A BRAND CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IF IT HAS A PURPOSE.
If you read my previous posts, you know this space is about connecting artists and clients between them and with the brand.
This brand will be constantly evolving with me as I evolve as a person.
As a scarf brand, the impact I can generate on Society can only reach my featured artists and my clients by bringing them a good energy through my accessories.
At the very core is my heart and soul.
And that makes this business a purposeful one.
I wrote about how it took me around 5 years to see this project come to life.
There is a Webinar where I explain all the steps it took me to find my own path and tips for you to find yours.
This is the link:
Today, I want to talk about the behind the scenes work, the many pebbles and disappointments that come with the territory.
Let’s go back to 2020.
That year during March, the lockdown was blocking me in many ways.
My design Studio @gloriasurfacepatterndesign
had been launched the previous year and just when I was getting lots of bespoke offers and licensing proposals, all stopped.
I thought the best way to cheer me up, was to cheer others, so on March 2020, I started @fandeestampados.
An Instagram account to put a smile on my fellow designers. Sharing and highlighting their work and efforts.
The mentoring of Covandonga Jaquete and the savoir faire of my manufacturer made possible for me at the beginning of 2021, to consider creating my own scarves.
I instantly wanted to bring other artists on board with me.
The first featured artists, had been featured at @fandeestampados before I knew I would have a scarf brand.
Some more caught my attention on Instagram and others got in touch with me.
And this is how the project of scarves that unite cultures started.
Just by connecting with other artists in Social Media.
I lost a lot of artist support crossing the bridge from student/freelancer to entrepreneur.
I have not heard again from a lot of people that used to support me. Designers and Scarf brands that I had supported on my page. It seemed to me that I was losing on both sides.
But you must take the courage to leave the shore and navigate to the rough open see as an entrepreneur. Even if that means losing the comforting approval you used to have.
Now I was in uncharted territory for me.
Even if my background in marketing made me have very clear ideas about what I wanted for my brand.
As a freelancer, I have been experiencing what is like to send your Portfolio for review.
Most of the times, nobody gives you an answer.
Sometimes you receive a very polite answer, a generic one. Others you are given an explanation. I prefer a: “ You don’t fit in our selection criteria”, instead of a totally subjective explanation about why you don’t fit. Many times is obvious they did not even look at what you sent.
In my case is what I do, now that I am on the other side as an entrepreneur.
Social media can be tricky because you accommodate to accolades and then critics become hard to take in, since they are never made on social media, only on the professional real side of the business. And now I am in the position of having to say no. At the beginning I even lost sleep over it. It was very hard for me.
So I had to work on a strong approach to protect not also the artists but also me.
These are the situations that I have faced so far:
Getting attacked as someone who wants designers to work for free. This is so ridicule. As a freelancer, I have entered contests with no guarantee of winning and licensed my designs in exchange of a % on sales. So I apply what I, myself have been doing as a designer.
Sending the licensing contract and being asked to be mentioned on the scarf. I don´t even put my own name!.G&Silk takes care of Promotions, Packaging, Manufacturing, Online Store, Billing, Shipping etc… so for me, it makes perfect sense that only the brand is mentioned on the final product. It is not about my ego or me, is about the Brand and being aware of all the aspects that are being taken care for you.
Signing a contract that agrees to offer the designs to G&Silk in exclusivity for a year and having them on sale as scarves somewhere else, in the hope I won’t see them.Well, I did see them and the contract was cancelled.
Sending files with dots, stains, pixels, cutted elements…etc. You would be amazed how many designs look fabulous on Instagram and then they are an absolute mess when opened on Photoshop. So most of the rejections have been for technical problems. I must say that technical issues can be reviewed and fixed if the artist has enthusiasm about being featured at this project. I have always given the opportunity to fix issues to everyone. But, one day I realized, I was about to create the designs myself and I decided that was not the right thing to do. If I want diversity here, I need artists that fit with the G&Silk vibe without me having to change anything. And as I say , we all deserve to be part of a project that loves what we create. Because our artistic voice deserves to shine.
The thing is to have the right attitude about rejection.I apply to myself the same rule.If I get a rejection as a designer, it means I am not suitable for that particular company. If rejections makes us as artists more and more insecure, in the end we will lose our essence and it is not something I wish for myself or for anyone featured at G&Silk.
At @fandeestampados, I showcase and support all kinds of artists, but at my brand, I look for a certain style. A colorful, neat, vibrant and joyful style.This is why I remain 100% independent. I prefer to sacrifice media exposure and not being part of big Open Call platforms, to be able to have absolute freedom of picking the designs I find appropriate or none of them. My way is going to take much longer, but I hope the bonds and strength of the brand will grow stronger too.
Sending files full of watermarks as if I was going to use them.If artists don’t trust me how would it be possible to collaborate? Same thing goes for payments. A brand is an investment, to think I would keep 10/28 euros from you on a sale means you don’t get how much work and investments are behind any company.
Not helping the brand to thrive is a big issue too. As a freelencer, I help promoting the products where my designs are featured. Nothing is written in the contract but is just common sense, I think. These days, few can consider themselves 100% full-time artists without a certain implication on the business side.
I love all the artists that are already a part of this brand. Their trust and support makes this possible.
Also I am super excited about the new designers currently creating.
Some of them have put a huge interest and effort.
And that enthusiasm means the world to me.
It is an amazing feeling to fall in love with artists, and have them on board.
I am honored and I hope you are also very happy about the way I want you all to shine and share your art on beautiful scarves, handmade with love and care.
So, you see it is not easy at all. Much enthusiasm is needed but I will tackle that on another post,