TGIFF – The Cost of a Cushion
A few weeks ago I had a work colleague request his own cushions for Christmas. He wanted something mid-century modern, and when I showed him the Art Gallery Urban Mod fabric range, we both knew that was it. “Oh, and I am gonna need you to zip me up.” And he wasn’t talking about his sequined gown! Except, I’d never sewn a zipper before. “Oh, and I want you to charge me.” Except, I hadn’t actually sold anything before! I’d obviously put together costing models, but cash had yet to be exchanged.
The cost of a cushion. The cost of a cushion. You wouldn’t think it would be that much, would you? Throw some fabric together, zip it up, lay back, Mai Tai, and relax. Well, I got there in the end, but it is worth a whole lot more than I initially thought.
But first, that zipper! I’m so thankful that I was involved in MsMidge’s Cushion for Christmas blog hop (winners announced here) because I got to see Gemma at Pretty Bobbins show how she puts in a side zip. The first one was touch and go, but once I got my rhyme and reason on, there was nothing stopping me. Scary? Not any more! The world is your oyster and all that!
I used Art Gallery Pure elements for the backings, and a Spotlight homespun for the linings of the top half that is quilted using Aurifil thread.
Some notes on creating this costing sheet:
- This is for one cushion.
- I didn’t charge a Design Concept Fee because there wasn’t much to it, and the client had a pretty clear idea about what he wanted.
- For the fabrics in the supply section, I converted metres to yards, currency to USD, and only included the quantity of material used, based on width of fabric being 42″. (e.g. There are 1,512 square inches in a yard. I calculated how many square inches I used of each fabric, divided it into 1,512 to get the exact yardage used). The batting was 92″ wide, so I adjusted calculations based on that.
- The thread I approximated.
- The shipping was approximated as part of a larger order from the United States.
- I billed for three hours of work. The first one actually took me about five hours: reading the tutorial twelve times, and learning what I was doing. But that’s on me. The others progressively got shorter, but not much less than three hours.
- For my quilt costing sheet I charged $30.00 / hour because I felt that was contingent on local labour wages in Australia, and on my experience with quilting (14 quilts made). However, this represented the first time I had made a cushion with a zipper, so felt reducing my hourly wage in half was appropriate. The minimum wage in Australia is greater than $15.00 / hour for any job.
- Contentious as it may be, I still charged a 20% profit margin.
- The total for each cushion came to $71.70 USD.
- Taxes are not included, and I bare no claims to knowing what tax laws are where ever you live.
I charged my work colleague $50.00 / cushion, because I still felt like $71.70 was too expensive for what my experience brought to the project. I, as well, am a victim of not valuing myself enough. That being said, I told my colleague what each cushion was approximately valued at, how I derived my costs, and he was still happy to pay $71.70. (May Mary J. Blige bless his soul!) I considered this part of my Christmas gift to him, as well as my own apprenticeship in zippers and cushions, so I was happy not to recoup my calculated cost.
To note, all things remaining the same, I would have to charge $9.00 / hour for labour, to meet the $50.00 / cushion goal.
I share all of this with you, my friends, to further illustrate how much you are worth. Maybe you are only making $9.00 / hour, and you are completely happy with that. That is solely your decision. But whatever monetary path you choose, own it, believe it, and don’t settle for anything less because We Are $ew Worth It.
I don’t know if I can afford me!