Have you wondered how folks become VIDA designers? I’ve got tons of answers for you!!! Oh and if you’ve never heard of VIDA, then you absolutely want to read on.
All over the world, artists have to choose between living a creative life versus living a life that will bring them financial security. For many, their only hope of ever indulging their artistic gifts and talents is in retirement. Umaimah Mendhro, co-founder of VIDA knows this conflict-with-self too well.
“I taught myself how to cut, sketch, sew, stitch, block print, screen print, oil paint, and more. Yet I couldn’t bring myself to pursue art as a profession. Because I feared I wouldn’t be able to make a living with it”, Umaimah confessed to Techcrunch. Umaimah’s statement encapsulates the life story of many creatives. However, Umaimah didn’t want this to define her life. So she decided to do something to change her story. She created VIDA.
WHAT IS VIDA?
VIDA is a collaboration between designers and makers. It was launched in 2014. So it’s not surprising that a whole lot is not really known about it, yet. When artists hear about VIDA, their first question is, “Is this a scam”? And then, the next question that follows right after that is, “How does it work?” So to answer your first question – no it’s not a scam.
HOW DOES VIDA WORK?
And to answer your next question, well let me explain. VIDA works by connecting artists with small-scale manufacturers. As a result, the company produces designer-quality wearable art at affordable prices. You design the products and they create and sell them. Getting started is simple. After you sign up, you upload images of your artwork. Then, using their simple Design Tool, you design products with your artwork.
And since you’re the owner of the artwork, you have total control over how your artwork appears in the designs. When it comes to production (printing, cutting, sewing) , sales, billing, packaging, and shipping, VIDA handles all of that.
WHO CAN USE VIDA?
This question is especially relevant because many times, I hear artists express doubts about their work being suitable for VIDA. That’s totally unnecessary. Because if you understand how it works, you’ll know that any creative can use VIDA to create wearable art. Remember, that all you need to create a design is a digital image of your work. If you need further proof, who’s already using VIDA to design.
- Textile/Fiber Artists
WHY VIDA WORKS SO WELL
Well, traditionally to design for the fashion industry, you need to get noticed, have connections or a stroke of luck. However, what VIDA has done is:
- First of all, they use the wonderful medium of the internet to get your designs to the manufacturers
- Secondly, the company deals directly with small manufacturers in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.
- Thirdly, they do not hold an inventory. They only Print on Demand (POD). That is, they create a product only when they have an order. This reduces warehousing costs and also increases cash flow for them.
- Fourthly, they use Direct to Fabric Digital Printing methods which allow them to not have to wait for large orders before printing.
Consequently, VIDA has cut down the costs in so many areas. Hence making it possible for them to produce high designer-quality fashion (designed by you), and at a fraction of the price.
HOW DOES VIDA BENEFIT ARTISTS & DESIGNERS?
- As an artist, you gain exposure to a global audience and visibility for your artwork
- You earn extra cash (10 % of net sales go to the artist, small but it could add up)
- Also, you feel good about designing products with a socially responsible company.
- Moreover, it’s an easy way for fans of your work, your friends, and your family to support your art business.
- Like galleries who’re looking for artists sometimes go searching online, so manufacturers looking for designers will probably search VIDA.
Art marketing is another especially relevant topic for any artist. Remember you only get paid (10% of net) when your designed products are sold. So you’ll need to promote and direct traffic to your products in order to increase your sales volume. VIDA also provides incentives for you to sell more. For example, they’ll promote your artwork on different social media channels and offer gift cards to you and your customers when you reach certain sales numbers.
HOW IS YOUR COPYRIGHT PROTECTED?
Next, to the especially relevant issue of copyright. “VIDA requires exclusive rights to sell your design in the selected product category that you create. That is, if you design for a scarf, you may continue to sell that design for all product categories other than scarves, which will be exclusively sold in their online store.” This is a quote from their website. When I read this quote, I was quite comfortable with my understanding of what they meant. My understanding was I could design scarves or tops for VIDA but I couldn’t use that same design for tops and scarves with another company. Although, I could still use my design for other products like bags and shoes.
However, I was so discouraged, almost depressed when I read this article explaining what the actual legal meaning of their copyright is. I’m not an attorney and I don’t understand legalese. And my copyright is important to me because it’s the basis of my legal and financial claim to my creative talents. After endless hours of research, taking down notes and email exchanges, I was so bummed to discover this info. Initially, I decided to delete the images of my work that I’d already uploaded to their website. After a while, though I snapped out of it. I put on my business thinking cap.
COPYRIGHT QUESTIONS ARISE
I told myself that business involves calculated risks. By the end of this year, I’d have created at least 52 textile art designs. Am I willing to invest six of my designs in exploring a licensing opportunity with VIDA? Furthermore, adding additional revenue streams to your business is important for an artist’s financial stability. Could I afford to try VIDA out? Finally, I came to the conclusion that , if I created only 5 designs a year, and that’s all my business depended on, then I certainly should be hesitant. But I don’t.
So here’s what I did, I went on to do more research. I sent out this email to the design team asking for answers.
“If I design a scarf with VIDA, does it mean I can’t design and sell scarves anywhere else? Or does it mean I can’t sell the same scarf design somewhere else?”
Here’s their reply.
“I apologize for any concern over our licensing. The license we hold is only for use on scarves and tops (and promotional materials, such as Facebook). You would still have all other rights to the design.”
So I made the decision and took the plunge. I became a VIDA designer!! Check out my signature collection. Fashion meets art with my lovely modal scarves and silk pocket squares, just in time for the holiday season. They’ll make wonderful gifts for your loved ones. So start your holiday shopping with my collection on VIDA.
Finally, if you’re interested in becoming a VIDA designer, grab my FREE Pre-Launch Guide NOW. I know how hard it is to find good info about designing for VIDA. That’s why I created this guide. Download the guide and take all the guesswork out of what it takes to create your own wearable art collection.
In conclusion, are you a VIDA designer? What are you waiting for?
I know a lot of people are not quite sure about VIDA. There’s a lot of information out there on the internet about them – good and bad. As I’ve already stated, the VIDA model requires you to do a lot of marketing on your own to move the merchandise from their store. Without extensive marketing, you’ll not sell much and since the profit margins are little, you’ll not earn much. So if this is all you’re planning to base your business on you might want to reconsider.
Without extensive marketing, you’ll not sell much and since the profit margins are little, you’ll not earn much. So if this is all you’re planning to base your art business on you might want to reconsider.
The best thing if you’re trying to make a decision is to do your own research. Put all of the information here in addition to others into consideration and make your own decision as to what is best for you.
This is a business decision. Everyone has their own risk tolerance in life just as in business. No one can make that decision for you but you.