Hmm, generally I don't like making crafts to order, not even requests from friends. I feel all this pressure to finish it in a timely manner and it just isn't as enjoyable. I work best when I'm inspired to make something out of (I know this sounds cheesy) love and not need. Plus, so much time goes into crocheting/knitting projects that if I applied my regular hourly rate for work, there's no way anyone would buy my stuff. I certainly wouldn't pay that amount. As a min-maxer, I'd rather make money off designing patterns because then I can just design something once and sell the PDF over and over again (until someone decides to rip me off and sell it as their own). And like software products, they both have high gross margins.
That being said, I thought this commission might be the perfect way to experiment with going through the selling process on Etsy. So I low-balled the price, the customer accepted my bid, and I got cracking. Now if you've checked Etsy and Ravelry, there are tons of crochet beard hats out there, but the client specifically wanted me to add my "special twist" to the project and gave me little direction other than that. So I pretty much winged the whole thing. Here's how it went:
- Hat: Piece of cake!
- Beard: Once I got the basic pattern down for making loops of varying lengths, easy peasy. Had to redo the chin area a few times to make sure it curved under at the right spot, which was time consuming, but overall not too bad.
- Mustache: What. The. Heck. This tiny, final piece was supposed to take no time at all and yet I could not make it work. First it was too flimsy. Then it was too thick. Then it wouldn't stay up and kept collapsing over the mouth opening. Then it wouldn't center correctly because it was too tight or loose on one side. GAAAAHHHH!!!
- As confirmed, I dislike making crochet items (versus patterns) for sale, especially given what a perfectionist I can be.
- Etsy charged me a little more than a dollar for the transaction! Oops, next time I'll need to raise the price accordingly. Other than that, the whole sale process was very smooth sailing on my part.
P.S. I forgot to mention, but another motivator for me to take on this project is that I've been trying to raise money to get that luxury item I mentioned before. To let you on the secret, it's a fancy-pancy automated cat feeder that I've been in love with since last year, and K finally convinced me it was ok to buy it, especially with the baby on its way soon. Can't wait for it to arrive! It's an engineering masterpiece, and I think both Chairman Meow and I will be much happier if she can be automatically fed multiple times a day. :)