My Opinion: Stop Badmouthing Other Designers



Dear Readers:

A couple of weeks ago, I met with a lovely potential client who was getting married and shopping around for the right designer/florist. This client had gotten a list from a friend, I believe, and was meeting with ten designers while here in New York. Between you and me, I could not imagine seeing that many people before hiring a designer. Maybe five at most, but that’s just me.

To my surprise, the client had never heard about me (sorry folks, I have to confess that I have a big ego). In a way, it was kind of refreshing and humbling. I had to sell myself from scratch. As a practice, I always ask my clients if they are seeing anyone else. This man responded, “Yes, I am seeing Colin Cowie as well as a few others.” I gave an honest response stating that I love Colin and have so much respect for him, and if he hired him, he would be in good hands. Colin not only has talent, he has a great deal of style.

That’s when it came out that this potential client almost did not come to see me. I was surprised. “Really? Why?” I asked. He told me that another designer told him not to “bother” with me. I was too expensive and my designs were “overdone” in terms of flowers. I confess that I grilled him, but he would not tell me who this jerk was.

As competitive as it might feel in our business, I have never (and will never) understand the concept behind putting another designer down to get a job. I truly believe there is enough work out there for all of us. In my opinion, this needs to stop.

Today, I would like you to share your opinion on this matter. Have you ever been badmouthed? How do you handle this?