What should I charge for my work?
I'll go straight to the point and let you know that I cannot tell you exactly how to price your work, but I can give you an idea of where to start.
When I see this question, I always shoot back with, "how much do you want? then double it." Brit Morin, my mentor has ingrained this into my brain, and I believe everyone needs to know this! Now I know that doesn't answer your question, but I will explain why this is important for any new entrepreneur to learn.
Why is it that just because we do something we love that we think it's okay to undercharge our work? When we first created Ceramic Smokeware, we were just trying to pay our bills. Eventually, we grew sick of the slow-selling at parks and concerts, and we took the bulk of our pieces to local smokeshops who demanded our pipes be as cheap as China glass.
We didn't know any better because we believed a sale was a sale, and we were just glad people were buying our pipes; we accepted their slim offers and barely paid our bills. Those smokeshop owners could never appreciate our work the way that someone who stumbles on our website or Instagram does. Someone who believes in us and our value. One of the most important things we learned is that you don't need someone else's approval to make your price valid.
Don't ask people how much they would pay. How long does it take to create one piece? How much do YOU think your time is worth? Chances are you underpricing yourself, so double it. Yes, it is that easy, and yes, you are worth it. When you tell yourself that you are overpricing your work, it hurts your business's growth. If you set a price, believe in it. If you are having a hard time figuring out your price, maybe it's time to change your money mindset. One of my favorite quotes from Naomi Powell is, "Money is just a facilitator to do more things." Why do you do what you do?
When James created CSW, his passion was and still is all about sustainability and how he could do more for the Earth. He was dreaming about methane digesters and rainwater catch systems. James created his own designs for planet conscious T-shirts and went vegan. He started this business to aid his true passions, which is to preserve the Earth. Only with this new information have we realized, "Duh, no wonder we aren't making any money. We are trying to compete with China, where they are severely underpaid and underappreciated."
You can't please everybody. If someone says your price is too high, then your product is not for them. That is okay. Are you using high-quality materials? How long did it take you to master your technique? People who genuinely value your work will pay what you say it's worth.
I hope this has given you more confidence to determine what you think your price should be.