Design and Consulting. Free, Cheap or None Of The Above?

I have blogged about the topic of free fashion consulting before.   I get requests every once in a while...recently I got an email from an aspiring designer.  She wanted to know if she could call me to discuss her brand, what factory I recommended for her to produce at, and more questions regarding production and sourcing for her handbag brand.   When she contacted me I was in the middle of a week long business trip out of state.   I emailed her back and said I would be available next week and would be glad to set up a time to chat with her about my rates and to see if we were a good fit.  Guess what? She did not respond back.

Why? Because she wanted me to spend time with her and give out my contacts for no charge.  This happens in a lot of industries and especially in fashion.

I have over 15 yrs experience in the industry and it never ceases to amaze me that people expect me to spent 2 hours on the phone with them for free giving them all my contacts.

I think it is important to have the initial conversation for free to see if the client is a good fit, but to spend hours on a conference call for free?   I enjoy helping others and get excited to see their brands take off but I need to pay rent and eat, too.

Yum! I so what this for lunch! 

Freelance design is great and flexible, but the word FREElance..does not mean "FREE" services.  The Internet is free so I always suggest to new designers that are looking for advice to go online and see what they can find out on their own.   Of course the money they pay me can save them thousands of dollars because they will avoid the common pitfalls that most designers go through when they are starting out...

If you are a new designer and want to avoid the traps that new designers usually fall into, then my advise is worth every single penny!   I will tell you how factories work, how the sampling and design process works, where to find the best value for your production and save you thousands of dollars, but not for free.

Good luck everyone and remember that going into the fashion world it is very competitive and its like swimming in a shark tank!   It takes about 5 years to make a profit so be willing to spend thousands of dollars before you see a buck back!


Tara Sauvage


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