No, my sweaters are not made of gold: here’s an exact cost breakdown of PurringPyjamas sweaters

Hi! Long time, no talk! 🙂 I’ve been so busy – fall season always comes and goes by so quickly… I wish it hung around for longer! However, that also means some suuuuuper excited things are coming very soon – like next week soon, *wink wink* 🙂

Before we get into all the fun, I want to talk about a more serious topic. It seems like every year there’s something that needs clarifying – and today is that day of the year 2018. A couple of days ago I saw a post (or a comment rather) that made me quite upset. I am all good now, because some people will always talk nasty things, but if there’s one thing that I love it’s transparency. So, today we’re breaking down the cost of my sweaters, and exactly what you’re paying for when you buy one (thank you for buying! :)).

I always thought about making this kind of blog post, but what gave me the needed push was a comment on Facebook. I am a member of quite a few Sphynx related groups on Facebook, and in one of them somebody asked some cat clothing recommendations. About 99% of the time I don’t really jump to advertising myself, and this was no exception. However, I did the follow-up on the thread just to see what other people had to say. One person suggested to the author of the original post to take a look on Etsy, and she also added a screenshot of one person’s knitted cat sweater. I am familiar with that knitter, she’s amazing! Her sweater was €26 + the shipping costs. Then under that comment another lady comments: “Oh, that sweater must be made of a golden thread to cost this much”. The seller whose sweater costs €26 is from The Netherlands. The person who criticized? She’s from Lithuania, a small Baltic country, and she said she’s “proud of selling (weirdly made – in my opinion) acrylic sweaters for €15” (on top of that would come the shipping cost). Now, in case you’re wondering why the country matters… Lithuania is like 50% cheaper than The Netherlands or Finland where I live. And yes, what I am saying is accurate, because I spent a week traveling all around Lithuania in the summer of 2018. The yarn, the shipping… these things cost a fraction of what it does over here in Finland. If I had an opportunity to lower the prices, I absolutely would! Also, let’s not forget the currency exchange fees, PayPal fees, Etsy increasing it’s fees from 3.5% to 5%…

Now, let’s break down the costs behind the sweater that’s been in my shop for years – the cute rainbow:

rainbow sweater

I will be breaking down the costs of the sweater in size XS, which costs €32 (there’s no additional shipping costs).

Etsy takes off 5% seller’s fee, on top of that comes VAT, PayPal fee (if the person uses PayPal), currency exchange fee, etc. From a €32 sweater I’d normally pay about €3.00 in fees. And, of course, I still need to pay the income tax to the government, but let’s just skip that altogether.

Yarn that I use for this particular sweater is 75% wool & 25% polyamide, and 150g ball costs €7.95. In order to make size XS, I use about 100g of yarn. That would make the yarn costs €5.30. It takes about 3 hours to make the sweater from beginning to end, including sewing in all the loose ends. Average pay per hour in Finland is €10-13. I’ll take the average of €11 – that means I’d be paid €33 for 3 hours of work (which is already higher than the sweater cost itself). If the sweater has beads, the price increases by another €1 or so, depending on how fancy the beads/decorations are. After the sweaters are finished, they’re always prewashed, in order to make sure the colors don’t “bleed” and that the sweaters are super clean. Let’s add €0,50 for that.

After the sweater is dry, it’s time to package it up. I use wrapping paper, natural fiber thread, decorative tape and a big brown padded envelope. The costs of wrapping & shipping materials would make about €1. Again, I am not counting in the time spent on packing. On top of that I have printed care instructions & “Thank You” cards, so that adds about another €0.50.

Then I need to take a train to a different district as there’s no post office where I live. The ticket costs €2.40. Now, the biggest cost is the shipping. It’s OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive over here in Finland, and has risen about 20% since 2015, which is beyond scary. Anyhow, sweater in size XS weighs over 100g, usually about 112g. That means the shipping costs €12.50, if I ship outside Europe. And most of my clients come from countries like USA & Canada.

