Are custom hair bows worth the price tag? For some of you, the answer will be a resounding yes! Personally, I learned how to make bows because the prices made me cringe. I try to stock less expensive options in my shop, as well as taking custom hair bow orders. Occasionally I write tutorials here on the blog, for my friends who prefer to just make bows themselves.
Today I’m showing off some recent custom hair bows, and talking about price differences in custom versus RTS (ready to ship) hair bows.
Custom hair bows are made by me, upon your request. They are one of a kind, and often designed to match a specific outfit or for a special event.
OTT stands for over the top, and too much is never too much. Over the top can apply to a custom or RTS bow, and the price range varies a lot, even on the bows shown in this post. Sometimes my custom bow prices are very comparable to RTS in the shop, depending on supplies used.
For example, the hair bow above has almost $20 in supplies; including designer ribbon, rhinestone hardware, feathers, shabby flowers, tulle, lace, Swarvoski crystals, and other details.
That doesn’t include the cost of labor or shipping. Often a custom OTT bow requires a trip (or multiple trips) to the nearest supply store, or supplies must be ordered. Depending on your order and availability of supplies; there could be a wait time.
This panda hair bow has over $12 worth of materials. Designer ribbon was shipped from Australia, and the felt appliqué panda pieces were hand made. I made this bow for my daughter, but if I listed it in the shop it would be difficult to fetch $20. A $20 price tag would earn me minimum wage. That’s why I make custom OTT bows upon request only.
Character bows are almost exclusively custom orders. I still have lots of Angry Birds (as well as other) ribbons from when they were very popular. As a result, I prefer not to shop in bulk for themed or character ribbon.
If you see a print or design that you love in the shop, you may want to buy it quickly. I usually buy small amounts, and designer ribbon is not mass produced. There is often only one place to get it, and if I have a high demand I may not be able to get more until or if there is a re-print.
I refuse to use sub-par materials or techniques, and shop as ethically as possible. I incorporate my leftover designer and imported ribbon scraps and into RTS hair bows. Nothing goes to waste, and I can offer better pricing in the shop.
Most of my sales are custom orders. When I have my supplies out, I try to make a few bows for the shop. They are often more affordable than the custom bows, but still have all the impact. I usually only make one or two.
Here is an example of custom hair bows versus RTS bows. The bow on the left is 6″, while the RTS bow is 5″. Size isn’t a significant factor in pricing, but the smaller size allows the “I Wake Up Fabulous” ribbon to be a focal point. It would get lost on a larger bow.
The lace fan and feathers are replaced with more glitter tulle for the RTS, and a rhinestone bottle cap centerpiece is a cute alternative to the large blingy crystal button. Instead of 2 side bows with bling hardware, the RTS rocks a single bow at the bottom of the spikes. The custom bow has more designer ribbon prints, and Swarvoski crystals. Crystals are applied with a special heat tool. It takes a little time and a steady hand!
Deciding whether custom hair bows are worth the price is up to the buyer. The customer is always right! While a hand made shop can never compete with mass produced store bought hair bows, I try to have something for everyone and have lots of price range to choose from. Stop by SewsNBows on Etsy to look at my ready to ship bows!