Hi everyone, I've been asked to make a hat for Ascot and a veil for a friend who is getting married in June. My friend says veils retail from $45-70 and my other friend hasn't mentioned paying me, she is going to Ascot and,knows A list celebs, having worked with U2 and ColdPlay. Do I ask for a fee and with the veil, how do I get a good price? Thanks.

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Does anyone make hats for friends and family? How do you work out a fair price?

I think it depends in part on how close you are with them. If my best friend were getting married, I might do the veil as a gift or just for the cost of supplies. If it's a casual friend, I would ask her to pay a fair price for my work (and explain that mass-produced veils are very different in style and cost from hand-crafted millinery).

Another thing to think about is the value you might get from exposure. If the friend who knows A-list celebs is likely to wear your hat well and talk it up, that could be worth the price.

I think it depends a lot, too, on where you are in your career. I think there's a bit of a risk in giving away or discounting too much for friends/family. Even if you do free/cheap hats for friends, they should understand that this is meant to be your livelihood (assuming it is) and not some cutesy hobby.

It has been so gratifying to me when friends have paid full price for my work, and I haven't felt guilty over it either! (I have also given hats as gifts or in trade to friends, too, so it's been a mix for me.)

Thank you. Yes she does know A list celebs, so the exposure would be worth it at Ascot. Lots to think about....

Maybe you could make the Ascot hat , and like the A list celebs, just loan it to your friend to wear and then give back to you !Thus getting exposure, photographs and a piece to display. 

Veils, can you get materials, time and create the item for less than the retail price, here some are as much as £180. I would not make one as nice as the ones you can get here, nor source the materials at a price  I would want to pay.  This may not apply to you friend, but some do want what is in the shops and think that by asking you they will get the same but for nothing. 

Do some costings and let your friends know how much they would cost and see what happens !. I have a similar issue with a work colleague who has just fallen in love with a sample piece and will be sorting out the "retail" price with her this week, as some people do expect makers to make for nothing !

Thank you, great ideas! The,loan would involve postage as she is in NZ and I am in Australia. Does anyone know the dates for Ascot Races in 2014? My other friend wanting the veil is in Qld, but her dress has a lot of bling, and she's quite a cheapskate, so I don't know how much a matching veil would cost....

Sometimes less is more, a heavy lace or blingy  veil will hide any detail on the back of the dress and as the dress is usually the more important item, most brides want the dress and detailing on it to stand out ...not have a net curtain hiding it. !! (no offence to veil makers intended, but it has to be right with the right dress)

Encourage her to go  try some veils on and hopefully a kindly bridal shop may persuade her to go for a less ornate item, which may then fall into your remit.

A veil with a row of diamante round the edge becomes heavy, and cuts you in half, the most elegant ones have the odd one or two dotted about.

Or she may just want bling over taste ! and you will be sticking for hours.

Good idea thanks, no I don't want to be sticking diamantes on for hours lol! The wedding isn't until June luckily, so I might get her to try on a few veils beforehand.....

I have and do make hats for family and friends.  I am still building my business, so sometimes it is worth it to give the hat  as a gift, or make it for cost.  Generally, if I am making a hat as a gift, I use the supplies I have on hand.  Many times, I can make a hat with left overs, which keeps the cost really low. If it is for my children, they get it for free.  I also give my siblings ONE hat for free and then sell any additional hats at cost as I would for friends and other relatives.  Having said that, I generally gift a hat or two to relatives and very close friends suffering from cancer.  For me, it has worked out.  The more your hats are seen, the more opportunity to get orders. 

If the person is just looking for something cheap, and you doubt that they will actually mention where the hat came from, it doesn't serve as advertisement--charge them.  There is a delicate balance.  We need to be careful about giving away too much, or it becomes expected.

A veil I made last year. She bought veiling only $50 from Lincraft & the lace of her choice. The value of my time to make it came to $165. Sharing all my patterns for veils is on my to do list plus different edge trimmings.

Lovely Elaine.   A great idea to get the bride to buy the veiling and lace!..

Fantastic thank you.


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