My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #648: A Tough One

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 03-22-2012 10:43 AM 1448 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 647: Old Habits are Difficult to Break Part 648 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 649: And . . . . We're Off! »

Things didn’t quite go as I would have liked them to yesterday. There were several things on different fronts that brought news that was not what I would call ‘good.’ Some of it could have been helped, and some of it could not. That is just part of life I suppose and I need to deal with things as they come.

It was a tough day for the ‘pink cloud’ and it rather took a beating. I only mention this because I try to be honest when I write and not only focus on the good things that happen. That wouldn’t be realistic and wouldn’t be a fair portrayal of how things are in life and I would fear that I am not giving a clear picture of how things really are.

While some of the issues were personal, some of them did have to do with the business. In that instance, it was a matter of mis-communication on both parts, but I do take full responsibility for it. I should have asked more questions and not ‘assumed’ a couple of things. I find that I believe a large part of the troubles we have in this world are that people shun responsibility for their own actions. I try not to be like that. If I am wrong, I do my best to own up to it and accept the consequences. It is the best way to learn.

I received my order yesterday for the kit pieces I am making for the Artist’s Club. It was quite sizable and should take me about a week to do I am thinking. I had already ordered the wood and the bags for the pattern kits and I even ordered and received the ink for my printer and bought the paper. All is ready to go.

There was a ‘glitch’ though because there was a bit of discrepancy on the pricing of the kits. While I was discussing the price from the wholesale side, they were speaking from the retail perspective which meant that there was a bit of a gap between the two prices.

In all fairness, I had thought that I was almost getting ‘too much’ at the price I had thought I would be receiving. The pieces were quite easy to cut (far easier than the skaters) and although the pattern was quite detailed, I thought I was being ‘overpaid’ just a bit. When I first gave my price, I was asked if I was sure it was enough and told that I should be able to get more. Unfortunately, it makes more sense now because they were talking about retail price and I was speaking strictly from a wholesale point of view.

Long story short, by the time all was said and done, I will be getting a bit less than a planned. It was a bit of a downer for me, but I am still going to be making a profit – just not as much. Such, they say, is reality.

I suppose that I am more angry with myself than with anyone. They were very nice about it and the choice to continue on was ultimately left up to me. At a time when things are slowing down and it is tough all over, I am honestly grateful for the work and also the additional exposure that working with them will bring.

When I look at the cost of advertising to any of the places where the audience would be qualified, it is far more than the difference in what I will be making here. I do have confidence that once people try my patterns and see the quality of work I do, they will want more and it will bring more retail business to my own site. I need to count on that and have the faith in myself and my product or I have no business being in my business.

So onward I will go, and while the doing the production may not be for quite as much as I had originally thought, it is still fair to me and I have never been afraid of doing an honest day’s work.

The day turned out to be beautiful and we took a long walk in the woods. The bugs have yet to arrive so I was able to take off my jacket without fear of being assaulted and feel the warm sunshine and cool breeze. It was wonderful.

Later in the day, I got the Mustang going and took it for a ride to stretch its wheels a bit. It was after the events of the day had piled on me and I drove along the road next to the ocean while the sun was setting, enjoying the solitude and music I had playing. It did wonders to clam me down and I was once again able to shift gears and bring my attention to the important things in my life and the beauty and wonder of our planet. All would be OK.

Today I am going to lecture at a middle school near where I live. I was asked to do so by a dear friend of mine who works with and lectures on women and girls who have been abused or mistreated. I had met her at a very difficult time in my life and she helped me through some very hard times. I had always said that I wanted to give back to the community and now that I am on ‘the other side’ and finding some success in both my business and my personal life, she feels that I am a good role model for the ninth graders that I will be speaking to. It is something that I feel strongly about, but I find it hard to bring up here for some reason. However, awareness is very much key to prevention in this area and I think it is an important thing to mention.

So that is my day today. I need to go to Yarmouth and pick up my taxes too, so I will have another chance to take a ride in the good weather. It will be a good day, I believe.

