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Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

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Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

Post by Kate318 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:56 pm

Hi everyone. I feel weird posting something but I was wondering if I could get some opinions. As I mentioned in my introduction I got started in Oct 2010 with face painting for my daughters special olympics fundraiser. I really liked it and was ask to do it for my kids school and a christmas party. By January I really felt this was something I wanted to do beyond a hobby. I saw someone advertising for help. I responded to her add but didn't hear back. Then this past week (1 1/2 months later) she responded and said she wanted to talk to me.

She told me she has upcoming events running through the summer and needs help. She would pay me $10.00 per hour (ouch!) while she "trained" me and after I got "good" she would increase my rate. I met with her after sending her several pictures of my work. She wants a non-compete contract filled out after the "training period" (although its a bit subjective how long the "training period" would be). After seeing my work she said that I was a better painter then someone else who had applied and has been doing this for 10 years. But that I need help on my line work and a few other things. She said that she could get me to the next level. She says the non-compete form is so that she doesn't waste time trainging her competitor. Ok fine, but even though I'm a beginner I'm pretty sure that she is NOT going to be showing me something I don't already know and just need to practice on.

I told her about a prior commitment I have this summer to paint faces at a music festival, in our area, to raise money for special olympics. This is very important to me because the Special Olympics is an organization that completely functions off of donations and my daughter has been involved with them for several years. She suggested that I find an alternative way to help like run a spin art booth. I'm not going to do spin art - I'm painting faces!

My question:
1. She has 3 events coming up in the next month. Only one is a paying gig. She would only pay me for that one. Do I work with her for the practice and experiance or just forget the entire thing.

2. Am I a good enough painter to try to start my own thing? I don't want to do what everyone else is doing. I want to create my own style and not do all the typical designs (spiderman ect.) But is that even possible when it's about what your customer wants? I feel that when I try to do something that is being forced it looks really bad even if the design is super easy. I have a hard time really rating my own work because I see all the imperfections. I'm proud of it. Especially the ones I have done on myself (I have bifocals and I'm 3% points away from what is considered legal blindness with my glasses off and much of the painting is done with the glasses off. I love the other tread on here about competitions where u don't look at yourself in the mirror. It is totally possible to come out with something half decent. I am living proof! lol!)

Anyway, sorry if that's too much to read. Just not sure what moves to make but I know I want to do something. I will try to put pictures here to give a point of referance. Thanks!



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Re: Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

Post by Kate318 on Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:32 am

I don't know how to put pics up on the thing... I did down load some onto my gallery.
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Re: Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

Post by Abril on Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:44 am

to be honest after reading the second paragraph was enough! lol and i mean for my opinion lol...i would totally say no to that!..you are fairly new..and like you said..theres nothing she can teach you that you cant learn later by yourself!!!....I started this business by doing a fundraiser ...was my very first time grabbing a brush and painting someones face!..i thought they were lets say not that crappy but i never thought people would love them! Moms kept asking for my number and thats how i got all my gigs..now im busy every wkened with at least 3parties!!!!.

Someone here said, theyre not paying you to have straight lines..or best color combination..theyre paying you to face paint..even if its crappy...its the service youre providing them. Trust me!! my work is NOT the best..but moms are Sooooo impressed by it!!! I love the "Easy" money..and by easy i mean..stress free job..really because even when some kids are being a pain in the butttttt!!! at the end of every event everyones sooo happy i forget all the bad stuff and i get home with my money..some pictures..new gigs..and definitely cant wait for next weekend for more events!!! it is SOOO MUCH FUNNNN!!!! cheers

- I totally get her point..this is a business..but US as independent/individuals face painters...(at least im speaking for me) i wouldnt want to work with someone who is already asking me to give up events #1 im doing for free #2 im doing way before the whole face painting bug business bit me and #3 something i have all my heart into! I guess what im saying is..the beauty of this business is that you do it because you love it! youre your own boss..manager etc. you enjoy it and you decide when is free and when is not!

-If i were you...i would probably forget about the whole thing..and dont be afraid of doing this on your own. It sooo worth the try! If you feel that you need to work on your line or whatever..then work on it! practice makes perfect! You dont need someone to tell you how to paint or who to work with or what events to do....in my opinion..(and my bf and family agrees lol) i wasnt born to work for other people LOL!!!! I like to do things my way! Im not saying i wont listen to opinions..yes i do..im just saying..you enjoy things the most when you dont have someone telling you what to do or what not to do...especially with things that have a special/sentimental meaning to you.

