I was using unethical labour...
...but it's not what you think.
If you know much about my personal and business values, you'll know that I believe no person should be exploited in a supply chain. No profit should come before a person.
And when it came to my suppliers, the materials that I was using, my packaging, and my general business practices, I was upholding that belief as much I possibly could. That is, with the exception of one area - what I was paying myself.
Most small business owners, especially creatives, will tell you a similar story. At the beginning of their careers, they undercharged because they had imposter syndrome or were terrified of the lashback from customers. They also felt that they had to compete with mass-manufactured pieces whose low prices often reflected the high amount of exploitation used to make them.
But over time, this leads to burn out mentally, physically, emotionally and frankly, businesses that fail.
This past year my little business had a big growth spurt. And it was amazing and I cannot be more grateful. But I was easily working 50+ hour weeks between the actual making, the accounting, the marketing, the packaging, standing at markets, etc. But because I was undercharging on most of my products, I couldn't afford to pay myself a true living wage. In fact, sometimes it was less than minimum wage.
I would never ask an employee to work for me under those conditions. I'd be worried if someone I cared about worked like that. I actively protest against large corporations exploiting their staff in that manner. But I've been scared to ask more for myself.
So what does this all mean? Yes, I am raising my prices. (I am flinching right along with you, despite knowing it is necessary and fair!) On February 26th, 2023 most, though not all, products will be getting an adjustment.
I have no doubt we are all sick of hearing about prices going up. Like most of you, everything is costing me, personally and professionally, more these days, too. Which is another reason why I didn't come to this decision lightly but even more urgently had to make it.
There are a million more things I am tempted to say to justify this choice.
Just know that I will continue to design pieces to accomodate a range of budgets and I will continue fighting for a society that pays fair wages and systematically makes basic needs accessible for EVERYONE.
Until February 26th, you can preorder items to take advantage of the current prices.