Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Economic Woes

When the economy starts to bottom out people tend to spend less on things that are not necessary. I happen to work in the "want" not "need" industry. I work with many talented artists' licensing their artwork to manufacturers that use their art on anything from placemats to calendars to shower curtains to wallpaper and hundreds of other products. Well, the phone calls started right around Thanksgiving. Companies unable to make it through the tough economic times. At first, it was just small companies that we worked with that were going under. Soon, larger companies that have been in the industry for 75 years started going under. Well, last week I got a phone call from one of our top companies that we license to. The company had been trying to refinance but the bank denied their request and took over their accounts. They have thousands of items in China that were being sampled and some of those products just happen to be our designs. It's such a tragedy, the people I worked with from this company have lost all their retirement because it was tied up in the equity of the company, which now turns out to be worth nothing. I feel terrible for the many people that are without jobs and have lost their retirements.

My company has felt the same pressures that many in the industry have felt and in an attempt to ease some of their costs they have decided to move to a four day work week. Instead of laying off some people they have chosen to take this route. I am fortunate because this won't have much of an effect on me, don't get me wrong, I will have to budget better and spend less money on the things that I don't absolutely need but I have a husband that is a good provider and can take care of our family if things get worse here. There are a few single mothers that work with me and I know that things will be tough for them. I feel so fortunate to have Larry and his job, even though the newspaper industry isn't very stable we feel he is in a department that is the future of the paper, online news. I am excited to be able to spend more time with my kids and I will finally have a day that I can clean without having both boys in the house distracting me. I will be able to go to lunch with friends and I may get a good workout in atleast once a week now. Anyway, I am grateful that even though Larry and I are both in industries that are volatile we both still have jobs that are taking care of our needs.

Here is a sample of what licensing artwork is...
This is the original artwork from the artist
These are product mock-ups created using the artwork

This kitchen collection was picked up by a manufacturer that got placement in Shopko stores. If you shop at Shopko you may have seen these designs.