Blog originally posted: 22/7/2015 I was originally going to title this blog” So you wanna be a freelancer” which made me think of the “So you wanna be a boxer “ song from Bugsy Malone….and then I watched the film for the zillionth time ….oops rambling ,back on track.
In the fashion industry lots of us choose to freelance rather than have one permanent job. The reasons are vast including:
Flexibility; being able to work the days and times you choose.
Varity; having the opportunity to work with a wide range of companies and products.
A second income; to fund a business or boost your income from a main job.
There are some disadvantages though
No financial security, you can sometimes go weeks, or in my case during the height of the recession, months without work. You need to ensure you put money aside for the quiet times.
No holiday or sick pay, again you need to set money aside.
The biggest issue you will come across as a freelancer? BAD PAYERS…( Booooo hisssss…grrrrrrrr)…..yep I have had to deal with a few of those. Sadly this is one of the most common problems freelancing within the fashion Industry. Here are some tips to try and avoid this happening
BEFORE doing any work for a new company, get them to sign a terms and agreements document stating penalties if payments are not made on time. Make sure you keep digital AND hard copies
Invoice weekly; companies are more likely to pay small invoices quicker than bigger ones.
Ensure all invoices are emailed to ensure you have documented proof that cannot be lost.
If an invoice has not been paid on time contact the client immediately to chase the payment.
Have a cut off amount; if they reach the figure and have not paid, don’t do anymore work for them until they have and STICK TO IT!
In my twelve years of freelancing I have only had to take one company to court that had no intention of paying me for my work. I won the case but they still didn’t pay up, so I set High Court Enforcement Officers on them using the Sheriffs Office. Check them out!
I have had the pleasure of working with some really talented…and sometimes a bit loopy (but hey I guess all creatives are a bit strange) people and companies. Freelance is also a good way to test drive companies you may possibly want to work for as an employee.
Freelancing is not for everyone, but if you are looking for a flexible way to earn a living and like the idea of working on new projects, products and with different teams on a regular bases then perhaps you should give it a try.
Is it a coincidence that my first blog after my break is on procrastination……Nope! I am soooo in procrastination zone. My home is currently pretty organised! I have now seen the entire first season of Agent Carter and taken a waltz down memory lane watching a bit of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly….and I am now at the day I should be posting my blog!
We all have those moments…where we know we should be getting on with something, but find anything else to do but that “thing”. Not sure why this is. There are times I am in the studio and I drift off into my own thoughts and then get annoyed with myself for wasting time. It’s worst when I work from home …….most popular distractions are….I have a pile of washed clothes that need folding away…or trying to decide what to eat while staring at what I have in the fridge ...and number 1 distraction for me .....internet research.....What's yours? The thing that usually gets me out of procrastinationville (yep that’s a word now) is setting myself deadlines, or telling someone I am going to do something. By doing this it makes me accountable. Other times I just ride the procrasterwave (new word!) because I know it will pass.
Blog originally posted on: 9/5/2018 Do you remember the advert for a fizzy drink *sings* “ Dr… *brand name*, what’s the worst that could happen…” Since 2017 I have had many moments where I find myself humming that advert. To give myself more studio-time developing leather craft skills early last year, I quit one of my day jobs and restricted myself to working no more than two days a week freelance pattern cutting for other fashion companies. I am not going to lie, reducing my income and seeing my cash reserves disappear was scary, ‘…what’s the worst that could happen..?’, but I knew something had to give if I was going to progress – the result? I applied for, and won a Leathersellers award which included help with studio rent for a year *exhale and phew!*. This year with the last of my cash reserves, I commissioned a work bench and a small amount of storage and begin to re-organise my studio to create a dedicated leather craft area. I also had opportunity to do a one week Creative Leather Applications course at Northampton University at a discounted rate (thanks to the Leathersellers award). I knew both of these opportunities would mean I would not have the funds to buy any leather or more tools for quite some time. Eeeeeeeekkkkk! ‘…what’s the worst that could happen..?’ The result? I now have a dedicated leather space, I have learnt more about leather and gained insight into a wider range of design possibilities AND Northampton University gave course attendee’s a heap of free (non-saleable) leather - whoop!! A couple of months ago I was sent an email about a bursary competition with Huawei for small businesses, called “Make it Possible” . I saw it and thought… yep! ‘…what’s the worst that could happen..?’, and applied using my “Packed Deco22 Bag” (see previous blog). The result? I only went and WON A RUNNERS-UP PRIZE!! How jammy is that!!!? https://consumer.huawei.com/uk/press/news/2018/bursary-winnners-announced/ I am aware I have a tendency to focus on ‘worst case scenarios’, but I need to remember that sometimes, the VERY WORST that could happen is that I do not try and spend my days wondering ‘what if..?