xmlns:fb='http://ogp.me/ns/fb#' OriginalStitch: Going to Great Lengths

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Going to Great Lengths

When people ask about the costs of my business (I mean, fernickety scary people like accountants and bank managers and ones who like maths), quite apart from getting scared and wanting to shout "It just works, ok!" I do sometimes sound rather vague and unconvincing.
This is because they want me to say (put on robotic voice)

"The production costs are £x.y."

But instead I say things like (put on voice suggesting I'm slightly under the influence.)

"Um, well, I mean, it kind of like depends on how much the fabric cost, in a way, yeah...?"

Well. I'm going to try and fix that here, and then I shall just direct 'em to this blog post. I'll just hold my hand up in their faces and say

"Yup. Can I stop you there? Say it to the hand, coz this face?  Yep. You got it.  Just get your people to speak to my people Blogside, yuh?"

I can work out how much our labels cost, our stickers, our tags, because yes, we order those in from nice eco-friendly printers.  But our stitchers are working with second-hand fabrics from all sorts of sources, many free, so I can't simply do some maths based on the latest per metre cost of a supplier's fabric, and I don't know what my stitchers have discovered in their neighbour's attic, or found on freecycle, or rooted up from the bowels of charity shops....or stolen from bins....do they do that I wonder??

Anyhoo...no matter where they got their fabrics, you can bet your bottom dollar it was a bargain.

Check out my latest goodies, price tags left on, so we can do some maths. Don't you just love a bit of maths of a mornin'?  Hm?  Ok, so if you squint a bit to look at those fabric lengths there and convert the quantities here into the same units (I did this in my head.
Yeah, I did.
I did.
I did.
Ok, it's a fair cop.  I sooooo didn't.  I used the conversion thingybob on my mac.  Oh I love my mac!)
.....and then add 'em up (also done in my head.  Honest.  I did.
...you'll find this lot comes to 6.7m worth of fabrics plus that greeny one there, which is 2m.  And then if you further add up the amounts of spondoolicks paid (I did this using an old abacus and the Aramaic system of counting, I did) then you might discover that I paid Thirteen English Pounds, which is the same as 2,313 Icelandic Krona, 75 Qatari Rials, 10,012 Chilean Pesos, and Twenty Big Fat US Dollars.
Then, using perhaps ancient Chinese counting rods, and quite possibly Pythagoras' theorem, for all I know, you would discover that this fabric cost £1.58 per metre.  Which is of course, 3,062 Kazakhstan Tenge.

Then, supposing most products don't use anything like a metre's worth of fabric, rather, let's say, if we calculate the percentage of a metre of fabric used for the Pencil Roll, (I like using papyrus and soot for writing down my thinkings), then we'd discover that only about a quarter of a metre is used.  Which is 39 pee, as we like to say here, in English money.

That'll be 59 of the Swiss' finest Cents.  And 63 of the Canadians'.

And this is all good - because the lower the costs, the more the profit.
And the higher the profit, the higher the amount we can pay our hard-working, skillful, creative, earnest and dedicated Stitchers for making products which are unique, made-to-order, beautifully stitched and lovingly packaged.

And that is the kind of maths I like.


Amanda Jane said...

Catherine, you are quite simply bonkers! I just bought some lovely Laura Ashley curtains from the charity shop. They had a 50% off cube attached to the coathanger and the old lady said "Ooooh I don't know about that dear, I'll have to check", when she came back she had a very sour puss of a face because she had seen a few of these cubes, the lady next to me in the queue had also been looking and sniffing at fabrics (I always sniff before buying) anyway she said with a conspirital wink in my direction, "shall we have a vote on it ladies?" all the surrounding old dears immediately put their hand up, just happy to be consulted and bingo, 50% off! Head cashier looked daggers at me as if I had stolen her purse. which didn't improve when I told her the fabric corner smelt a bit fusty this morning!

Catherine said...

You gots to get yer bargains where you cans! Nice one lady. Gimme.

Knitwit said...

The dark fabric with the little flowers looks remarkably like a Rose and Hubble fabric with which I made a dress for you in say 19..... V. expensive then.

Catherine said...

Ooh, yes, it does! It was an ankle length dress. But was in not in thin cord???

antmee said...

If you have to price the fabric. The time taken to shop for it could also be a factor to weight in! If your bankers and accountants want to get all pedantic on you! lol