What to charge? 1

Pricing is an often talked about topic when it comes to professional henna services.  Do we charge an hourly rate? By the piece?  What about travel charges?

The good news,is that there are answers to all of these questions.  The bad news is that there is no one right answer!

Let’s start with charging by the hour.  This method works best for private parties, corporate events, and bridal work.  The amount that you charge per hour depends on your skill level, speed and where you live.  As a newer artist who has a few years of experience and is just beginning to charge for your services,  you would want to charge less per hour to make up for your lack of speed.  Between $40 & $60 an hour is a good starting point.  As your skills improve and you gain confidence and speed, you can charge anywhere from $75-$150 per hour depending on where you live and what the market is like in your area.

Charging by design works best in a festival setting.  You have paid a fee for your space, set up your booth and are ready for clients to come to you.   Depending on how busy you are, there is the potential to make your hourly rate and then some for each hour you are at a festival.

Charging by design does not work out as well in party situations because there is the chance that the party guests will only chose small designs and you could leave without even making your hourly rate.  Even if guests choose larger designs, there might be a lot of downtime between designs while people are chatting, choosing a design, etc.

Travel charges should also be considered.  If you live in a more rural area, everything is a long way away.  If you live in a city, you might physically be close to your appointment, but public transportation or heavy traffic can make the journey take quite some time.    Some henna artists find it easier to decide on travel charges on a case by case basis.  Some set a radius of miles or an amount of travel time and tack on a fee after those criteria are met.  Your travel fee can be a flat rate, or can be based on distance or time.   Some artists have even raised their base hourly rate and gotten rid of worrying about travel charges all together!

There are many other points to consider in this discussion, and pricing will almost certainly continue to be a theme for our Business of Henna and Working Wednesdays posts. Other things to think about are:
-When should you start charging for your henna services?
-What is a good rate to charge for a henna party?
-How do you price bridal mehndi services?
-Travel fees – even more considerations
-The many reasons why charging per design at a party doesn’t work.
-Why you should never work for free and how to say no (look! we already did that one!)
-How to deal with haggling

What else would you like to know about pricing?

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One thought on “What to charge?

  • Harvey McNaughton

    I an artist but I have not tried hanna designs. I looked some up on the internet. Some look simple enough. I know tho is different that doing a painting or a sculpture. I m sure it might even be different than hand calligraphy lettering, signs, murals or posters. I have worked on all of these before. I have been out of the art field for while, but I thought this could be a way to get back into it and perhaps make a little money. Does it take much practice? How long did it take for you to pick it up. Do you need any art training?