The Little Business of Ribbon Cockades

I enjoy making these WAY too much.  So much, in fact, that I went to the fabric store and came home with, uh, 11 rolls of grosgrain ribbon.  Whoops!  I’m ever so happy with what I’ve made so far, though.  I’ve decided to put them in my Etsy shop to see if there is any interest.  What do you think?  I want to make up some “make your own cockade” kits as well, with ribbons and instructions and whatnot, the way Princess Lasertron does her little felt flower kits. 

I thought I might offer custom – singles, doubles, even triples, or in custom sizes specifically for shoes and whatnot.  I suppose ideally a customer would talk with me about what colors they’d like, send me a photo of their costume or hat, and I would make them the cockade, with either a clip back, pin back, or buckle back for shoes.  I can do them in quantity for a group, or for weddings, for instance – I know some of you have had to make these in quantity in the past and it was a pain in the neck.  Would be happy to do it for you at a reduced quantity price! 

So far I’m charging $25 for single cockades, and $35 for doubles.  Customs go up a bit because of the material cost of ribbons and bows specific to a project.  Quantity price would be lower.  What do you guys think of the prices?  Too low, too high?

Red and White double cockade with rhinestone centerpiece and striped tails – on Etsy, $35

Yellow, White, and Black “BumbleBee” Double Cockade – on Etsy, $35

More to come – have a couple others to post on Etsy before I put pictures here.


  • Sarah

    April 8, 2010 at 10:43 PM

    Honestly, I can't say much about the price, since it's not something I would buy, personally, given I could potentially make on my own. The kits, however, might be of interest to people like me! How many hours does it take to put one together, plus your total cost, plus a reasonable markup so that you can have discounts and sales without cutting too deeply into your profits is how I figure my stuff.

    Or, how desperately do I want it GONE?

  • Lauren Stowell

    April 9, 2010 at 2:35 AM

    Hahaha, good points Aranel. I suppose I kindof shot myself in the foot with my online tutorial, but maybe some folks out there will still want to buy one? I definitely think the kit idea is a good one, so I will take into consideration how much time/material/shipping etc. – I was thinking maybe $15 or $20?

  • Adva

    April 9, 2010 at 5:58 AM

    My two (or maybe five :p) cents:
    1. About the shooting yourself in the foot thing: I think you're wrong. People who want to make them, will make them. It is not a super complicated thing, even to figure it out yourself. So the tutorial helped those who will make them anyway – just made it easier and I think it's a great thing to offer tutorials in general.
    2. (and it's related to 1) Those who want to buy them, will. No matter how many tutorials you put up. Some have two left hands. Others might prefer your precision and expertise. And some it just wouldn't cross their minds to make them.
    3. As for pricing: It really depends on your cost and what profit you want to make. Don't forget to tally up your time into the cost, and as Sarah said, don't forget to insert into the profit consideration of discounts and sales (cause you really don't want to eat into your cost, in the end). It is really essential as you plan to offer bulk discount – you don't want to end up losing money on that.
    4. I say, if you calculate your cost and profit reasonably, just upload them to etsy and see how they sell. It will give you the best indication.
    5. As for kits – I'm all up for that! You'll reach the audience who want to make one, so you won't miss them. In my opinion, kits with patterned grosgrain (and combined kits with solid and patterned), will sell better. Because they're harder to find.

    I must say though, I'm not any of your potential buyers, because cockades aren't really my thing. I'm into more supple materials and looks.

  • Lauren Stowell

    April 9, 2010 at 8:48 AM

    adva – this is really great advice! Thank you so much. I uploaded the two to Etsy, to try'n get an indication of popularity or if the price point is alright. Looks like there are only a couple sellers on Etsy making and offering cockades, and they each have their own style and sell anywhere between $10 and $150!

    So we shall see what happens. I'll definitely make up a little kit and add that as well to see how it goes – I agree with your reasoning, and I like making helpful little things like that, haha 😀

  • Adva

    April 11, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    Glad to be of help 🙂
    One more little thing – outside this post (and I assume that other posts as well), there is no link to your etsy shop. It will really help your shop traffic if you link it in one of your side columns.

  • duchess

    April 12, 2010 at 1:09 AM

    oh crazy, I used to have one right on the right-hand side. must've accidentally deleted it when working on layout and didn' notice. Lol, I so fail!

  • artbox

    April 28, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    there can not be enough said…that even if people have the right and left hand.. they might not have color or design sense.. and if you mix that with a flair for creativity, you will be in business.


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