The Second Rule of Pricing: Keep it Sustainable

This contributor post was written by Tiffany Moore and is a follow-up to her earlier post, The First Rule of Pricing.

This week, I want to talk about rule #2 when it comes to pricing for your creative business: it has to be sustainable.

I know that sustainability is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days, but the bottom line is this: if you are working towards a creative business that you can make a living from, you have to be sure that you set things up so that you can earn a living wage. You have to be able to pay yourself. Or else it’s not going to work.

It’s scary. It’s a big thing to consider, especially when you’re starting out.

The truth is that when you get started, you likely aren’t going to be earning a living wage from your creative business. Most of us have side projects or second jobs that sustain us while we get started, BUT you have to have a vision of sustainability in mind before you jump in.

Too often, as creatives, we focus on the passion, on the heart. On the craft of it all. And that all still can count for a LOT but bringing a sense of business in, even from the beginning, can often make the difference between making a living and having a hobby.

The point is for what you love to be what you do, right? Getting real about the business side of things sooner rather than later will help solidify that as a reality.

What is the best business decision you made early on? On the flip side, what is the one business decision you WISH you’d made early on? How were you able to find your sweet spot?

*image via WilloToons: Stitching it all Together

Tiffany Moore, co-founder of Teahouse Studio is an artist, life coach, change agent and magic maker. She helps creatives live their happiest, most sparkly lives (starting NOW) and thinks that everyone in the world is beautiful, including you.

14 comments | Click here to reply

The thing to remember is to start your pricing a little higher than you are comfortable with- because it is always easier to lower them if your items are not selling (and then people think they are getting a bargain) rather than trying to raise them later and have existing customers think they are getting ripped off. Starting at the level that makes you a little uncomfortable is probably about right, because often we undersell ourselves, so it is better to oversell yourself (just remember to under-promise and over-deliver rather than over-promise and under-deliver)- because you may find that the slightly higher pricing might just work for you in the first place. Wait a little while before lowering your prices too.
I always send off some small gift to all new customers, something that makes them feel special and valued ( a small sample of the other handmade buttons I make, for instance) that way you start off on the right foot and they will more likely feel that your product is more worth the price because of the personal service they recieve and because they feel like a valued customer- remember that it is about the shopping experience, not just the product. I’m sharing this so that other people can benefit in an instant from things it has taken me a while to learn.


One of the best things I’ve learned about sustainability is a combo of your first post on pricing & this one – I CAN price my pieces in a way that sustains my business. And!! People will pay those prices! And happily I might add.

To me these 2 posts together = the confidence to set your prices where you a) think they should be & b) in a way that brings in the money you’re trying to earn. Thx!


oooooh Sustainable, now thats a buzz word! A good one to remember when pricing! Thank you

Nicole Bull


Linda B. (@lindab142)

The Second Rule of Pricing: Keep it Sustainable #smallbusiness

nauli (@nauli)

The Second Rule of Pricing: Keep it Sustainable – on crafting and yet nice and easy to read for everyone

Balance from Within (@DonnielleJames)

The Second Rule of Pricing: Keep it Sustainable

dsbrennan (@dsbrennan)

The Second Rule of Pricing: Keep it Sustainable

Karen (@Cammie_Baby)

Great post! I totally agree that it’s important to think about sustainability early on.

Jessica @shimmerkai

are the prices you have set for your #smallbiz sustainable? find out here

brittni mehlhoff (@papernstitch)

So great to hear that Diane. Keep us posted on your progress. Tiffany is definitely rocking these posts.

And thanks for stopping by Colleen. Always nice to “see” a familiar face. And I love that diagram too. Willo is awesome.



Thanks Colleen and Diane! You’re so welcome, I’m glad it’s helpful information!


I am loving this series of posts! This is something I constantly struggle with and these posts have really helped me! Thanks so much for all you do to make my blog and business better 🙂


This is awesome – I love that diagram!!

Colleen / Inspired to Share
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