Now let’s add the costs:

€3.00+5.30+0.5+1+0.5+0.5+2.40+12.50=25.70.

And now my profit:

€32-€25.70=€6.30

So… this is how much my profit is from a €32 sweater: €6.30, meaning I get paid about €2/hour. Again, normal job in Finland pays €10-13/hour. This means I make way under hourly salary. That’s where the part of me loving what I do comes in – I absolutely love knitting, it helps me to relax and just turn off the brain from overthinking. Of course, it’s up to you if you’re willing to pay €32 for a handmade sweater that was made because someone loves what they do. But if you’re one of those people thinking that everyone makes thousands of dollars each month by overcharging, maybe you should rethink – most handmade businesses that are transparent don’t make more than what you’d earn doing average job.

Beliza & Aether

I love when things are transparent, free and clear of all inhibition and judgement. – Pharrell Williams

Let’s be less judgemental and more understanding & loving towards one another. 🙂

Follow PurringPyjamas on social media to keep up with the newest releases, discounts, never ending Sphynx cuteness and more!
Instagram: instagram.com/purringpyjamas
Facebook: facebook.com/purringpyjamas
Shop: purringpyjamas.etsy.com

asta

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Review: Catit Flower Fountain – Did It Work For Our Cats?

Hello! As always, Wednesday is here, and so is another blog post! Today we’re talking about dreams coming true – this product sure is Aether’s favorite thing that he “owns”. 😊 However, let’s not forget about the other 2 Sphynxes! Did it work for them? Let’s see, but first let’s get a little bit technical!

Fountain

Catit Flower Fountain, third flow option

About the fountain. Catit Flower Fountain can hold up to 3 litres of water (about 100 fl oz/6 pints). It has a triple action filter, which removes magnesium, calcium, odours caused by bacteria and chlorine that can be found in tap water, and also retains stray hairs and any debris. Replacement filters are available for purchase, which is a great thing (a set of 2 filters costs €12.99 over here in Finland in Musti ja Mirri store).  The fountain is made of plastic, but catit.com website claims that the plastics are BPA-free (BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics since 1960’s, and is associated with possible negative health effects on brain, behavior and prostate gland).

Fountain

All parts of Catit Flower Fountain

Fountain

Catit Flower Fountain, third flow option

Fountain

Catit Flower Fountain, third flow option

There are 3 different flow options available, which you can see in the video below. My cats prefer the third option called “calm streams”. It is very easy to put together, and it also causes no problems when it comes to cleaning – it’s quick to take it apart, rinse, and dry; taking apart and cleaning takes under 5 minutes. Here’s Catit’s video about their Flower Fountain:

The price. Over here in Finland Catit Flower Fountain is available at Musti ja Mirri, and it costs €39.99. However, I bought it “used” (using the term “used” very loosely as the person bought it for their cat, she hated it and the person resold it) for €25. I think it’s definitely worth the price! I’ve had it for almost two months now, and it’s been working great. Also, it makes me feel better knowing that my cats drink cleaner, more fresh water.

Bacha

Bacha trying to play with running water. 🙂

Aether

Aether is looking suspicious of the fountain.

Aether

Trying out the running water.

Aether

Finally getting it!

How did my cats react to it? Well, I KNEW Aether would love it (he loves running water), and he sure did! At first he was a bit suspicious, but a minute later he was onto it! Bacha tried to play with it at first, but now she’s loving the fresh water as well. Beliza doesn’t like it whatsoever. She’s what I call “an old fashioned grandma, who is grumpy at everyone and everything”. So true! 😊 Considering it’s such a hot summer, it makes me more than happy that 2 out of 3 Sphynxes drink more water than they would if I had only bowls available. It’s some food for thought for you as well – what could encourage you pet to drink more water? A fountain like this could be a great option! Another nice thing – while I am sitting at the computer and working, it’s very nice to listen to the sound of running water, so it’s a win-win situation!