-OKAY!! ill stop now..i think i ran out of words LOL.
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Re: Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

Post by Kate318 on Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:09 am

I figured out how to share my gallery! Very Happy yeah me!
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Re: Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:12 am

I would not work for someone where they required a non-compete. I don't work for agents either... If I am out there I will be promotiing myself, not someone else.

And I can't see that volunteering would be in conflict with that non-compete either - you aren't taking any potential earnings away. And your commitment pre-dates your contact with her!

And $10/hour... for real??? Minimum wage here is more than that!

If you feel you are able to improve with practise, you can get all the info and tips from the forums and online, books, videos... we are all here to help!

Personally... I don't think it would be to your benefit to work for her.

I don't want to do what everyone else is doing. I want to create my own style and not do all the typical designs (spiderman ect.) But is that even possible when it's about what your customer wants?

Well... you're going to have to paint him, sorry. We all do. No matter what your personal style develops to be... you're gonna hafta paint the webslinger!! No

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Re: Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

Post by AngieAnders on Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:19 am

Definitely do NOT enter into a non-compete agreement. You have nothing to gain and everything to lose by agreeing to her terms. Your work is very good for a beginner, and you are worth WAY more than $10 per hour. She may be offering you this simply so that you can't compete with her in the future. The only benefit here would be if she had a lot of work to offer you at a good rate, and it sounds like there's not much work and even less pay. You can do better than that on your own.
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Re: Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

Post by Mehndi Masala on Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:04 am

I took a peek at your stuff and I'm gonna say that you need jam sessions (which I really badly need), practice and to go it on your own. It will be a slow start and it may take a bit to get paying gigs, but working with her for slave wages and a 'control collar' of a non-compete contract AND not being able to promote yourself at all (which means you are no farther ahead than if you went on your own)...well.....sounds like she's pretending to offer you a nice shiny apple but it looks a WHOLE LOT like the one poor Snow White got!!!

Srsly...what Shannon said....'nuff said!

Good luck and keep up the great progress!
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Re: Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

Post by belle on Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:52 am

Hey Kate, I understand the inner desire to get more "gig" experience, however I believe that this woman sees you as competition already and is hoping that by dangling the money (which I believe would be slave wages) to be enough of an incentive for you to sign with her to avoid the future competition. How many faces would you paint in an hour for $10 - how much could you potentially earn on the same amount of faces at your own event? And if she expects you to work for her shouldn't that mean that she pays you for all events? Just because she agreed to freebies doesn't mean she should expect you to donate your time to the cause. You could be doing your own marketing drop instead of working for her for free, hopefully at least that would generate future income for you.

Sorry I'm a bit long winded, but I really feel that this woman is trying to take advantage of you. As always, this is only my opinion and I wish you all the best whichever way you decide to go. Have faith in yourself and believe in your ability. Good luck xoxo
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Re: Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

Post by Noella on Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:54 am

I haven't found anyone I'd be willing to work with in exchange for signing a non-compete contract, but in any case my requirements would be:
they'd have to be paying me enough to live off of
supplying all my materials to do the work
in an industry I didn't think I could make it on my own without them
and I wasn't interested in working in if I wasn't working with them


In other words, no way. You have materials, have ability, and have some contacts to start you off. I am not adverse to volunteering with someone to learn from them, but never signing a non-compete (unless that was *just* for certain clients that were spelled out in the contract). Even still - this seems like poison.....


As someone with a disability, I can honestly say that you can do anything you want to do - as long as you are willing to walk away from anything that makes you uncomfortable. I walk with a cane (my balance is shot), and I had one client who insisted the job had to be done standing, in high heels and a skirt, and could I get a new cane because mine (when they met me), had a few scratches and dings. Three phone calls later I found them someone who was willing (and able) to do that job. It wasn't going to be me for sure.


