Yesterday, while surfing through posts on Facebook by my many floral designer friends, I came across a very heated debate on a contractual clause regarding exclusivity and integrity. I’m not sure how many designers have something similar in their contracts but when I had my studio, Blume Haus, I had the following clause in my contract.
Exclusivity: It is understood that Blume Haus will act as the sole and exclusive florist for your event. By signing this contract The Client agrees that no other person, company, professional or otherwise, shall provide fresh or artificial floral products for The Client’s event location or event reception without the consent of Blume Haus. This clause is to protect the image of Blume Haus from assumptions that might occur from the event’s attendees. Some exceptions may apply, inquire with a Blume Haus representative.
As it says, I had this in my contract to protect my professional image. The last thing I wanted was to spend months planning and designing the bridal bouquet and then show up to the church to find dollar store silks hanging from every pew. That would lower my worth as designer and open the floodgates of brides or planners asking me to recreate this at the same price.
The controversy on Facebook came from designers who felt that, by enforcing this clause, we are forcing brides with budgets not to use a professional florist at all. Instead, to help with budget concerns, the bride and her friends and family are now doing everything themselves.
However, almost every time a bride came to me with a request for a family member to do the centerpieces or the bouquets my answer was YES. I always had a conversation with the family member to make sure we were on the same page, design-wise. In the end, both the bride and my business looked good.
My questions is do you have a clause like this? Do you think this would be a “make or break” part of a contract?