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Brazil job and craft economics


#1

Hello Orchid: I’ve been following this thread with interest and here are a
couple of things to throw in the mix:
RE: Brazil---- Before one jumps to conclusions re fair wage or otherwise I
would ask a few questions such as cost of living down there,
benefits–lodging perhaps?, work schedule… 40hours, 5 days or somewhat
less…working conditions etc. etc. American salary expectations are a
result of our costs of living and a lower cost means your salary will go
much much further. If one was seriously considering it, one would need to
negotiate a contract, moving reimbursement, etc. but I would not rule it
out it it’s time for something completely different. Every situation has
it’s own rat race but they do differ somewhat. which leads into craft
economics.
I do agree with Gavin’s heartfelt post – but if you want to survive
long enough to be able to have the freedom to give away when you want
to…you must know your own costs and price accordingly. then you can know
the rules, and break them at will. We have all been associated with
design endeavours that died from undernourishment, and you can’t always pay
to make the jewelry you love. And in terms of fair price, the only way I
know to stand across a counter from a retail client and tell them it’s
$80.00, or $800.00, or whatever, is know what it costs. really costs.
know your materials, know your overhead, know the time in the piece, and
the cost of your time or your employees time. This is not just a money
grubbing pt. of view but survival for you, your shop, any employees etc.
etc. otherwise the longing to make beautiful things is just an expensive
curse. On a positive note, when you really know your costs and your
pricing is not arbitrary, you can work with your client from a very secure
standpoint. In my retail experience, clients appreciate it if they
understand pricing has a rational component in it, somewhere, and it’s not
just made up. Then if they can’t pay $800.00 or whatever, you can help
them meet their price point.

Sincerely,
Eve Wallace
@eve_wallace


#2

eve wallace wrote:

design endeavours that died from undernourishment, and you can’t always pay
to make the jewelry you love. And in terms of fair price, the only way I
know to stand across a counter from a retail client and tell them it’s
$80.00, or $800.00, or whatever, is know what it costs. really costs.
know your materials, know your overhead, know the time in the piece,
Eve,
One of my old college friends was the son of Diplomat stationed in
Brazil and he grew up there.I spoke at length with him many times about
that country and watched alot of films he would get from his father who
was still there.Have you ever heard the Portuguese language spoken?To
hear that language spoken everyday would be payment enough for me… I
would venture a guess that the costs of living run about 2/3 of the U.S
average but that is just a guess.It is best not to look or act too
American if one does go there from what I have heard it is considered
sort of a lack of respect to the country of Brazil as best as I could
determine from what was being said and what was not being said at the
time…
As for prices of items I make: If I live on less than another jeweler
then do I charge the same as a guy with expensive habits?I don’t go to
great lengths on pricing things.If I need money I make jewelry it’s
simple…If a customer doesn’t want to wait for me to need money then
they can take it elsewhere…If there isn’t a work order on my bench
then I go visit some of my clients and then there is a work order
there…If one cuts his/her own stones it gets sort of difficult to place
a value on those truly beautiful or unusual ones and they are sometimes
the ones I don’t seem to ever set.They do help alot if there is a lack
of work orders…)…Gavin