris Reynolds makes some rockin’ baby bibs, Jennie Milner makes some funky poured resin jewelry, and sometimes you can see the owner, Amy Satterfield, making coasters from old children’s books behind the counter.

Wadoo is particularly important to me because this is where Plaidypus started. This is the shop that took a chance on a pair of fuzzy fingerless mittens and allowed Plaidypus to grow and succeed. Plaidypus even gets its own section of the store now! Wadoo is where Plaidypus gets most of its business and how most people hear about us, so it’s important in that aspect, too.

Wadoo Furniture and Gifts Fort Collins Plaidypus Area Plaidypus upcycled headbands made from t-shirts in Wadoo Furniture and Gifts Plaidypus up cycled coffee cup cozies made from felted sweaters in Wadoo Furniture and Gifts

Here’s my late-to-the-game disclaimer: I work there, too (and my mother may or may not own the store so it is kinda sorta a family business). So I might be a little biased as I describe the place as the most magical store on earth. But it’s also just the most magical store on earth, so definitely check it out if you’ve got a few minutes. It’s got a nifty website, a Facebook page, as well as the actual physical storefront if you’re in Fort Collins for the day.

IMG_0025Wadoo Furniture and Gifts Local Pottery Fort CollinsWadoo Furniture and Gifts Jewelry Display Cases, Gifts, and Furniture

5 Easy Steps to Figure Out Wholesale and Retail Pricing

When I started my business I had one product, my crocheted handwarmers. I had no idea what to sell them at, so I low-balled it. I low-balled it about 11 dollars less than I sell them for now. That is a BIG difference. My original price wasn’t even going to give me the profit I needed if I wanted to get paid minimum wage (which at the time had just risen to a whopping 7.25 per hour).

Dark blue and dark purple crochet handwarmers/fuzzy fingerless mittens

Nowadays I have a larger product line, and I’d like to think I’m getting better at pricing my products. Remember that prices can always be tweaked if, say, the price of your materials or the amount of money you need to survive changes. So this is just to get you started.

Step 1: Cost of Materials

First, you need to know how much your materials cost you.

As an example, I’ll talk about the hair clips I make from felted wool sweaters (because I know that I learn better through example.) Make a list of what you buy and how much it cost you. If you know the exact number, put that down. If not, then over-price things so you know you’re getting your money’s worth (but not too much, because we’re trying to start on the low end here).

Felted Wool Sweater Blue Heart Hair Clip/Pin

1. Hair clips from King Soopers ~2.50 for 10

2. Wool sweaters from the ARC ~5.00 per sweater (lets say I can get 10 out of one sweater once it has shrunk down from the felting process)

3. Buttons ~1.50 for 10 buttons

Total: 9.00 for 10 hair clips; 0.90 per each hair clip

Step 2: Your Time

Your time is worth some money, so figure out how long it took you to make your product and how much money you want for that time. My go-to for starters is 10 dollars per hour (because it’s a nice round number and may as well make the math easier for yourself.)

It takes me about 20 minutes to cut out all the pieces, piece them together, sew them, and attach the hair clip part. That’s 1/3 of an hour, so $3.33 per hair clip.

Step 3: The Wholesale Price

Calculate wholesale price for products

Now you have your materials and your time. Get out your calculator or pen and scratch paper and add those together. That’s your wholesale price (that’s right, it’s that easy). That covers your costs and gives you money for your time.

If that seems pricey, you can cut costs on time, cut costs on materials, or take less money per item. If you sell multiple types of products, maybe another product can get more money to compensate for your loss on this one.

My wholesale price for hair clips should be around $4.23. I round mine down to $4.00 when I sell wholesale to stores. Part of this is to keep the actual cost of the clip down for retail stores, and part of this is because I actually make these from the scraps of sweater I don’t use in my other products, and those sweater parts would be trash otherwise, so I don’t think as much about the sweater costs.

Step 4: The Retail Price

Outdoor Craft Fair

I’m a wholesaler. BUT! I also do craft fairs. Craft fairs are your opportunity to charge retail price for your items. Retail price is roughly twice the amount of your wholesale price. This is important at fairs, because you might also be trying to pay for your booth and your time sitting there trying to sell to people. You’re going to need that extra money.

You’re also not “paying” for a middle man (the retailer) to sell your items. That means you get ALL the money.

My retail price for my hair clips is $8.00. If you go to my online Etsy store, my hair clips are $8.00. If you visit a store that my hair clips reside, the price will probably be around $8.00 (retailers will sometimes charge a little more because of shipping charges they have to think about). And if you find me at a fair, my hair clips will cost $8.00.

Step 5: Make it the Optimal Price

Now you know where to start. But you should always remember that tweaking prices can help you. You have to think about how much your customers are willing to pay for your product. Maybe you can get more for a product than you’re charging, or maybe you have to drop the price just a little to get more people interested in it.

Finding the Optimal Price Graph/Image

I try to optimize my price by charging the most the customer is willing to pay. I don’t think I can get more than $8.00 for a hair clip unless I make it seriously cool, but when I started my handwarmers obviously were not living up to their pricing potential.

Take feedback from your direct customers and the stores you do business with. See what is selling well and if people think something is too much or whether they would pay more for it. See what other businesses that are similar to you are creating and what they price their items at (this is SUPER helpful).

Happy pricing!

 

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, leave a comment, or I have a nifty Contact Me page where you can leave your information and I can get back to you directly.

The Magic of the Fuzzy Fingerless Mittens

IMG_1580

Again, it’s summer. I know. I’m sweating here, too. But I still believe in these Fuzzy Fingerless Mittens. Yes, they are probably more useful when it’s cold outside and you still want to use your fingers (like in driving or biking or texting or instead of gloves with fingers), but I swear they have utility even in the heat of the summer.

Well, not literally in the heat. That’s probably a bad idea. But a lot of people work in overly air conditioned homes or businesses where their teeth chatter and their extremities get frost bite as they type away at their computers or file papers or whatever it is that people with real jobs do (I’ll learn what that is as soon as someone is willing to hire a fresh-faced college grad…) Those people might need a little insulation, like a coat or a blanket or, hey, maybe a pair of fingerless mittens (because they do still need to be able to do what it is that they do).

If you are one of these cold people, let me know. I happen to sell these nifty things in all sorts of colors. Otherwise, it’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas gifts or gifts for people traveling to places like Russia or Greenland or the northern tip of Norway.

How to Drink Coffee in Style: The Coffee Cup Cozy

How to Drink Coffee in Style: The Coffee Cup Cozy

I know, I know, it’s summer and no one wants to be drinking scalding coffee, right? I thought that, too, until I realized that most people who drink coffee keep drinking coffee, even in the heat! Something about caffeine addiction or something.

Anyway, if you drink hot coffee, and you don’t want to touch the hot cup (because, let’s face it, you’re already consuming the stuff, so you may as well not double up on the heat), then why not try a coffee cup cozy? The ones I create are made of felted wool sweaters (the ugly ones, not the nice ones) and a pretty, big button.

If you’re local to Fort Collins, you can find these babies at Wadoo (in old town). If you live anywhere else, then feel free to order one on my etsy site! I can even try to do custom colors (assuming I can find the sweaters).