Aether

Can’t stop drinking!

Aether

Got distracted for a bit, but still not going away!

Bacha and Aether

It’s been almost two months, and still loving it!

I hope you liked this week’s blog post, and I’ll talk to you in couple weeks’ time again! Have a great week!

Follow PurringPyjamas on social media to keep up with the newest releases, discounts, never ending Sphynx cuteness and more!
Instagram: instagram.com/purringpyjamas
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Shop: purringpyjamas.etsy.com

asta

A Short Guide To Buying Cat Clothes: What To Look For?

Hello! I hope your week wasn’t too harsh, and you’re ready for a quick dose of cats! As I mentioned in my last blog post, today I will talk about buying cat clothes, and how to make it an easy and positive experience. So let’s get into it, and see what things you should consider before buying cat clothes! 😊

Safety. Yes, I am starting with the most important one! And it is going to be a different kind of safety than what I spoke about in my last blog post. This time we will talk about the actual design of the shirt/sweater. A lot of the time I see sweaters that are covered in beads, little buttons, etc, from the bottom to the very top. Or sometimes sellers incorporate some beads in their cable knit that goes throughout the sweater. And it looks very beautiful! BUT! Have you ever thought that your cat can actually reach them? And chew on them/rip them off? Have you ever thought what would happen if the cat would swallow those beads? That’s one of the main reasons why I attach the buttons only at the neck using a special stitch, which: 1) it assures that the cat won’t be able to reach and chew on the beads/buttons, 2) the button is attached so strongly, that the sweater will wear out before the button comes loose (tried and confirmed by my cats!). So whenever you see something cute, think if it is also well thought through and safe for your pet, as that should always be your priority.

Bacha

Always make sure that the clothes are not only cute, but also safe for your kitty!

Sleeves or sleeveless? Or maybe one opening for both legs? I talked about this a little bit in my last blog post, but this is my opinion in short: if it’s your first cat sweater or your cat is not comfortable in clothes, choose the sleeveless option. If your cat is OK with wearing clothes, you’re free to choose whatever you want. And what about one hole in front for both legs? That tends to be pretty comfortable as well, just like the sleeveless option, I have made sweaters with only one hole as custom orders before. But make sure that they’re made from a very stretchy material (like knit is, for example), otherwise your cat may and will feel restricted.

Always check a size chart. I can’t stress this enough – always check a shop’s size chart! Every single shop has a different one, and if in one shop you buy size M clothing for your pet, it does not mean that your pet will be size M in all the shops. Just an example – my sizes run big, so if your pet is a size M somewhere else, it’s a big possibility (s)he will be size XS or a S in my shop. If you check the reviews in my shop, you will see that most of those couple 1 star reviews that I have come from people complaining the sweater was too big/too small. That’s why you have to check a size chart! And this leads me to my next point.

 

Bacha

Sleeveless sweater is always a good choice for beginner!

If your cat is in between sizes, request a custom order. Yes, that can happen, and it does happen quite often to be honest! Most shops do custom sizes, so feel free to ask about it. Never settle for an ill fitting clothing! I do custom sizes free of charge, while some shops may ask you to pay additional fee for making a custom size sweater.

When in doubt, ask. If you’re unsure about the sizing, always ask! Believe me, the seller will not think you’re silly or something! I know how difficult it can be to choose the perfect size. For example, when buying jeans, I always need to buy like 10 pairs at once and cross my fingers that 1 or 2 of them won’t fit weirdly! Similar is with cat clothes. Better safe than sorry!

Length of the sweater. You might have noticed that I do not put length of my sweaters in the size chart. And that is because I would need to adjust my size chart all the time, because I have so many designs! Some clothing is longer, while some is shorter, but overall most of my clothes are pretty long (I am pretty sure you can see that from the pictures! 😊 ). I always gladly adjust the length of the sweaters that are made to order, so if you’d like the sweater to be made longer or shorter (or maybe you have a specific length you want to request?), contact the seller and I am sure they will be more than happy to work on custom size for you.

