Dive into the World of Product Licensing with Stacy Garcia

Episode #108 the Wingnut Social Podcast

Stacy Garcia made her way into the design world 20 years ago when she launched LebaTex—a textile company. She knew she wanted her own collections and a branded product line, so she made it happen. Tune-in to hear how she went from a bootstrap business to successfully licensing products with multiple big-name designers.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:35] Product Licensing with Stacy Garcia
  • [4:30] Stacy Garcia’s background in the biz
  • [8:20] You might have to take some big risks
  • [10:30] What Stacy would do today
  • [15:30] Why hire a publicist?
  • [17:25] It takes time to build momentum
  • [20:50] What are high-end vendors looking for?
  • [24:00] Make sure you own your designs
  • [27:15] Is licensing a numbers game?
  • [33:15] What up Wingnut round
  • [35:35] New fabric collection with Calico Corners

Connect with Stacy Garcia

Resources & People Mentioned

You need to create your own opportunities

20 years ago, Stacy struggled to break into licensing. So she put everything on the line and took out a $50,000 line of credit against her home and launched her textile company, LebaTex. She put every last penny into that business (and consequently didn’t sleep for two years). She designed a professional trade-show booth and hired a publicist—and then she landed her first deal.

It took some moxie to put everything on the line. But what do designers look for now?

Stacy points out that you can launch something small with a lot less money. If you can get one licensing deal, it gives you leverage. It gives you more access to the market. But you have to remember you’re relying on distribution and manufacturing from whomever you sign with.

They’re looking for something unique. Here are some questions she points out they will consider: Why should they choose you over someone else? Is it your design aesthetic? Your social media following? Do you know how to forecast what will be trending in materials, colors, and consumer buying habits? 

What you NEED to know about product licensing

If you desire to get into product licensing (and excel at creating beautiful and unique products) there are a few things you need to understand:

  1. It takes time to build traction and momentum. You’re probably not going to achieve the passive income you desire with one or two deals. You have to consider the lifetime of the deals, whether or not the products will take off in the market, and more.
  2. Make sure you own your designs. Stacy has seen designers partner with companies to manufacture their creations, only to be taken advantage of. Hire an intellectual property attorney, own your design, and make sure it’s in a contract that a manufacturer is just producing the design for you.
  3. Consider who you already work with. Who do you like working with in your network? Who excels at marketing? Takes great care of you? What if you leveraged your connections and pitched a collection to that person instead of waiting to be discovered?

There is a lot to consider when it comes to product licensing. You have to remember that it’s not just a creative decision—it’s a business opportunity. You want to get the lay of the land when considering a deal (What would a collection look like? How many pieces? Royalties? What is the lifetime of the collection?) and manage your expectations.

To hear the ladies full discussion on product licensing, the deals you should shoot for, social media considerations—and much more—listen to the whole episode with Stacy Garcia now!

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