Thank goodness i managed to take advantage of a 3 second window of sunshine this afternoon to gab a few snaps of the strawberry cushion i've made this week, or i'm not sure what i'd be talking about on this Handmade Monday post... probably the weather!
I love this design, we have a similar one that i made last year in our little cottage, and its just the thing to brighten up a slightly dark interior (old cottage = small windows) as well as combat the gloom of the grey days we're all getting a bit sick of in the UK at the moment!
Here's the back. I've added a little border to the envelope closure that isn't on the original and i'm quite pleased with how it turned out (i like it when cushions have a little something on the reverse side :))
Its actually given me an idea for some napkin rings i'd like to make - i've already had a go at the prototype but unfortunately the sun went behind a big black cloud before i could take a picture, so the reveal will have to wait until next week when hopefully i will have a little collection to share with you!
Cushion Pads, The Price Of Quality
As you may already know, cushions make up a large percentage of the handmade items i have for sale (i love cushions!). All of my cushions come with a cushion pad filled with wool from local cotswold sheep which i buy from a wonderful company called Wool Soft (also a great place to find out more about the wonders of wool and its many uses!). Their pads have great eco credentials and the quality is superb - they are soft and fluffy, they smell wonderful and they also last well and don't go all thin and sad looking in the way that the cheaper synthetic fillers can do! I couldn't be happier with the product and wouldn't use anything else for cushions in my own house.
However, they are not cheap. I bought a largish quantity (in small business terms) a few months ago and i paid somewhere around the £6/£6.50 mark per pad (as you may know pads filled with synthetic fillers range from about £1 to £3 depending on quality and feather filled are about £4 or £5). I have been wondering for a while whether i should give customers the option to buy my covers without pads thereby giving them the choice about whether they want to pay the premium.
My mind was somewhat made up today when i visited Wool Soft's website to find that the prices have gone up to £9.20 plus p&p for the pads i normally buy - the trade discount won't knock too much off this and i will have to pass this increase my customers. I worry that this will make my cushions appear over priced as i'm not sure people will necessarily appreciate how expensive the pads alone can be.
So, the question is, should i list my items as a cushion cover alone with the option to buy one of the wool pads as an add on to a purchase, or should i list as the full price and give the customer the option to reduce the cost of the purchase by buying the cover alone. Or should i do something else that i haven't thought of yet, but maybe you have?!
Thank you in advance for your help :)
A Country LifeThank you too if you left a comment about my country life mug last week (which is now available to buy in my Etsy shop). It was very interesting to hear how many of you draw inspiration from the natural world for your creations, and your kind appreciation of my handiwork was gratefully received! :)
My strawberry cushion was inspired by the bountiful crop we always get from the patch on our allotment (although not quite so bountiful this year due to a shortage of sunny days!). Home grown fruit and veg is another aspect of country living that i love and i had intended to pop over to our allotment today and take a nice picture for you. I didn't in the end because of the gloom. However, here is a shot taken last summer of my little River as a puppy dashing through our strawbs with wild abandon - luckily for him he was just too cute to tell off!