I also think that you can do designs that suit you and will make you happy - it's a matter of painting what you want to be doing in your style, taking photos, making a board/book. Then just ask people to pick from the available designs - they can *ask* for whatever they want, but you can always say that today you are working from the designs on the board/in the book. I've gotten requests for something not on the board maybe 2-3 times at each event - nicely redirecting them back to the board, and suggesting a modification I can do quickly solves that - and no, I don't do spiderman. If you find you want to meet that need later, practice at home, then add it - no reason not to grow and learn and do more. Most people are "see, want" - if they can see a list of suggestions, they can find one they like in that. I always find someone somewhere who will want "more" (more detailed, 12 colors of glitter, covering their arms as well as their face, lasting for weeks, to clean it off and have a different design on every 10 minutes) - they are the exceptions and not something we can/should reasonably work too. I'm not saying don't have a variety of designs - but I am saying making them your own shouldn't stop the majority from being quite satisfied.
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Re: Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

Post by jenjenhana on Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:08 pm

Your work is totally "good enough" to be on your own. Believe me, there are people out here who charge money for work I would pay to get off. I worked for a company with a non-compete for slave wages back in the beginning and it is not worth it. You have so much to gain by going on your own. My best advice - prepare for quick success because there are a lot of people out there looking for good work and you will be surprised at how quickly your phone starts ringing!
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Re: Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

Post by CrazyPainter on Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:59 pm

Yeah....no to the no compete clause. She probably feels she's been burned in the past by an ex-employee and is trying to keep it from happening again. But anyone in any kind of mentoring role has to know that your rookies are gonna go out on their own sooner or later, unless you are an amazing employer who keeps their people happy, busy, and paid. Most can't do all three.

But don't ever limit yourself that way. As an aside, I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that that particular agreement is not legally worth the paper its printed on anyway. (Most facepainters don't have a lawyer on retainer.) Regardless, don't sign it.

Right now, you want to focus on networking and getting better (You're already good!) I wouldn't, at this stage, work for anyone that required you to sign anything, let alone a no-compete clause.

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Re: Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

Post by eva on Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:27 pm

No to the no compete also! It may start slow, but I agree with Belle she probably sees you as competition already. If she needs help, offer to sub contract for the 10 (That's really too low), or what you feel comfortable with. Depending on the ppf charge the ten she pays you would cover 1 or 2 faces and the rest she profits. The only good thing is her paying insurance and booth fees, but a no compete should be out of the question
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Re: Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

Post by Kate318 on Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:11 pm

Thanks everyone. You have all been so supportive and helpful. I'm definately going to just try this thing on my own. You have all given me the confidance to do that. I do have the materials and some connections so now I just need the insurance - web page and action to go out into the public and make it all happen. I could never see myself having to tell the Special Olympics I can't help them with something. I guess it should have been a no-brainer but just need support from other to be sure what to do. Thank you all, thank you, thank you!
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Re: Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

Post by Metina on Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:43 pm

Good for you. And if you want the experience you might as well just volunteer for jobs on your own terms rather than $10 an hour. At least you can hand out your own business cards and not feel like you have a boss.

Though, I wouldn't burn a bridge. Thank her for her consideration and let her know that the terms she is offering is certainly good business sense on her end, won't do a lot for you in the long run. "But, if you need someone to help on jobs I will gladly work for $XX per hour."

You can't blame her for trying to get a worker for peanuts!

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Re: Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

Post by tanyamaldo119 on Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:03 pm

I wouldn't do it. She would pay you crap no matter how good you got and then when you finally get fed up and tried to make it on your own then she will hold that darn contract over your head. I think you are better of making a website and seeing what you can do on your own. It may not be much at first but at least you have the freedom to do what you want. If I get people calling me for bookings when I already have booking then I can refer them to you, although that may not happen too soon because I am still trying to get bookings. Little by little.
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Re: Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

Post by tanyamaldo119 on Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:22 pm

P.S. You can get insurance for $20 a month from State Farm. They treat it as a cosmetology business. Talk to them and they can work with you.
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Re: Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

Post by Kate318 on Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:30 pm

Metina and everyone- Thanks again.

This forum is great!!!! I had an event on Saturday at a craft fair and it was great! I made about $80 for 4 hours and it was pretty dead. I have an event coming up Saturday for Special Olympics with Darrel Dawkins of the 76ers! His daughter is on our team! yeah! Can't wait. I've been practicing some new designs and I'm really impressing my self with what I can do. I was having a lot of trouble with tear drops but it looks like I'm really getting a handle on them now.