Bacha

Every design has a different length, so choose whatever you like the most. Or request a custom length – every pet is different and loves different things!

Difference between sewn and knitted cat clothes. If you had been shopping around for cat clothes, you may have noticed a few things: for one, those shops that sell hand knitted clothing have fewer items, and secondly, they’re often a bit pricier. And you may wonder why it is the way it is. As someone who lives in Finland – which is a pretty expensive country – I can give you a few points:

  • Yarn is often more expensive than fabric, especially fancy yarns like mohair or alpaca cost a lot more than a piece of fleece or jersey fabric.
  • Sewn clothes are significantly quicker to make. I am a quick knitter and I’m not that great at sewing, but even I can make a few sewn cat shirts in an hour. When it comes to knitting, depending on the sweater’s size and how intricate the pattern is, it can take up to 4 hours to complete a sweater. I am not talking about people, who use machines for knitting, but someone like me who hand knits and hand embroiders everything.
Beliza

Super stretchy and soft acrylic sweater will make any kitty happy!

Should I go for knitted clothing or a fleece/jersey one? Now that depends on you completely! Knitted cotton clothing is great for summer, and wool or thick acrylic ones are great for winter. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I chose knitting over sewing mainly because knit is much more stretchy than fleece, meaning that it will be a lot more comfortable overall. Warmth wise, bot fleece and wool clothing are warm.

Check shop’s reviews. Yes, that is important. What is even more important, it’s how the seller deals with negative feedback. We all are cute and lovely when we’re being praised, but how does the seller handle the criticism? If the review is 3 stars or lower, the seller can and SHOULD have a response, because 3 stars is not an amazing review. In other words, the buyer wasn’t satisfied with their order. If the seller has 1-3 star reviews, and there are no responses under them as to how the seller is going to handle an unsatisfied customer, that’s a red flag! That means there’s a big chance that when you receive your order and in case you would be unhappy with it, you will be ignored, and nothing will be done about it from the seller’s side. Also, if seller does respond, check how polite and helpful their response is. You wouldn’t want to buy from someone who is rude/unhelpful.

Reviews

Always check the reviews – they’re very important!

If there’s a problem with your order, always contact the seller first. Those few negative reviews I have in my shop were left without my knowledge. Person orders without looking at the size chart, the sweater arrives, it’s too small/too big, and the person leaves a negative review without ever even telling me about it. I mean, there’s no way for me to know whether the sizing the person orders fits their cat (only they know it), and if someone orders a size XS, for example, I make them a size XS and send it off. There’s no way of me knowing whether it is the true size of the cat or not. I always assume that the person checked the size chart, which is available in each listing, and if they had any questions, they’d contact me. I have a good return policy, which some people choose not to use, but leave a bad review and then even after I message them offering some options, they never respond. Oh well. So, don’t be that person, and be smart about it – you can always get your money back or the product that you originally wanted. 😊

Bacha

The only problem Bacha has is too few cat toys!

And last, but not least – don’t forget to leave a review! Always reflect on your experience regarding the shop. Were the products up to par? Was the seller helpful? Did the seller do their best to solve issues if there were any? These are just few of the questions that may help you reflect on your experience, and help others decide whether it’s the shop they want to go for.

I hope this blog post was helpful! I have something fun planned for the upcoming blog posts, so stay tuned and have a great week ahead of you!

Follow PurringPyjamas on social media to keep up with the newest releases, discounts, never ending Sphynx cuteness and more!
Instagram: instagram.com/purringpyjamas
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Shop: purringpyjamas.etsy.com

asta

The softest sweaters in the world are here!

Well hello there! The last time I posted here almost a year ago… How crazy is that?! Life happened I suppose. Sometimes we just get so invested in our works, and routines that we (unfortunately) forget about the things we enjoy. And blogging is one of them for me! But enough of rambling – that’s not what you came here for! Let’s dive into this new super soft fuzzy blog post and many adorable pictures of my hairless monkey cats are to follow!

