Yes, I design, make, and sell a roll of screen printed wrapping paper for a whooping eighteen dollars. $18?! That's a lot of money. It is to me and it might be to you, too.
So where does that money go? Great question. I thought I would provide some clarity so that you know exactly why I have set that particular price. As consumers, we all deserve transparency in where our money goes, right? Some of my favorite brands show this kind of openness (think East Fork and Everlane to name a couple), so why shouldn't I? Costs are rounded.
Breakdown for our $18 Roll of Paper:
$4 - Shipping Costs / USPS
$2 - Packaging Materials / Tube or Box, Tissue Paper, Branded Sticker
$1 - Etsy Processing Fee / Credit Card Processing
$5 - Materials and Labor / Paper, Ink, Poly Sleeve, Label, Screen Printing
$2 - Marketing + Other Business Expenses
$3 - Profit
$.50 - Donation to Feeding America
$.50 - The Government / Taxes
Grand Total - $18
For further clarity, I do get to pocket the labor expense, because I currently do all the printing. All of it! But in order for me to be able to consider hiring or outsourcing the printing at some point, I needed to make sure to have labor as a line item expense. (Fun fact: Every roll of wrapping paper is screen printed in 9 - 11 frames. In other words, printed that many times!)
I also save on expenses whenever customers purchase more than one item at a time, as that cuts on shipping costs and packaging materials. The donation to Feeding America is also based on per order, not per item order.
When I sell these paper rolls at wholesale to stores, I do not offer free shipping and my profit is cut in half, but rolls are sold in cases, so the bulk ordering makes up for the decrease in profit. And basically helps keep the cash flow flowing.
The longer I run a business, the more I realize how expensive it can be. Especially when ordering raw/recycled materials made in the USA, supporting other causes, and paying assistants almost double the minimum wage. But these best practices are important to me, and hopefully to you, too.
When you purchase from this shop, you are getting the real deal. High quality handcrafted items with honesty, intension, and clarity.
Photos by Anna Hedges, taken in my Johnson City, TN studio last Fall.