I’ve been a designer for nearly 10 years. You’d think that after all that time there would be an organized procedure for uploading my designs for sale. I was faithfully working on developing one last summer. My office has a chart outlining the “post-production process” for my new collections so I finally felt like I had an organized system for getting my designs in the market place.
I was jazzed that I was getting so efficient, so I went looking through my shops on one site and found one that was labeled with just numbers – numbers I didn’t recognize in any way. So I did what anyone who is trying to stay organized and efficient would do – I deleted the mystery account.
That numbered shop I was seeing was actually where ALL (as in 9 years of designs) were housed. I completely deleted everything I had listed. Gone. Not in just one mouse click, either – I actually clicked the “confirm delete” button when it popped up. Yup – I was that kind of organized.
I lost a bit of sleep over that one. Not only was it a pretty extensive catalog of designs – but there were a few that I had created on computers I no longer own and I wasn’t exactly organized in backing up my files, either. Since I started designing, I’ve gone through four laptops and I’m on my second desk top. I have 9 thumb drives – none of which are labeled. There was no way for me to put all of those designs back in.
Nor should I.
See, when I sat down and thought about it after the initial panic faded, I realized I had deleted work that was OLD. It no longer represented my style. They were good designs, but some of them weren’t my best work. Those designs I loved, and those that continue to sell, are still there. The others are gone, gone, gone. And I’m actually a bit relieved. The shop is more organized and I don’t have to agonize about deleting a design I just don’t love. I just put up new stuff – stuff I am completely in love with – and I am more enthusiastic than ever.
So this year I sat down to do my business taxes and I was expecting to see a bit of dip in sales this year because of the deletion.
The opposite happened. I actually had a 50% increase in sales this year. Hmmm…
I think the difference is the organization I now have. There’s an actual process, a rhythm to new design releases, and a clean organized look to my shops because I don’t have orphan patterns anymore. I have collections. I have coordinated prints. I have a more defined style. I have designs people haven’t been seeing for 10 years.
So if you’re a new designer, go ahead and post everything you create. Post it everywhere. When you have more than a hundred designs and your work finally starts to look cohesive, go back and cull your portfolio. Ruthlessly.
That accident turned out to be the best thing I could have done for my business.