When I showed the cozy/cuff at the New York Gift Fair in August, I got a lot of feedback on the price - namely, most people thought they were too expensive. While I've been fluctuating the price a little bit, its been within a range that covers my expenses plus allows me a little profit. But most of the cost is wrapped up in material and making costs. Why? Because they are made in small batches in the US, rather than by the truckload in China.
I was talking to a friend the other morning, and explaining that, as the daughter of a US-based manufacturer, I could never outsource overseas. Its just not something I'm interested in. Its important to me to keep production as local as possible. She then asked me, would I be willing to mass-produce the cozy/cuff overseas if it meant that then everyone in the US used one? What's more important - the type of production I value, or getting more people to stop using a wasteful product?
I was also thinking about reactions to the cozy/cuff at Crafty Bastards. I occasionally get comments from people to the effect of, "I'd probably forget and throw it away by mistake." And today while watching Big Ideas for a Small Planet, it hit me. People don't think about what they are throwing away. If we paused before tossing things in the trash, you wouldn't have to worry about accidentally throwing your reusable coffee sleeve away.
So, if I sent the cozy/cuff overseas to be manufactured just so that they would cost $5, it would be defeating the whole purpose. What's the point of replacing a disposable object with a practically disposable object? If the cozy/cuff has a higher perceived value, hopefully you will think before throwing your coffee cup away. And maybe you'll start to think before you throw other things away as well.