(Image: Sumie Yoshino / Sankyo Alumi)
Agents and Managers in Creative Industries AGMA ry was established in 2009 for supporting Finland-based agents. For its 10th year of operation it will organize a Gala Evening there agents and managers. During The Gala the association will award agents and managers for their significant work and achievements in the field.AGMA ry announced the nominees last week, and you know what? Patternsfrom Agency is shortlisted for the internationalization prize!
We are humble for the nomination, as there is a lot of hard work done and long-term goals set to achieve this point.
Patternsfrom Agency takes part to three international fairs on a yearly basis to meet its old and new customers. We have been to Japantex and Heimtextil five times. The third annual fair has been in Denmark, Russia, Sweden, China or the Netherlands, depending on the year.
As clients we have currently 10 professional designers representing knowledge in textile, surface and graphic design. One of them, Ilana Vähätupa, has been there since day 1, which was sometime in 2013. That was long time before Patternsfrom Agency itself.
In the begining we didn’t know the rules of the industry. We benchmarked a lot how other designers were selling their artworks, and learned a lot even from our own clients. We understood that there are plenty of assumptions and many things were taken for granted in the textile industry. However, we noticed also that in the real life many designers and design houses had also their own ways to operate. That was very good news for us, as we could begin to develop our own path, from scratch, learning by doing.
Today we don’t sell patterns, but we lease, or license, them. This is a very efficient way for our customers to reach unique, hand-made, Nordic patterns. We are well aware, that our way of operating is not suitable for all customers. Especially the ones that are used in buying the copyrights have difficulties with our approach. That, we consider, is not a sustainable way of operating from designers’ point of view. We point out this to all designers and design houses that we meet during the fairs. This has made them to reconsider their own approach to sell the patterns, too.
However, we are also happy to give a neverending permission for the customer to utilize the patterns economically. We use this approach when we design collections together with our customers as a service. We have not found another design agency operating the same way, so we are enjoying the Blue Ocean until it lasts.
So far the business has been successful. We have sold rights for individual patterns to Asia and Europe. We have had also a bigger design management project going on in China, there one of our designers has been coordinating patterns, colors, collections and materials for the customer according to their brand. So far we have been operating directly with the customers, or customers representatives, not via sub-agents.
The Gala is in one weeks time, and that week we are in excitement!
Even the nomination to win the internationalization prize feels like a win to us, because the other two nominees have been working with brands like the Dudesons and Angry Birds, both very well know around the world. They have been doing a great job for years in the field of internationalization Finnish creativity, whereas Patternsfrom Agency was officially established as a Ltd. only in March this year.