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Thread: Sales Advice

  1. #1
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    Sales Advice

    Wow, so many forums to choose from! I'm not sure if this is the best forum, but I'll start here.

    I'm working on a book about symbols of the 50 U.S. states. As you may know, some states have official tartans.

    I decided to try to design tartans for all fifty states. To my surprise, I was able to do it.

    I would like to try to sell my designs - as kilts, scarves, blankets, etc. - but I'm not sure how to get started.

    Are there companies in the U.S. that enter into partnerships with new designers, or allow them to sell their designs as affiliates?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I am very sorry but you seem to have done again, something which has been done on at least two previous occasions. There are already at least two other competing designs for each US state. In a few cases three or even four.

    Some of the previous designs have been adopted by the respective state legislative bodies as their official Tartan. The Texas Bluebonnet is just one example.

    And there appears that you may not have a full grasp of the complexity around Tartan. There is the design, yes. Anyone can design a Tartan. There are quite a few on-line Tartan design programs to make this as easy as clicking a mouse.

    Then you pay to have your design registered on either the private "Scottish Tartans Authority" or the official Archives of Scotland "Scottish Register of Tartan".

    To make a design 'official" you would submit your design to the body that has that authority. This can be a State Legislature, a Company Board or Club President or even a City Council. if that body votes to adopt your design this is what makes it "official".

    You may, or may not then, protect your design by applying for a copyright. A company may also apply for a trademark on your design.

    And finally some one must weave some fabric using your design. This is normally done by commissioning either one of the commercial Tartan weaving mills or a private weaver.

    With close to 12,000 designs already in existence and registered. With the thousands more designs on paper or a computer screen, that have never been registered. I would expect that you may have a hard time finding someone to buy your designs.

    You could of course approach a private weaver, or a commercial weaving mill, and commission a custom run of fabric. Then either sell the fabric or produce and sell finished goods from the fabric woven in your designs.

    I will caution you however - There is one prolific Tartan designer out there who has produced thousands of designs. He will have enough fabric woven to make one man's tie. He sends the tie to someone like a city mayor. Of course he receives in return a thank-you letter.
    He then claims that his design is "Officially Adopted" based on the thank you letter.
    Last edited by Steve Ashton; 18th April 19 at 08:50 PM.
    Steve Ashton
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  4. #3
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    Someone, who shall not be named, designed tartans based on colors in the state seals. The Kansas version is butt ugly. It seems none of the bright colors in the Kansas State Seal are actually incorporated. Better designs are needed.
    Benning School for Boys
    97th Company
    OC 5-68

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benning Boy View Post
    Someone, who shall not be named, designed tartans based on colors in the state seals. The Kansas version is butt ugly. It seems none of the bright colors in the Kansas State Seal are actually incorporated. Better designs are needed.
    LOL - Well, I guarantee my designs are better. They might still be subpar, though; I'm still learning the ropes.

    Actually, I think my designs are pretty good for simple display - as a picture on a website or a swatch of cloth hanging on a wall - but they might not be something a person would want to wear. I really know nothing about clothing and fashion.

    However, I have a wealth of knowledge about American symbolism (including state colors) and a lot of experience designing flags, which really helps. I hate to sound arrogant, but I find most of the existing state tartans as tacky as most state flags.

  7. #5
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    I can see why you may think some tartans are tacky. As someone who was born in Pittsburgh and proud of my PA family, I happily bought a Pennsylvania Tartan kilt from USA Kilts. I do like the look of it. As a Georgia resident of the last 7 or so years, I do not like the GA tartan and so haven't bought one.

    But, and it's sort of a big one, your tartan is your tartan. When researching my family, we could have worn Buchanan back in the day. I say could have because they were in the right area, with a surname that is a sept, but I have no definitive proof. Even so, the Buchanan Society has welcomed me with open arms, and so I proudly wear that tartan now. Lots of people think a Buchanan Modern tartan is tacky, gaudy, what-have-you. I once had someone comment that my kilt looked like hot-dog toppings. But so what? My tartan is my tartan, and the look has certainly grown on me the more I am made to feel welcome by my fellow Buchanans.

    Perhaps you can design a better state tartan, but also perhaps the tartan you think is tacky may have meaning to those who do wear it, and is not tacky at all to them.

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  9. #6
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    "hot dog toppings"?! The word tacky is much better used describing the comment than the tartan.
    Geoff Withnell

    "My comrades, they did never yield, for courage knows no bounds."
    No longer subject to reveille US Marine.

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