We’re sharing a blog post here written by Abby Glassenberg at While She Naps on the prevalence in the quilt fabric world of designers working without written contracts, which is something we would never advise anyone to do.
Our experience has been that not all companies do stand by their word and a written contract is a designer’s only protection in knowing who owns her work, when her fabric will be printed how and when she will be paid and the terms of how the designer and fabric company can part ways. Things happen. Companies merge, design directors come and go, people retire, people get sick. A contract is a record of the agreement that provides continuity through the inevitable changes that happen in the business world.
It is the hallmark of professionalism and wise management to be offered a contract without having to ask for it and to be given one promptly when requested. Asking for a written contract is not a sign that there’s a lack of trust. It’s to remind both parties of what they’ve agreed to. In fact it’s a sign of respect. I’ll add here that Andover Fabrics, for whom we design, has been outstanding to work with and in the way in which our contract has been handled.
We’re hoping that Abby’s post will embolden fabric designers to ask for contracts to clarify who owns their work, the terms of their compensation and the terms on which the designer and fabric company can part ways. A good contract is nothing more than a written agreement of what has been discussed verbally or through emails. There’s no rational argument for that not being beneficial to both parties.