#326 Perceived Value is an Inside Job with Allyson Hayes
Could you be hurting your sales by pricing your jewelry too low?
It might sound counter intuitive, but it happened to Allyson Hayes.
Allyson is an amazing designer from our community, and the founder of Precious Elements Designs.
Although she has excelled in one of our 12-week workshops, Allyson really stood out when she entered a supershare contest at one of our retreats.
Each contestant had to share something they had done to help them make or save money, and Allyson shared a story that blew our minds.
She was selling her jewelry at a show one day, and it wasn’t going that well. Lots of people were stopping by to admire her work, but very few were buying.
On an impulse, she ripped the tags off of all her pieces and doubled the prices of everything at her booth.
That day, she sold over half her inventory.
I’ve been wanting to get Allyson on the podcast for ages to talk about how her mindset transformed, along with her business, once she started charging what she’s worth.
Now, it’s finally happening.
How Underpricing Actually Hurts Your Sales
Allyson has always been obsessed with jewelry. As a customer, she found herself wanting more unusual jewelry than she could find. So she figured, why not make it herself?
She studied jewelry design and solder smithing degree at the Fashion Institute of Technology and fell in love with the process of creating her own designs.
Her business was built almost exclusively on selling at live shows. Her sales numbers were okay, but she knew something wasn’t clicking.
People were drawn to her booth because of her beautiful jewelry and bubbly personality. They would try things on, and sometimes even come back a second time to reconsider, but ultimately walk away.
Customer after customer was passing her by. It was a frustrating experience.
When Allyson started asking around, friends, peers, and even customers would tell her that it’s because her prices were too low. People didn’t believe her jewelry was as high quality as it appeared to be
It came down to the voices of people she respected saying she needs to raise her prices, versus the voice in her head saying her work wasn’t worth it.
Finally, she just said “screw it.”
When You Undervalue Your Work, You Undervalue Yourself
The day Allyson doubled her prices mid-show, it became one of her biggest sales days ever. People were not only more eager to buy, but to buy multiple pieces at once.
She couldn’t believe it.
She had spent decades building her skills and growing her business, only to find out she had been underpricing herself by 50 percent.
It caused her to take a hard look at her mindset to understand why she had been undervaluing herself.
As a Black artist, Allyson often felt like an outsider in the industry.
“I’m coming into a market with a lot of people who don’t look like me,” she explained. “I’ve got my education, my expertise, I got in the door… but these old mindsets are causing me to not value myself to the level of the industry.”
Raising her prices didn’t just transform her business, it transformed her whole mindset.
“Just because you’re different in a new realm doesn’t mean you need to undersell yourself to participate in that realm,” Allyson says, “In fact, you need to be at the level of the rest of your peers so the whole industry gets raised up.”
Advice for Raising Your Prices as a Small Business Owner
If you’re considering raising your prices, here’s Allyson’s advice: “Go for it. Just do it.”
Even just for one show, or one week, just try it. There’s no harm in experimenting, and you never know what you might discover.
She also advises all small business owners to do some self-reflection. Think about the mental hurdles holding you back, and do the work to unpack your stories around money that aren’t serving you.
Those are the things that really hold you back from tearing off those tags and doubling your prices.
Listen to the full episode above to learn more about Allyson’s journey and how she’s transforming her business, and herself, for the better.