Month: February 2013

How to make the name-your-own-price model work

How to Make the Name Your Price Model Work, Laura Simms, Oh My! Handmade

Last year I launched my first product, and rather than giving it a static sticker price, I choose to make the price adjustable as a “pay what it’s worth to you” option. The launch greatly exceeded my expectations, and while I don’t think name-your-own price (aka NYOP) is a good model for every product, it can be magic for the right kind of offer.

Let’s look at why you might choose to let your customers name their price:

1. It’s your first product. If you’re newer on the block, NYOP can be a good way to transition into offering paid products. NYOP is affordable to anyone who wants to buy, but you still get to make some money.

2. Your priority is to have as many people buy as possible. NYOPs are usually a no-brainer purchase, and it’s easy for lots of people to get on the bandwagon since price is not a barrier. If you’re wanting to get your name out there to new people, NYOP can be a good strategy.

3. You want to grow your mailing list. Pssst…no one ever tells you this, but selling a product can double as a way to increase your number of subscribers. Just make sure your delivery system (e-junkie for me) can communicate with your email database like MailChimp or Aweber. You can set it up so that when someone makes a purchase, they’ll automatically be sent a confirmation to join your list. What better time to invite them then when they’ve just expressed interest in you via dollars and cents?

And here are a couple not-so-good reason to try NYOP:

1. You can’t decide what the price should be. Don’t let NYOP be a cop out, let it be a strategic decision. Your customers shouldn’t have to do the work for you.

2. You’re afraid to ask for what you think your product it worth. If you want your buyers to have confidence in yourself, you gotta have it in yourself. To the best of your estimation, what is the value of what you have to offer? And what do you think the market can bear? Consider both of these questions, and price accordingly.

There are a few important guidelines that will help you make the most your NYOP launch:

1. Set a suggested price. This lets people know what you would normally charge and an estimate of the value of the product. Some people will pay the suggested price, a few people will pay more, and most people will choose a lower price. That’s fine, but if they’re getting a steal, you want them to know it.

2. Set a minimum price. This is mostly to keep your resentment in check. Would you be offended if someone paid less than $10 for your brilliant ebook? Then take away that option. When PayPal starts sending you purchase receipts, the last thing you want it to be cursing because she lowballed you.

3. Advertise that this is a NYOP offer. NYOP is fun! It gets attention and is something to talk about. When you send emails, spread the word on social media, or do guest posts, be sure to share that people can adjust the price.

Your turn: Have a name-your-own price success story? Or a question about how to make it work for you? Share in the comments.

Gathering light,


For Love And Brooches-A Pin Party!

Handmade Brooches

hello brooch – nicenicenice / embroidery hoop brooch – dandelyne / house brooch – andsmile

spirit fox pin – the knotty owl starry sky brooch – twenty fingers / tiger cat brooch –

polyhedron brooch – olulu / teapot brooch – kimono reincarnate / brooch notebook – tandem gifts

I know, I know, you’re thinking – those are some mighty fine looking brooches Marisa, but what do they have to do with Love & Finance?

Well, the answer is nothing… and everything!

Let’s take Love first – you love handmade, you love creating beautiful things and you want to support your fellow artists. Rocking a brooch is a fantastic way to wear your handmade love on your sleeve – or rather your chest. A brooch is like a mini canvas and adds a fantastic pop of personality to even the most basic of outfits. (Anyone else have a closet filled with black?)

Then, Finance – are you stocking your shop with a variety of products and price points? I think a brooch is a great example of wearable art but also affordable art. By offering a variety of products at different price points, you’re making your products appeal to a variety of buyers. Also, for Artists, offering something wearable or consumable (like postcards or notecards) alongside your prints and originals, encourages those customers who generally look and love and favourite but not buy to actually buy something. We all have limited wall space but, generally, an unlimited desire for pretty things!


Let’s have a little fun! Every month we’re going to throw a little social media party around a colour or a product or a theme and showcase them all on a special Pinterest board. This month, we want you to show us your Brooch Love! Snap a pic of you rocking your favourite handmade brooch – it could be one of your products, something you bought or even a DIY project – and share it on instagram or flickr or your blog or wherever with the tag #OhMyBrooch. Then pin that beauty to Pinterest, making sure you tag @ohmyhandmade or @Omiyage on Pinterest in the description. We’ll make sure it gets repinned to our Oh My! Brooches board.

What the heck, let’s even go backwards in time (who said you shouldn’t look back) and share Emerald pics too – pin & tag your handmade green goodness with #OhMyEmerald (making sure you tag @ohmyhandmade or @Omiyage) and we’ll get them pinned onto the Oh My! Emerald board.

Hope you’ll join us! In the meantime, you can follow me on Pinterest here and Jessika here. In the comments – we’d love to know if you rock a brooch or about any success stories or lessons learned you have about offering consumable products or products at various price points. And while you’re at it, share the link to your Pinterest boards too!

Help Choose A New Logo for Story of Mum!

