Why does dancewear cost so much?
Maybe you read my last blog post and thought; Rachel, you don’t know what you're talking about. Well, whether that was you or not, I KNOW what I’m talking about here.
Why does dancewear cost so much?!
The short answer for me; I’m not charging enough for it. Honestly though, I LOVE creating them for you. So thank you for allowing me to do so!
First of all, this is my truth, what it costs me to run this business the way I think it should be ran. So the same might not be said for other brands and handmade companies.
When I started making Dancewear, I was making 10-20 pieces at a time. I had a few yards of lining, and $200 worth of fabrics (which isn’t much) of specialty dance fabrics. I had a really infuriating cover stitch machine, a home serger and a home sewing machine. Those were all probably worth $2000 all together and require upkeep and maintenance.I hope this gives you a good snapshot of how much money I already had invested. I was asking $30-35 per leo.
🍋Let’s break down now the cost of the fabrics.
A panel is $5-$8 plus the fabric can be $9-$30 a yard plus the cost of shipping when I order from a company that needed to ship to me. In Oklahoma, there aren’t fabric stores that offer quality fabrics so I’m left with looking for them online and ordering. Don’t forget thread and other tools it takes to make. When you consider all of this, you know you’re already getting a great price on quality handmade dancewear.
🍋Let’s talk about the process from fabric to finished item.
When making dancewear, I always come up with design, first. What print goes with what panel? What prints match other colors and how can I put them together to offer a collection. This takes time. Then to decide what style each print or color will be, how many? What size? What I am saying here, time is also money.
All of these are cut out, which can be a week long process now that I make more. All items need linings cut as well which takes additional time. I need to add right here; my helper Tarah now cuts everything and I pay her to do so. I had to train her which took time and money. Investing in her, is necessary!
I sew together these items. I spend a lot of time up at the shop sewing. I could go into detail, but will save that for another day. After sewing is completed, the launching of these items begins. They get trimmed of threads, tagged and inventories are done. Photos and listings.
Once items are launched I start shipping and generally I have been taking that home to my studio, where everything just needs packed up and is scheduled to ship. I could easily spend a few hours on shipping. It’s tedious.
🍋 The take away?
When you buy from me, you’re buying from a small shop. It’s pretty special. I absolutely love what I do and being able to pay for groceries and other bills is definitely a plus.
The next time you think “ that’s a lot of money for ________. “ Just think about all the money you save not buying all the materials I have invested in. You’re getting a great deal and you can totally tell your partner you saved big.