Mates rates. Hate that so much. 😤

I once had a friend ask if they could have one of my creations at cost price…it was going to be a group birthday gift for another one of our friends. They’d all pitch in.

My business was new. I wasn’t making much money. My husband and I were going through a financial crisis. They knew all this. My group of friends all had good jobs that paid them well. They could have chipped in to pay full price. And yet I was still asked to work for free. I was floored and furious and insulted.

Of course, I said no. A decade later I still have the faded scar of this.

They weren’t deliberated trying to be cheap or insulting. I’m sure that this person would be aghast if they thought their request made me feel so worthless. We’re still friends and I adore them all very much.

They were simply expressing and acting upon what is a common message woven into the fabric of society….it’s OK to ask creatives to work for next to nothing. It’s OK to ask for Mates Rates – and expect to hear a Yes. That it’s OK to offer pizza or drinks or exposure in lieu of payment.

No, it is not.

We must educate society that it’s not OK. We as creatives must say NO. Only when WE start to value our talents and efforts will OTHERS follow. We need to lead the way and teach people how to treat us.

Only then will we get paid just like everyone else. And if we CHOOSE to offer mates rates, it’s not out of a sense of obligation or expectation but from a place of genuine generosity. ☺️🎨🎁