Rich Husband, Poor Wife.
I have been mind-broken about how warped my beliefs about money were. I didn’t want to pay more than $20- max $50 for anything and was so price-conscious instead of being quality and craftsmen conscious.
Growing up in a poor family with parents that believed that being prosperous was inherently somewhat evil and being contented with little was the righteous thing to do had imprinted me with a poverty mindset that up till recently I never really admitted to having.
Over the past few years of being married to my husband who was brought up with parents that have done well for themselves financially, there had been times of friction over the issue of money – which I now realize is the difference in the imprints we had from our parents, growing up.
He would throw/giveaway clothes that seemed slightly worn out because he would only wear shirts that looked smart; I would be annoyed that he was being wasteful and not wear them longer. He would want to eat whatever he wanted and have a good steak; I would choose my food based on the prices and order the cheapest thing even when I could afford it. I was just wired that way.
He went for quality and good brands of clothing and shoes, and wear the same pair for a long time; I would buy many cheap pairs of shoes and feel justified that they were cheap and feel like he was wasting money spending so much on a pair of shoes.
He would wash his clothes everyday but I wouldn’t. (I know that sounds gross but I was always taught to wear my sleeping clothes at least twice before washing to save on water and laundry) And I would get upset with him for not wearing it twice before washing and tell him that he was being wasteful – When now on hindsight he was just being clean, growing up in a family with helpers you don’t worry about things like saving water on laundry.
He wanted to invest and prepare for our children’s future, and only wanted kids when he felt we could give them the best. I felt (previously) that our kids should work and support themselves through school, and that we didn’t have to save up for their college – because my parents never did the same for me.
Recently, I actually encouraged and talked him into buying that pair of TOD’s Loafers (which he had been thinking about for so long). He wouldn’t buy something for the sake of it but only if he really liked it and it was of good quality – but in Singapore TOD’s loafers were $600. We got them for $280 USD plus at the premium outlets in New York – still a steep price for shoes but I saw the comfort, quality, craftsmanship, history and originality ( in that they were the ones who started making these type of shoes first) and really felt that it would last him a lifetime.
How can we support original ideas, craftsmanship, quality and history if we are not willing to pay $300 or even up to a $1000 for those hours put into creating a product of excellence and originality? And how can we do so if we cannot afford to and believe that it is sinful to be prosperous?
It is truly Ironic and funny because how can I expect my customers to value my designs and work and be willing to pay only $300 for a necklace that takes me almost 5 hours in total effort to make and upload and take pictures of, when I myself wouldn’t spend anything close to that on anything? One of the reasons why I had initially priced my designs of handmade, time-consuming, one of a kind jewelry SO LOW is because I had a poverty mindset and I assumed that everyone else would not be willing to pay as well. I assumed people would think $78 was expensive when on hindsight it totally isn’t. And now, me and my sister having shifted our mindsets and grown personally in so many ways, have realized that we cannot continue providing this one-of-a-kind handmade pieces spirit of excellence product (writing them a card each hand-drawing them which sometimes takes up to 30 minutes per card) – at the prices we have been selling them at because we are simply not even making money at this rate – and will not be able to sustain our level of commitment to this business and support a family and have a decent life if we continue down this path. Therefore, we are rethinking the business and how to re-price our designs at a reasonable yet profitable number that adds value both to our beloved customers as well as ourselves.
I used to pride myself in finding clothing and shoes at prices around $20. It can only be at that price when it is mass-produced and most of the time, copied. An original design that has not yet been a success would not be mass-produced in that quantity. It is often because the factories in China copy the designer labels that are popular and mass-produce them or alter the design slightly to sell it cheap in huge quantities.
In actual fact, I had been a supporter of design piracy and exploitation because I want to “save money” because I grew up in a family that could never afford much.
So why not aim to be financially able to support original ideas, craftsmanship, a spirit of excellence in quality? 🙂