As a business person, pricing is a topic that makes me squirm sometimes. I think that’s pretty typical reaction, based on other stories I’ve heard from friends and fellow artists.

But then I wonder why we often just associate the word “price” with “dollar signs/how much is this costing me” instead of the actual value when we are considering an investment. That seems to come as a second thought as we reluctantly shell out bills or swipe our cards.


For the sake of visualization, here’s a little analogy for you:

My mom {or insert various relation/acquaintance} will cut my hair and use some hair dye home-kit for SUPER CHEAP, so why would I pay $110 for a stylist to cut/color and style my hair?! I’m getting a great deal!

I can just picture it now, my 10-year-old self sitting in front of my parents full-length bathroom mirror, fidgeting and whining, “How much longer!?” My mom would get out the haircutting kit every few months when she just couldn’t bear to see my thin hair grow {and get zipped in my heavy winter coat} any longer. Rightly so; I barely ever got haircuts because I absolutely dreaded them! They always ended up with me in tears and several inches more cut off of my ends than I wanted {and often crooked and uneven}. I love my mom very, very much, but I don’t think I’ve let her cut my hair since oh…middle school. She was always willing to do it for me, but I realized that while my mom is talented at many things, a trained and experienced stylist is worth the extra cost because of the value they deliver.

When I go into my usual salon, I’m greeted with a friendly voice, a comfortable chair and a cup of hot Alterra coffee {with a little cream and sugar…they know my order ;) }. Already what a difference! And it never causes me to fidget nervously. Then my stylist carefully listens as I explain what I’d like done to my hair, and then I ask her opinion. After all, she’s been in the biz for awhile and will know what looks good with my thin, straight hair :) Then, she proceeds to totally put me at ease and make some fun conversation by asking what’s new, telling me about the new habit her adorable 3 year-old learned from their dog last week, and making lighthearted comments that make me smile. A TOTALLY different story than those home haircuts because of the quality and entire experience. Plus, guess what…no tears!

In the end, the $15 that a friend/family member might charge you for a haircut isn’t a great deal, but the $110 that the stylist charges is a great deal. Her value totally justifies and exceeds her cost. That $110 got me not only a sleek new cut, but a coffee, comfortable chair, some product in my hair, oh yeah and that awesome head massage that only stylists know how to do! The prior at-home experience left me with a self-conscious feeling, took several weeks to grow out to a better length, and must I say it again, lots of tears.


I was {and sometimes still am} the kind of person always looking for a happy combination of high quality and inexpensive. The more I think about it, the more I realize how those two never really go hand in hand. If something is inexpensive, there’s pretty much always a reason for it – in my experience it’s poor quality or not meant to last. When someone is selling you something that truly is high quality, it has to cost more in order to cover the time, materials, and all the unseen costs {insurance, taxes, marketing, etc.}. Otherwise, the person is just running a non-profit or has an expensive hobby.

It all comes down to value. If you value a product or experience, it has just become priceless {much like a haircut that makes you feel beautiful and worth a million bucks}. Value is a beautiful thing, isn’t it?

Have a wonderful weekend friends :)  I’m off to enjoy some coffee and a new book!

a cup of coffee


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