Thursday, March 22, 2007

Scrapbooking


In the past few years, I've received several emails from scrapbookers. Each were looking for scrap booking materials with African American themes. Of course, I pestered my agent (licensing) about this; there's obviously a need for these materials that aren't being filled. Recently, she called to tell me that a scrapbook manufacturer is interested in licensing some of my designs, not only African-American themes, but others such as my VROOM! cars — those used in the book ZOOM. Cool! I can't give out many details because the deal is still in the works, but for those who had asked: Yes, I will have several African-American-themed scrapbooking kits in stores soon (well, this is licensing, so not soon, but sometime in the next couple years).

On the fabric side, I'm frustrated. My fabric has done well (judging from royalties), and it's still being sold...somewhere. I have no idea where people are buying it, and neither do many of my customers. I've received several emails and phone calls from people who've heard about my fabric, or seen it, but can't find it when they're ready to purchase. And my manufacturer hasn't been very forthcoming with information. I'd think they'd want to help customers find their (our) products, but it doesn't seem so. Or, maybe thats just how this business works. With books, I give people an author's name, an ISBN and title — and it's no problem.

After receiving a call on vacation from a customer who wanted to purchase my fabric, but couldn't find it, I shot off an email to my agent, who shot off a second email to the manufacturer. I want to know the names of the stores where the stuff is being sold, order numbers, and how-to order info. Is that a ridiculous request? Or what?

9 comments:

rindawriter said...

I'm really pleased to hear about the scrapbooking deal! Great idea. I wondered about the fabric thingie too. I was puzzled as to exactly where it could be bought online, directly, via PayPal that sort of thing, as I don't get into the regular fabric stores too regularly anymore (better deals online anyway). Is there some sort of little box/button thingie that people could press on your blog and/or website that would just give them some places, phone numbers, oneline stores, etc.? Seems to me that would help a lot. Something like that Zazzle boxie button thingie at the end of my blog, which is a pretty cool little thingie I thought? Sure makes it easy to get to the stuff directly anyway, for a buyer. Maybe a little Flash thingie? I don't know how to do Flash. Left a response to you aabout Zazzle on teh last blog, too.

Brea said...

The corporate world is so strange. It seems like they never do what males sense. One thing they always seem to understand is money. Perhaps you could put a spin on the e-mail that reminds them you are trying to make "them money". And perhaps giving the contact info of the manufacturing company to inquiring customers will create a critical mass of pesky people who just want to buy your designs! Hope it gets resolved....

Stacey Thomas said...

Manufacturers SHOULD have to tell you where items created with your work are being sold, not to mention provide you with some at no charge! It IS a simple request and if they have their act together, they should be able to provide you with that information immediately.

Don Tate II said...

Stacey, I'm especially honored that you visited. I'll be giving you a call next week to discuss ideas. I've heard about some of yours, very exciting!

Anonymous said...

Excellent Don, looking forward to hearing from you!

Stacey Thomas said...

Sorry about that Don, I didn't mean to post anonymously! LOL!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the scrapbook materials. I am an avid scrapper and have found that not too many African American's scrap nor are there many products available. I'll be on the look out. I wish it would happen sooner though.

Sara said...

Great article!!! I really enjoyed it. I will definitely be bookmarking this.

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tresiarth said...

I can't wait to find out more information on your fabrics. I ran across the pink flannel fabric with the little girls playing on it. I bought all that was left on the bolt and searched every Jo-Ann's in DFW looking for more. I was finally able to order a bolt. But that is the only one I have run across in the fabric stores. I have wondered if there were more especially with little boys on it. Didn't know until I ran across your website. Being a quilter, always looking for african american children on fabrics. Can't wait to see if you can give us clues how to find or order the rest of your line.

Thanks Tresia