Folksy Ltd

How does it work? and your opinion please

Hello, I’m setting up as an illustrator and eco clothing designer and will be listing my spring/summer children’s clothing collection next year, but in the mean time I’m thinking of taking commissions, but my question is how does this actually work? Do I ask for money up-front, or part-payment? Or do you only ask for payment once the piece is finished?
I’ve only recently decided to focus on children’s clothing, and on my website I give examples of women’s clothes I’ve made - do you think it’s ok to keep these examples up whilst I work on my children’s collection, and should I be clearer on my website/facebook?
here is my website:
and here is my fb:

Can anyone recommend any useful books? I’d really appreciate any help.

If you are working to commission, I’d ask for a deposit (non-refundable) to cover the cost of materials as a minimum. Get agreement in writing at each and every stage of photos/designs of the work to date. I’d keep the examples, but never underestimate the ability of people to misinterpret anything they see!

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I think it depends how much design work is involved in the commission. If there’s quite a lot, I’d increase the deposit to cover your design time as well as materials, otherwise you could waste a lot of time working on designs without any guarantee the order will be placed.

I usually ask for a minimum 50% up-front payment before doing any work at all (other than costing and checking availability of supplies) and before purchasing materials. That usually helps to focus the buyer’s mind on whether they actually want it or not. If there’s a lot of customisation involved and the item would be difficult to sell to another buyer, then I’d ask for the full payment up-front.

Never ship goods before getting all the money and do make sure you put all your terms & conditions in an email and that the buyer agrees to them.

Re the examples of your work, I think it’s fine to show them, but why not put some details/sketches of what you’re working on in the meantime, so visitors can get excited about your new range…and maybe they’ll place some advance orders?


If you are making something especially commissioned for a customer you need to think a little differently to making stock items. It will very likely be personalised in some way and virtually unsalable to anyone else. It will also probably take twice as long to make, so factor that in too!

Since my custom orders are non-returnable, I am very careful to write the details of the discussion, with pictures as necessary, as the order description. Then I ask the customer to check these details, and alert me to any errors, or last minute changes.

When they are happy they accept the order, and I take full payment in advance. The customer knows I will not be adding extras to their bill, and I know I have the funds for special materials required etc, and can concentrate on the creative part of the process.


thank you, that’s all very helpful =] So I wouldn’t have to write up something to be signed as such, just email correspondence? or is it a good idea to ask for something to be signed?

I create it as a “custom order” type listing, either on here or one of my other online outlets, so it’s an official order with terms & conditions, due date, Paypal payments etc.

I am by no means an expert, and I would recommend getting yourself business legal advice, such as through the FSB.

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Hi @HMIllustration Everything I make is personalised and made to order and therefore it is a kind of commission. I personally would just create a listing on here, so it has all the info a customer needs (Your T&C’s, estimated delivery date etc) The customer can then purchase the listing in full, prior to you making the order. When the customer pays, this automatically creates a legally binding contract, so there is no need for the customer to sign anything

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