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Thread: The Cost

  1. #31
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    If you want to get an idea what it takes to be a professional luthier, watch the video below. It is long, but shows the meticulous dedication it takes to carve out a niche in the luthier business. (I posted this awhile back so many of you have already seen it.)

    Goodall Guitars Fort Bragg, California.


  2. #32
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    Feb 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktuurna View Post
    I have been making ukuleles about 5 years as a hobby, and now I study luthiery at Ikaalinen Collage of Crafts and Design. I have been working 30 years in advertising business, teaching etc. I know that it is almost impossible to make living making ukuleles. While I study, I also do teaching job part time, and when I graduate I will do something else than full time luthiery. Propably I will do ukuleles few hours in a day becouse I like it and I have reasonable prised workshop, and I hope somebody wants to buy instruments from me. If not, I still have plan B. I have already all tools that I need, and if I need bigger band saw or bigger surface planing machine, I can use them at Hacklab paying 20 euros in month. I have calculated that I have to sell 10000 euros in month if I just do ukes in Finland and get reasonable paid, and I am pretty sure that it will be not happen. I have to be realist.
    This is probably the right way to look at it. You'll sell some ukes, but it will mostly likely just be a supplement to your regular job/income. And if you just enjoy it as a hobby, it's a way of paying for the materials and any additional tools you might want to acquire to continue making ukes.

    This is strictly a hobby for me, but I could imagine using this to keep busy in retirement and earning a little bit of "play" money if I continue with it. But retirement is still a number of years away....

  3. #33
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    [QUOTE=Timbuck;2206452]In an earlier business venture that failed .. I was constantly relying on my overdraft to get me by, and in the end my Bank manager took the facility off me and made it into a loan..it took a year to pay it off, it seemed harsh to me at the time but he he really did me a favour I went back into working for someone else for a while to pay the loan off. And I didn

  4. #34
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    Looks like the “apostrophe” bug is back
    Last edited by Timbuck; 11-02-2020 at 12:01 AM.
    http://ukulele-innovation.tripod.com ebay i/d squarepeg_3000 Email timmsken@hotmail.com

    If you can believe that moving images and sound, can fly through empty space across the universe and be seen and heard on a box in your living room ?.. then you can believe in anything.

  5. #35
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    I'll never become a professional luthier. I began making a uke based on a tennis racket in April, when I bought some old rackets. I'm now at the stage where it is assembled, but I have lots of sanding and "editing" to do before it looks decent. I knew this first racket uke would be a learning experience. I'll probably be able to crank out the others in fours months.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    Debt free is first and foremost the most important part of the finances. And that includes being mortgage free.

    Then at a bare minimum 6 months of ready cash on hand for all your living expenses. This is basic financial well being that was taught to me from a very early age from my parents that were always self employed.

    It takes so much pressure off every other aspect of the business, your life, family and mental well being that it changes your outlook on taking on commisions, and "having" to make a sale this week.

    No one who is living this life will ever will tell you its easy to get to this point.
    I absolutely agree. I'm currently working on fixing my financial life. Some time ago I ran into debts, and you are right that this is a great pressure. Recently I've refinanced my loan. I have to work hard, but according to a loan payments calculator, I'll repay it in 7 months (I do hope). Then I want to put money aside every month in order not to think where to find cash for living expenses in case I face issues. I should say, your parents made a big deal when taught you these things as it is important to make only financially wise decisions.
    Last edited by Hanna2233; 11-25-2020 at 04:33 AM.

  7. #37
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    I like the soccer metaphor. Only those at the top of the pile make it and in order to get there, you sacrifice most of your working life to enjoy a few 'comfortable years' in the super league, just before you start to drop off the perch to join the Sunday league. You will not make a success of this game unless you enter it debt free with cash in reserve and a spouse or partner who can support you. Getting a 'reputation' takes years unless you are able to stand on a mentor's coat tails.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    Debt free is first and foremost the most important part of the finances. And that includes being mortgage free.

    Then at a bare minimum 6 months of ready cash on hand for all your living expenses. This is basic financial well being that was taught to me from a very early age from my parents that were always self employed.

    It takes so much pressure off every other aspect of the business, your life, family and mental well being that it changes your outlook on taking on commisions, and "having" to make a sale this week.

    No one who is living this life will ever will tell you its easy to get to this point.
    If ever this point needed to be driven home then CV19 has done it for so many people.

    I would say to anyone, self employed or employed, to aim for having such a buffer in the bank and then when you have it to aim for more again - if you can then having some cash somewhere safe would be good too. I have seen so much misery by people worrying how they are going to get through a difficult period - it’s really horrid for the wager earner, their spouse and their children. Stuff happens and virtually everybody has difficult periods at some time or other so don’t trust to luck.

    TLDR: Stuff happens so have six months plus wages set aside to help cope with it.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 11-23-2020 at 12:52 PM.

  9. #39
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    Sep 2013
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    Hawaii Island
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    I'm sure glad no one ever told me all this stuff when I started 40+ years ago. I would have actually gotten a real job and been doing real work for a living! No one has ever thought I've had to work for a living. People tell me it must be great to be self employed, work whenever i want, and building instruments must be so romantic. What ever, I'm still doing it. Life is short. Do what you enjoy doing!

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pegasus Guitars View Post
    I'm sure glad no one ever told me all this stuff when I started 40+ years ago. I would have actually gotten a real job and been doing real work for a living! No one has ever thought I've had to work for a living. People tell me it must be great to be self employed, work whenever i want, and building instruments must be so romantic. What ever, I'm still doing it. Life is short. Do what you enjoy doing!
    I don’t know if you’ve been lucky or are just a smart businessman, perhaps a bit of both? Some small businesses do go bust and sometimes folk even have their homes foreclosed on them, employed folk get made redundant too and often through no fault of their own ... seen such unhappy things too many times. Bad stuff happens and often it comes with no real warning, I really would encourage folk to think about setting a bit of money aside for a ‘rainy day’.

    A chap I know of on another forum lost his job in the CV19 first wave and had to sell many of his Ukes to help ends meet, I don’t think that any of us saw CV19 coming or the unemployment that’s come with it.

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