I hope you all have a good day too. Have a good one.

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

7 comments so far

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3429 days

#1 posted 03-22-2012 11:21 AM

Great blog today… the downs are more than overshadowed by the ups of helping others.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2801 days

#2 posted 03-22-2012 12:24 PM

you’re a strong, talented woman Sheila. I’m sure you’ll get through to a lot of young adults. Keep on keepin on. Oh, and very glad to hear of that Mustang. Keep driving Ford. Thank you

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2269 days

#3 posted 03-22-2012 01:47 PM

Your personal outlook and business attitude is a refreshing departure from the trappings of commercialism.

Best Wishes and God’s Speed.


-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3033 days

#4 posted 03-22-2012 04:06 PM

Onwards and upwards.

per ardua ad astra

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10097 posts in 4049 days

#5 posted 03-22-2012 05:29 PM

Hi Sheila,

Sorry you found out about Wholesale vs Retail the hard way…

That’s one of the bad things about selling wholesale for retail… You basically have to split your profit with them… Typically, the price structures are figured out first before anything is sold… Then, when you’re making and selling at Retail, you get 100% of the profit… BUT, when selling wholesale for retail (to a reseller), you have to remember that they must make a profit too… If they decide to sell at the same retail price as you, they must buy it at lower wholesale to make a profit… And you knew that… you were thinking One & they, another… a sad mistake…

In my experience, the reseller should get about a 30% margin when selling at the normal retail price.
(that % varies widely depending on the type product / business)
So to calculate the Retail price, one divides the Wholesale Price by .7 (the reciprocal of 30%).
If the item costs $5, the Retail price should be $7.14 in order to make 30%.
If the $7.14 is too high, then the wholesale price must be reduced until a reasonable Retail price can be reached… and that eats into the profit you once enjoyed… or be willing to make a lesser profit %.

On the brighter side though… They have to worry about advertising it, selling, & shipping it, etc… which you don’t have to worry about anymore!

Some companies place Price Restrictions on their products… where all resellers must sell at specific listed prices so there cannot be price wars with their products… they can make all types of restrictions of what Can and what Cannot be done…

A perfect example is the Kreg Company.
I do NOT know what the actual agreement is… BUT, if you ever go shopping for Kreg products, you will find them Basically all at the same prices… even on the Sale items.

If you do not stipulate price restrictions, and you end up with multiple resellers, you might find them changing the prices all over the place… over or Under the ‘anticipated’ retail price.

And with unrestricted pricing, resellers, expecting to be able to get a 30% margin, may be sadly surprised when they calculate their selling price & finding others with prices LOWER than yours.

For example:
You have your website with items For Sale on it at your prices.
If your reseller(s) cannot make a reasonable profit competing with Your prices, they will probably lose sales to You… which is not very fair…

On the other hand, they may be willing to make a lower profit and undercut Your website prices… turning it around.

And… so the World Turns… LOL

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2917 days

#6 posted 03-23-2012 10:02 AM

Thanks to all of you. I am very happy to focus on the positive things. I only mention the ‘glitches’ so that others who are perhaps also working in their own businesses can maybe learn from my own mistakes. It could be worse – I could be losing money in the process (which I am NOT). I just had one thing programmed in my head and I need to reboot and re program those thoughts. It IS work after all. Something that I am grateful to have. And who knows where it could lead.

All in all, it could (and will!) work out fine. I am still excited about the exposure it will bring. That (as they say) is “priceless!”

There is good in most things if we look hard enough. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View HamS's profile


1829 posts in 2386 days

#7 posted 03-23-2012 10:10 AM

I am sorry I did not take time to opine on this topic. At the risk of creating offense wbere none is intended my band sang a gospel song that seems appropriate:

The God on the Mountain
is still God in the Valley
The God in the good times
is still God in the bad.

Life is up and down, if we never got down then up would not feel so good.


-- Haming it up in the 'bash.

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