Story of Mum, oh my handmade

Story of Mum has never had a logo. Just words blandly spelling out our name. But as we’ve grown to understand what we are, and what we could be, (with the help of the Oh My! Handmade community) we’ve realised that we need to step into a clearer identity. To help us take that step, five Graphic Design students at Falmouth University have bravely developed ideas for a new logo and brand identity for story of mum, allowing us to share their process here. We would love your thoughts to help us choose.

The process

Mentored by dear Ellen Elwell and supported by Arts Council England, I developed a 2 page brief. This identified our primary audience (short version: mothers of under 10s) and message (short version: Join us!).

Our key visual/style notes were that we’re broadly happy with our current colour palette (you can see this on our website), influenced by contemporary creativity and the DIY/handmade art movement, and need a logo that can sit alongside diverse content and colours in a simple gallery space. Our key descriptors were:

  • Community/Connection/Collaboration
  • Bravery/Strength
  • Joy/Happiness/Presence
  • Fulfilment/Self/Growth
  • Openness/Expression/Communication

We also found a new way to express our evolving mission: 

To harness the power of creative activity and storytelling (written, visual, craft, arts) to help mums of all ages and backgrounds explore and express their evolving identities: fostering greater confidence, self-awareness and appreciation of both the negative and positive aspects of motherhood, while having fun.

I presented the brief in person last week and the students had just four days until I returned to hear their pitches and give feedback, selecting five to explore further. They had another week to make revisions, with regular email contact if they wanted it. We’re very grateful for their hard work and vision.

Each designer gave us a wide range of material (we asked for a logo alone, on the website, and featured as an exhibition flyer), some of which we’ve shared below, along with a short paragraph to explain their intentions.

Story of Mum, oh my handmade


“Story of Mum provides the strength of community, freedom to be creative and a sense of adventure. The balloon is an uplifting metaphor for the bravery and growth experienced by mums. The process of the balloon filling and creating the firm roundness that lifts it also correlates with pregnancy. I created a handmade logo with a potato print to reflect the creative aspect of Story of Mum. The effect is welcoming and contemporary and far from corporate. Overall the image reflects the journey that mums make and the courage and fun that goes with it.”

Story of Mum, oh my handmade


“Story of Mum focuses on the importance of ‘me time’ for mothers. Circling the word ‘Mum’ reflects the emphasis on prioritizing this time, much as you would circle a date in the diary. Using the printed word ‘MUM’ helps anchor the logo, making this very much the ‘story of’ mum, written by mums and shared with other mums creatively online. The ‘circling’ brand mark can also be applied as encouragement to ‘exhibit’ your thoughts and feelings on the website or in a physical space. Mums could be encouraged to print out their own ‘MUM” to doodle on, adding ‘story of’ and the circle to brand their individual profile.”

Story of Mum, oh my handmade


“Reassurance was Story of Mum’s strongest message, signified here by the circle. Birds have a feminine shape that also signifies freedom. I chose the stork without the traditional baby in beak to imply a woman on her way to motherhood or blossoming as a mother. Storks have other nurturing attributes, squeezing water from moss to feed their young, grouping together in large numbers to protect one another at night. The Marabou stork also has an enormous wingspan measuring 10.5ft, which made me think of a comforting hug, the best hug of all, our mothers’!”

Story of Mum, oh my handmade


“Overall, the identity resembles a flower. Within this, the numerous ‘petals’ or ‘people’ are connected by a central bond. This represents a social hub, all mothers and all connected. However, each person has their own identity. They aren’t just a ‘mother’, they are themself. This is represented by each ‘petal’ or ‘female figure’. The idea is that this captures a sense of connection, joy, growth and fulfilment. The rough and uneven edges give a sense of handmade creativity and the use of pattern has also been inspired by patterning styles echoed throughout the handmade community.”

 Story of Mum, oh my handmade


“Story of Mum has a strong sense of community, allowing mothers to come together to share experiences and to have fun. My logo design represents this, as well as the idea that each mother is a unique individual brought together by Story of Mum. I focused on the word ‘Mum’ as they are after all what makes the brand, with each letter as an individual person connected by their roles as mothers. Joining the letters shows them holding hands – a strong sense of support and comfort within the mothering community.”


We would love to know your thoughts! Which do you think best capture the spirit of Story of Mum and the ideas within the brief? What might we think about next as we take one of these designs further?

About the Author Pippa Best

I live in Cornwall, UK with my salty-skinned surfing film-making husband, boisterous 4 year old boy who thinks he’s an Octonaut, and nearly 2 year old daughter who inspires me by saying YES as if it’s the easiest thing in the world. Life is a constant plate-spin of intuitive mothering and my work as a feature film script editor and project manager. My passion is, an online community of supportive brave mamas doing uplifting, thought-provoking, downright silly stuff together to celebrate the ups & downs of motherhood. Come join our #somum Mums’ Make Dates (2nd Wed. of every month from 8.30 – 10pm GMT on Twitter).

Join us online, like us on Facebook, and Pinterest, and follow us on Twitter @storyofmum.