This is a question I get asked often at markets, and usually with a little bit of an attitude. It used to hurt my feelings - after all, I work hard and spend countless hours hand-making these items! I also pride myself on not charging more than $30 for anything, because I want my work to be accessible to as many people as possible.
Now, I am confident in my abilities and worth, so I am able to handle these interactions a lot better. Check out a reel I made based on an actual interaction with someone about this topic here.
So...why are these earrings and accessories priced the way that they are?
The skills and time invested by the maker.
I didn't sit down to work on clay and immediately start pumping out the quality of earrings that I do now. I had to learn a LOT.
I broke earrings. I sent poorly made earrings to customers (luckily these early customers were friends who understood and allowed me to remake items!).
Use of quality materials.
I use stainless steel posts - free of lead, nickel, and cadmium - to support sensitive ears. I source out metal pieces carefully to make sure that they are still sage for sensitive ears. I spend so much time sourcing materials that are going to last and not irritate sensitive ears - and this comes with a higher cost.
Overhead costs (website, credit card fees, etc.)
My one thought when thinking about the cost of maintaining my website and taking credit cards at markets is just UGH!
There is a fee for every purchase, which directly cuts into the money that I receive from each sale. This happens whether an item is purchased via Venmo, PayPal, or Square (my credit card processing service for the website and at markets).
It is unfortunately just part of the business, one that everyone has to deal with, but it does factor into pricing.
Handmade is handmade is handmade. There are ways to speed up your creation process - which goes back to the first point, time and skill.
Unique and/or custom designs that are not mass-produced.
You won't find these earrings on Shein or Target...and that is a GREAT thing! You don't want earrings that are going to be sold so cheaply and to everyone and their mother.
When you purchase a pair of Jasper & Elm earrings, you are purchasing quality and lovingly made items!