I am pretty sure that if you checked out my shop, or Facebook, or Instagram at some point this spring, you’ve probably seen these fuzzy sweaters already. You may ask – well why you keep on posting about them, what’s so special about it? Well, firstly, now this style sweaters are available in 9 (yes, NINE!!!) different colors. How awesome is that?!

But colors is not the only (or most important) thing I want to emphasize here. I just… I just can’t get enough of these super awesome sweaters, and neither can my cats! They feel so cozy wearing them when it’s chilly outside. And you know what else is awesome? These sweaters are made from yarn meant for babies. They’re literally the softest thing you will ever touch in your life (besides your Sphynx, if (s)he happens to have a peach fuzz). They’re VERY soft, VERY warm, VERY cute, VERY stretchy, and the best of all – ANY and EVERY cat will love one of these sweaters. They are definitely the most comfortable and soft sweaters I’ve ever made, and believe me – that’s a huge statement considering I made almost 300 (288 to be precise) different designs since 2015.

I just love these sweaters so much! I think you can see in the pictures as well that my cats are feeling really comfy. Beliza was constantly half asleep, because they’re so warm and cozy! #photoshootproblems, haha!

All of these sweaters are available in few sizes, and soon I will restock them in even more colors and sizes. Why? Because they’re that awesome!

18

Now here are the links to all the sweaters (just click on the color!):

White & Pink

Pastel Lavender

White & Blue

Light Beige

Medium Gray

Pink, Purple & White Marl

Blue, Lavender & White Marl

Light Camel

Bright Coral

I hope you enjoyed this little blog post, and I wish you all a fabulous day!

Follow PurringPyjamas on social media to keep up with the newest releases, discounts, never ending Sphynx cuteness and more!
Instagram: instagram.com/purringpyjamas
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Shop: purringpyjamas.etsy.com

asta

Summer vibes in snowy Finland

Hello everyone! Are you feeling the summer vibes already? Over here in Finland the summer is felt only in my colorful cat sweaters as it’s snowing behind my window as I am writing this blog post right now… Let’s just say summer definitely isn’t in a rush to visit Finland this year! And talking about cat sweaters, you’re probably wondering: hey, Asta, we understand it’s snowing in Finland in the mid May, but come on – other countries have normal climates and are baking in the sun already, so… where are all the summer goodies, huh? Well, they just arrived! The new collection was released last week in my PurringPyjamas shop on Etsy, and now I finally found a few free minutes to quickly introduce it. Are you ready?

The first 3 sweaters are super cute, super colorful and super soft. They’re also very light, stretchy and give that oh so needed protection from the sun for your hairless family member. These sweaters let the skin breathe very well, so your kitty will feel comfy while wearing them. The yarn is 70% cotton & 30 acrylic, which means that the sweaters won’t irritate even the most sensitive skin. Because they’re so light and stretchy, they’re also good for the first time wearers and cats who don’t like thicker sweaters!

I also decided to decorate these cute stripey sweaters with some beads I bought last year. I really like the little spicy vibe that they give to each sweater – from very sunny and bright yellows to more subtle brown hues. If you want to get any of these sweaters, you can find them here: Yellows & Blues, Blues & Reds, Blue Hues.

Now this sweater doesn’t really belong to any collection, but I loved the yarn, so I thought to myself – “Why not to make something cute with it?”. So I did! I hand crocheted this cutie from cotton yarn and added a few white rose beads. There are only two sweaters available in sizes XXXS & XXS, so if your kitty is on the smaller side or you happen to have a kitten, grab it! You can find it here: Pink Rose.

If you’re interested to take a look at all of the summer sweaters available in my Etsy shop, you can find them here: Summer Clothes.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful day!

