After publishing the post “The price of your designs” where I talk about properly pricing your work I received many emails asking for more info how to make money from your designs. So let’s talk today about how and where you can sell your fashion ideas. Who are the potential buyers for your talent and why?
IF you are better at designing
You are good at imagining great designs. Your head is full of creativity but unfortunately you’re not so great at drawing it the way it’s in your head. No worries! You are like most fashion designers! Many fashion designers are better handling the fabric than they do the pencil. And this is absolutely fine. Your talent is ideas. Where you can sell your talent is:
1: Fashion companies
Assuming that you know how to put together a fashion portfolio you can apply for jobs as a fashion designer. Apply to work full time or freelance from your bed at home. Freelancers websites like elance.com and peopleperhour.com are a place to start looking for opportunities. Your portfolio should look professional and polished. Otherwise you won’t get any calls for years.
Companies don’t pay money for your designs. Fashion industry just doesn’t work like this! You should show your designing skills in a portfolio and then the employer hires you to make NEW collection that are inspired by the trends of the future season.
2: Brides and graduating students
All the people from your town that have special occasions. Everyone wants to look beautiful on their special day. Learn how to sew perfectly and start advertising your services locally and online. Make posters, use your social media profiles like Instagran and Facebook to show what you can do. Knowing how to sew is very, very important. These people won’t pay you for a sketch. (Nobody does that!) They will want a finished gown from you.
Yes, this a great opportunity for those who like a little bit of drama and sparkles in their designs. Visit the clubs that you like and make a meeting with the manager ( not the waitress, not the bartender!) . Speak with the men in charge and offer them to make the costumes for the dancers. Bring photos of designs you’ve already made. If they don’t need such services in the moment make sure you leave your business card – they might call you in 6 month wanting you to dress the whole ballet.
Attention! Knowing how to sew is again very important. Nobody wants amateur costumes – they want something beautiful and head turning. Things might be not as polished as for brides and graduates but don’t ever send a sloppy outfit with your name on it.
You will again need negotiation skills and not being afraid to talk with people. Make a list of the shops in your town that sell clothes similar to what you design. In most towns there is an arts street where artists from various fields display their work. Usually there are clothes shops too.
There are many websites similar to etsy.com where you can sell your hand made clothes and accessories. Nice and professional made pictures are essensial if you are going to sell online. Pictures with your cell phone are a huge NO-NO. People will give their money if you show that you have attention to detail and this includes good presentation (pictures + proper item description)
IF you are better at illustrating
You are a great painter.Holding the pencil is a bliss for you and anything that you create people love it. Even if it’s a simple design. You are like most fashion illustrators! Fashion illustrators stay between painters and designers but their head is turned toward the painting part. Your talent is presenting ideas. Where you can sell your talent:
#6: Fashion designers
Many fashion designers prefer to hire an illustrator to bring their vision to life. This guarantees them that when they show up in front of a client or an investor their ideas will be approved and bought. Designers also work with illustrators when they need to take their collection to the manufacturer.
Oh, fashion bloggers are a great inspiration. They would usually hire you to make a portrait of them or to illustrate a special article. Sometimes they will want you to illustrate the cover image of their blog or a certain product ( make up, clothes, fashionable girls). Contact bloggers that you love and show them a few cover images you’ve made. If they like your style they will get back in touch.
From time to time people need illustrations for gifts. The most recent case I had is very curious. A young man contacted me. He was trying to make up with his sister who was offended that he doesn’t support her in her dream of becoming a fashion designer. So she then stopped talking to him. The man wanted me to draw something special for her. And yes, we succeeded :) She was very pleased with the surprise and forgave him.
Make sure you have a profile in all the art places clients may look for service like this. Devianart, Behance, Pinterest….
#9: Card shops
If you are really, really talented at drawing fashion illustrations you might want to do something similar this beautiful cards shop. You can open your own online store, upload to Etsy or collaborate with a local gifts store. Or maybe launch your own blog? Why not? Be bold!
Finding the buyers for your talent takes a bit of talent, a lot of courage and a lot of patience. Don’t stop trying if you don’t succeed the first time. If you are made of what it takes to be in fashion industry you never quit! Fall and rise until you make it!