Very shady hiring tactics and not professional in how they onboard new employees, in my opinion. Good luck growing into a larger brand, if that’s their goal. You can’t treat people this way and not get a bad reputation.
The owner cold contacted me on LinkedIN and offered me a design job after meeting with me in two interviews. She just looked me up on LinkedIn and hired me directly saying I showed up at the "top of her search for activewear designer (no kidding). I didn’t even know who she was. She said she would rather cherry pick her own designer herself, than “run an ad on LinkedIn and get ‘whoever stranger from who knows where’ applies”.
I was given a contract for 15 hours per week of freelance design work to start, working remotely doing design sketches which I did. I was given what they call a “CONDITIONAL OFFER LETTER” to go fulltime 40 hours per week in 2 months once my current freelance contracts ended elsewhere, with salary and date listed. I had one meeting with them showing design sketches after which she picked 10 design sketches but oddly I was asked for copies of ALL of my work by her operations person who had nothing to do with creative design which was shady considering it included sketches that were not picked, and then I noticed the very next day, only 2 weeks after I started, they posted an ad for what looked like my job on StyleCareers but wanted to pay an ENTRY LEVEL PERSON to put design sketches into work at the independent contractor they use for everything from first through production.
I saw the operations manager’s name as the poster, and the date the ad posted and that it had 0 applicants at the time. Basically, they wanted a cheaper person to put my sketches into work and take all of the processes and templates I created from working for multi million dollar brands, and go forward.
I was only allowed to meet everyone ONE TIME, to give all of my design sketches in person and THAT was it.
I did far more work than I billed for to show high productivity and enthusiasm, and was paid just enough to get all of my info and pick my brain.
I started to get a feeling something wasn’t right when I was told not to attend company meetings and to wait for a future date weeks out. I wasn’t getting a response on my company group emails to get tech packs set up, and did not know why. I was ignored or redirected to talk to someone who never responded to any emails. Ever.
I had not even been paid once, when received a text from the owner’s husband that his accountant said they are having “financial issues” only 3 weeks after hiring me, after only getting ONE 15 hour invoice from me at $50/hour, and that they cannot afford to bring anyone on in design after all so they are rescinding their full time offer letter. I told him I was confused by this statement because I had just seen the NEW ad for a designer they had just posted and his words were. “We don’t have an ad running. If you see anything it’s old.”
This was not true. I saw the date was a week earlier which went from 0-139 job applicants in a week, and that the poster’s name was the woman who wanted copies of all of my design sketches. This was lie and felt very unprofessional.
I gave them my final bill which wasn’t even $1K, and all of the extra work I did, and was only paid for 56 hours. After this, both the husband and wife drove to my home to pick up the dress form I used to drape sketches on, and she had a TOTALLY different story for why they rescinded the offer-she could have at least compared her husband’s story to be on the same page. Instead, she said she gets pulled in so many different directions running her company that she doesn’t have time to answer any questions or sit with a designer and review sketches (which btw could be emailed since everyone works from home). Considering she was the one who reached out to ME to come work for her and I only met her in person ONE TIME with sketches a few weeks, that was pretty unbelievable.
In the brief time I worked for them, I gave them all of my design sketches for their activewear line, tech packs and spec sheets with my OWN templates I purchased to use on their product since they wouldn’t provide me with any company templates or materials. I sensed in retrospect, they wanted to learn company processes at the much larger contemporary brands I worked for, and I also showed them how designers drape their first sketches on a dress form and write basic specs when passing to a pattern maker to make the first proto. They didn’t even know what a dress form was for and didn’t own a single box of straight pins or dress form in their entire company-everything is contracted out. They had to order one for me to show them how to drape a first sketch with specs.
The two owners are a husband and wife who do not come from the fashion industry and hire contractors for all manufacturing, sample making, and in my case, design.
BEWARE of leaving a company to work with these people, even if they give you a CONTRACT and an OFFER LETTER with salary. It means NOTHING and before. you even start, they could RESCIND IT as they did with me which has never happened in the DECADES I have been a designer in this industry. I wonder if this is how they pick everyone’s brain to learn the industry and then fire the person saying they don’t have money to hire you after all, and go get an entry level person to put your sketches into work.