Follow PurringPyjamas on social media to keep up with the newest releases, discounts, never ending Sphynx cuteness and more!
Instagram: instagram.com/purringpyjamas
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Shop: purringpyjamas.etsy.com

asta

Bling The World: New Super Soft Swarovski Sweaters Are Out!

Hello! I hope you’ve been doing well and the spring has been showering you all in nice and warm sun! Today I come here with a new post about the very new release in PurringPyjamas shop – it’s super soft, cute, very high quality and it blings… Yes, it sounds like a dream, right? Well, because it is a real dream for your precious kitty!

These sweaters are made from a very high quality Alpaca and wool blend yarn (70% alpaca, 23% polyamide & 7% wool). The sweaters are extremely soft, very light and super warm. Here’s a little more info about this magical yarn:

“A new and exciting “blow yarn” made from soft baby alpaca and cozy and warm merino wool. Its construction is unique, based on the newest yarn technologies, where instead of spinning, the fibers of baby alpaca and merino wool are air blown into a tube, which makes the garments made in this yarn about 30-35% lighter than those made with conventional spun yarns of the same thickness.”

“But why you chose to make the sweaters so… simple?” – you might ask. Fair question! I think that beauty often is in simplicity. I see so many beautifully made sweaters out there, with all these intricate ornaments and patterns, and sometimes it’s just a little bit too much. I think it’s important to be creative and try out new things, but we also should remember the very roots where we came from. Yes, it is a very basic pattern, but hey – the gorgeousness of the yarn and the little tiny bling of some Swarovski crystals make these sweaters so beautiful!

Again, you may ask another question – but why these Swarovski crystals are almost the same color as the sweaters? Why didn’t you put dark blue crystals on a white sweater or light pink crystals – on gray? Well, there is an answer to this question too – I wanted this collection to be subtle. For this reason, all the sweaters have bling, but it doesn’t shout from the distance. It is meant to give a little something special to this beautiful yarn, but not to overpower it. Over time, I released many different sweaters – some with very bright colors and complicated patterns, while others were subtle and minimal. These sweaters are an ode to simplicity.

If you’re interested in checking out this collection, you can find it here: High Quality Sweaters.

I hope you all are having a fabulous Monday!

Follow PurringPyjamas on social media to keep up with the newest releases, discounts, never ending Sphynx cuteness and more!
Instagram: instagram.com/purringpyjamas
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Shop: purringpyjamas.etsy.com

asta

Another Snowsuit: Royal Blues In White Winter

After making a snowsuit last year, throughout the year I kept on receiving some requests on making another one. Unfortunately, most of the time I was too busy to take on a project like that and people just weren’t willing to wait. However, after my little vacation I was contacted by one lady, who wanted a cute blue snowsuit for her little kitty due to the fact that she’s so small and gets cold easily. I had some free time, so… why not? Here’s the result!

snowsuit1

This snowsuit has 2 layers of knit instead of fleece inner layer. The main reason for this is that knit offers so much more flexibility and lets the kitty to move more easily. Fleece doesn’t have as much stretchiness, and even though it’s very warm & soft, it might restrict the movement of the cat, especially when it comes to something as thick as the snowsuit.

snowsuit2

In the front the snowsuit has a zipper and 3 paw buttons, just like the previous one. It also has holes for the harness and tail. The hood is also casual and is there more for the style than function – the kitty has fur, so she didn’t need her head or tail to be very well covered. This snowsuit also has waterproof fabric on the paws, so that kitty’s paws wouldn’t get all wet, cold and uncomfortable.

It was also easier to make this snowsuit than the previous one as I already had some experience and more knowledge. Also, it didn’t require as much sewing, so it was definitely quicker to make. Overall I really liked making it and would probably consider doing it again in the future!

I hope you all are having a wonderful day!

Follow PurringPyjamas on social media to keep up with the newest releases, discounts, never ending Sphynx cuteness and more!
Instagram: instagram.com/purringpyjamas
Facebook: facebook.com/purringpyjamas
Shop: purringpyjamas.etsy.com

asta