There are plenty of textile designers out there offering patterns for numerous companies with the wish of getting at least some of their patterns into production. Some years ago when I was about to establish my first agency, 0.7 design Ltd, one of the reasonings was to pool together a group of companies for saving both the designers’ and the buyers’ time: with an interesting and big enough portfolio there would be designers that would attract some buyers, while the other buyers would be interested in other designers. With this the need of time for meetings would be decreased. This is of course just one of the reasons, however, a very important. Generally a business meeting takes something between one to two hours. Imagine, as a buyer, you could see the portfolio of over ten designers in just one hour’s meeting?
Several designers create variety: one is good with abstract patterns, other with flowers, third with color combinations. An agency has a pool of patterns for different purposes: there are patterns for interior textiles, curtains, wallpapers, stationary, fashion etc. You name it. There are patterns for digital printing, for rotation printing, for flat screen printing etc. You name it. If a buyer is in a hurry to find last patterns to a collection, agencies can usually help in a very short period of time. Patterns from Finland has also its online portfolio, there all the patterns are to be sold or licensed. We can guarantee short delivery times.
As a third point, let’s take the business practices. An agency usually consists of people who design as well as people who are more business oriented. The business minded ones know about general business practices of the industry, understand the importance of contracts between designers and customers and they like to sell. In the case of Patterns from Finland, there are eight designers as well as Kristiina and me as the business people. We are not shy in contacting potential customers, neither do we have any personal relations with the objects that we sell, the patterns. We understand the needs of the buyers, and can offer solutions.
Designers who are promoted by agencies or have ended up to an agent’s lists, have gone through some serious screenings regarding the professionalism, the reliability, the general performance. The designers know different techniques, they know the company standards and they can create appealing collections. Generally open agencies, such as Patterns from Finland, do get much more representation requests from designers than what they can accept.
Do you agree with the above points? If you have experience working with independent freelancers only, why not to try out working with an agency for discovering if these claims are true!