Monday, November 3, 2008

Umm, seriously people?

Ok I need some advice. Here's the story: in my last post about our Halloween costumes I included a video of myself as Violet Beauregarde blowing up into a blueberry. I had some troubles loading the video on blogger/google video and so turned to YouTube. My past experience with YouTube was not the greatest as I do not like how after watching the clip it advertises other videos under the same key words, sometimes containing videos that I do not approve of. Well, that last part is neither here nor there, what matters is that I'm on YouTube and now that little video clip, from late Friday night, has received 700+ viewings and I've even had someone offer to buy my costume or at least pay me to make another. If it turns out that one person is watching it some 500 times then I will be grossed out...

Here's the thing though, I don't mind that people are watching it, mostly because I don't have any personal info linked to it and it is a just fine movie (although I didn't know I was being filmed at the time). It is actually flattering to hear responses from people (all monitored and not publicized unless I approve them) and to think that the costume is something someone would actually pay money for is kind of nice. I told the person that I could potentially make another as I wouldn't sell the one I made because there were many things that I would do differently and while it looks good on film, there are many little flaws and shortcuts there that I couldn't justify letting someone pay me for.

So with in mind that supplies total (incl shipping for the inflatable costume) came to around $40, how much would you charge for such a thing? It is really insane how much some costumes cost online and they really are poor quality. I only used broadcloth for the clothes as I needed something cheap and lightweight too. I started sewing my costume the day before Halloween and it was really simple, something I'm sure if I could sit and sew w/out interruption it could be done within a few hours, give or take. Insanely enough, this person sounds like they are willing to pay anything for it. I'm amazed at how much people will pay for poor quality costumes (which is why I prefer making my own with better materials for less money).

I'm not sure if I will do it though, it is kinda fun to have the one and only you know? I like the idea of doing an little costume shop that is family oriented but really, I DON'T LIKE SEWING THAT MUCH! I like costuming but not so much sewing. It just so happens that I have to sew to get what I want. Maybe if I didn't procrastinate I would enjoy it more... The fact that I get my machine out once, at most twice, a year should tell you something.

And just for fun, if I were to open a costume shop, what should I name it? :)


  1. Welcome to my world! :)
    I always start by charging at least double supplies cost, then take in to account how long it would take, and how much I really want to sew/ make some $ :) How flattering though.
    You could name your shop "stitchn' in the Kitchen"

  2. Yes, at a minimum, definitely cover your costs and then charge extravagantly for your time and creativity. Remember, lots of people can sew, but your creativity is off the charts! I get a headache just thinking about Halloween, but you seem to truly enjoy it!

    How about Jack[ie] the [Seam] Ripper? That has a nice Halloween ring to it! :O)

  3. Remember that your research into the costume, footwork for gathering supplies, and innate creativity all go into the price and that they can be worth more than the supplies all together. Make the price worth your time.

    Dewain says that his company thinks that 30-50% mark up is ideal. That mark up includes man hours (development & production), supplies, advertising, distribution... everything that goes into production. Your time as a professional should be about 40/hr. He suggests $200 as your base, mark up from there.

    See Neal's costume for sale here:

    Shop Name: (lame, but simple) Kitchen's Kostumes

  4. I say about $200 as well. That costume was AWESOME!

  5. At my work we sell a CD of pictures for much more money than it is worth because it is a copryright. I would say that the same applies to you - this is your copyright, therefore, you should not feel bad charging much more than the material costs. I also think $200 would be reasonable.
    How cool that people appreciate your incredible creativity!!!
    I would probably stick to a traditional title like "Jackie's Costume Boutique", but that is definitely the opinion of a boring person! :)

  6. It's all about marginal benefits. It depends on if you are going to mass produce or making one-of-a-kind; the entire ensemble or just one.If people are turly interested,they will be willing to pay big bucks for originality. Charge them an outrageous amount. I would test the market and start with $250. Jackie, you're amazing!

  7. Thanks for all the advice! I must say some of the shop names are fun but I think I might stay away from anything with 'kitchen' in it as it can be a bit confusing for a costume shop name. What am I saying, this is my make-believe shop name... I'm still not sure I'd be up for opening up one yet. We'll see. Sounds like $200-250 is what people are suggesting and maybe I'll go with that and see if this person is still willing to spend the cash.

  8. I would pay $60 bucks for your Asian food!


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