And... Tanya I can't wait to meeting up Thursday. I just read your posts here! Thanks for all the info. This forum is really great and I'm so glad to have people close by!
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Re: Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

Post by Faces4you on Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:13 pm

I saw your message on the board...I know of a girl in your area whom I think has the excact same story...She did not sign a non-compete contract and said the same thing to her..paid her 10.00 an hour and sent her almost two hrs away form her house...then only paid her the milieage from the owners house to the event which was less than half the distance away from Sam's house. Sam also was fustrated since she was a beginner at the time..lots of great one stroke experience..actually a great artist in general. When asked about using one stroke cakes she was told thats not how we do it...I know she got this company into a month long event and was asked to leave the venue during the middle of the day to drive 45 minutes away to do a birthday party that was over booked..she declined of course...said she was under the impression they were contracted with the event for 5 weekends. They told Sam that they had booked this party before Sam even got them in to this event...so I looked at it like...OK SO you over booked yourself????? Now you want Sam to bail you out. I was surprised when Sam called and told me this..I was more angry than she was....well the good side of this story ....the owner of the event loved her and asked if she would come back next year..and do the event plus events in Dec and March. She is on her way to a lovely business and everyone loves her....the owner "had the personality of an empty box" and I am glad Sam went out on her own. She has almost half her year booked...I am soo jealous...I do some clowning around but not at all artistic...you guys here are all very awesome.

Like eeveryone says...when you teach someone they are bound to strike out on their own.

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Re: Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

Post by Psalmbook on Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:49 pm

I'd never sign a non-compete agreement. If she likes what you can do ask her if she'd like to partner on the events where she needs extra help, but you'd still be separate companies. On her events you'd not promote yourself & you'd only hand out her material. Also, let her know your rates($10/hr is ridiculous & wouldn't cover the cost of gas). There's ways on PPF events to work out a split that works (70/30... 50/50... depending on how much each person puts into the prep for it. My daughter & I split 80/20 since I do all the work & she just has to show up & paint). For jobs, it should be your regular rate. I just painted w/ another face painter & charged the client her rate & my rate for both of us. I made no money off of having her w/ me, but having a 2nd face painter got me the job & made the client happy, so it was a win for me & helped a friend get a gig.
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Re: Should I work for company with non-compete contract or give it a try on my own ?

Post by Sweet Loretta on Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:57 pm

I have a staff of five artists currently all staff. No outside artists on a non compete clause. However, I have had such artists and think folks here are overlooking many perks working for someone else brings. Many face painters talk like they are just making free money, as if all jobs are paid in cash and some do not really take into account the many overhead expenses. Some of these are clear to see other costs are not.

Most small businesses - if indeed one runs their face painting as a business should be looking at about 30% overhead costs. Less as you get more established and more profitable. But the smaller one stays the larger the overhead percentage can be.

If you are working for a established business it may be a big plus to ride with them. Advertising is a huge expense, and working under someones good reputation can be invaluable.

So before one poo-poos $10 an hour ask what else are you getting from from them? Personally, this is a great way for a new artist to get established and learn when you do not want to bear the full expense of a bona fide legal business.

Advertising, phonebook ads, flyers, web sites, market web sites, time to post, business cards, follow-up post cards, feeler/reminder postcards, memberships, training, supplies, insurance, phone lines, booking times, banking, accountants/taxes, equipment, set-ups, supplies.........

There is no clear cut it is good or bad. Each contract someone makes should suit each parties needs and be a win-win. I think you should be asking more questions - which might allow you to see the hidden costs and benefits, And might even allow you to work a deal for more pr hr or have a build in rate increase.

New businesses flush a lot of money down the drain in trial and error, it takes a good while to establish oneself. Some of the top artists in the country work for others, or have or as some of us do work for others from time to time.

And just to clarify - a non compete clause can be something you work under all the time or it could be a one time contract i.e one that says don't contact the client for a year.

If I'd say I'd never sign one - well I'd have missed some great gigs and working for some of the biggest names in the industry. In turn some top artists call me and would never dream of asking me to sign such a contract - but we all have our ways of CYAing.

Is there more than training and $10 pr hr is offered? Just be clear on all the details.
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