Ask the Experts: How Much Profit Do You Make From Recital Costumes?

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A: Studio owners need to shift their mind-set around pricing for costumes. There is a difference between covering costs and netting a profit.


The costuming process, or costume management for a dance studio, is an important part of the performance experience, and if you are running a healthy financial business, you will be able to confidently set prices with a markup that accounts for the hard and soft expenses associated. Keep in mind the time it takes teachers to select their choices from catalogs, online or at industry trade-show events. From there, dancers need to be measured, the costumes sized, ordered, received and fit on the dancer. Account for costs associated with exchanges, returns or alterations if necessary.

At our studio we generally add $25 to $30 per costume based on those expenses. While we have to navigate the manufacturer's price increases each year, parents at our studio are typically charged about $75 to $100 dollars per recital costume. Parents may question the high price, but when you explain what the price includes, it can help them understand that they are paying for more than a costume. By viewing this administrative fee added to a costume price as a necessary operating cost, you can charge accordingly and actually make a profit that will be satisfactory to you.

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