Thank you so much for your interest in EMRI Studio. As a small business & one that aims to be ethical & create a sustainable life for myself, I want to be transparent about the prices.
I really do think fast fashion has tricked us all into thinking that everything should be cheap. Unfortunately, it's only cheap if we're exploiting someone.
You might be asking yourself, why are the pieces priced at xyz? And, here I'll try to break down all the costs associated with running a business in the US.
Platforms & Fees associated with running a business:
- Shopify Platform monthly fees
- Shopify payment gateway fees
- Email marketing platform fees
- Software fees for account management (ie. Quickbooks)
- Marketing fees (!!! this is a BIG one. and I do the BARE minimum)
- Supplies (also big one because I source the majority of my items from the US which means higher prices)
- Marketing and packaging supplies (ie. business cards, display cards, boxes, tissue paper, envelopes, tape, postcards, stickers etc.)
- Paying for shipping
- Office fees (ie. rent, internet bills, utility bills) Why, yes I work from home, and no rent is not free just because I work from home.
- Time I spend designing the piece (ranges from 1 hour - a full day depending on the designs)
- Time I need to make each piece (ranges from 35 min - 1hour)
- Time I spend packaging (ranges from 10 min -30 min)
- Time I spend doing admin that includes, but not limited to, accounting, finance, supply chain, photographs, editing, marketing, social media (If I don't do those things I need to hire someone to do those things! And ideally I should be hiring someone at a fair price, not going the "unpaid intern" route.)
Personal Costs/Employee Cost
- Health insurance
- Taxes (Because you don't have a payslip, you have to put aside money for taxes, which are ALWAYS higher than you think they are!)
For example, if I sell a choker at $48, ~50% - 60% of the price goes to the first category. Let's say 60% goes to all the cost associated with running a business. That means I get $19.20 in my pocket. Then, that 19.20 is spread out across ALL my labor cost. If I work 8 hours a day (I don't), I'm being paid $2.40/hour for one choker sold.
Realistically, I work around 10-12 hours a day. That means I'm "paying" myself $1.92/hour working 10 hour days. I also work weekends.
Running a business isn't cheap and it's hard, very hard. Me and A LOT of other small businesses do run our businesses on razor sharp margins because we love what we do! We love running a business and being our own boss. I love it, a lot. But I also have to eat and have a roof over my head and also be able to enjoy life a bit too. Unfortunately, I'm not a robot.
This is why my prices are priced the way they are. They are priced as fairly as I can make it with all the costs (both labor and business) that are associated with running a business.
If you read this all the way through, thank you and I appreciate your understanding and the kind words that I have received. If you were just interested in why small businesses usually cost a bit more, I hope I have shed a bit of light onto why things are priced the way they are.
Thank you again for all the support <3