Feb 15, 2021

Stamping Destroyed My Life: I Had A Goal

Stamping Destroyed My Life starts here. Follow the links and read along!  
9 Months Later

To: M and Beth
From: Andrew Farther, Esq.
Re: Agreement Between Beautiful Stamps and Brave Arts
Attached is the draft contract between Beautiful Stamps (BS) and Brave Arts (BA). The following summarizes the key provisions. If you are going to sign, which I strongly recommend, I most strongly recommend signing immediately, given the patent pending situation. As always, happy to discuss.
1. BS sells all equipment, including The Stamp Maker and supplies, inventory of stamps, and mailing list, including emails, to BA for $150,000, payable immediately. BA will arrange at its expense for the packing and transport of all products.
2. BS sells "patent pending" and an option to BA to acquire its patent to design and manufacturer "clear stamps" for $25,000, payable immediately. If the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) approves BS's application for a patent, BA agrees to buy the patent for $200,000. If the PTO denies the patent, no further payments will be made.
3. BA agrees to employee Beth to design stamps and other products -- terms included in a separate contract between Beth and BA. 
FYI - Worked with accountant. After paying all debts, including M's personal debt towards the cost of the Stamp Maker, and all associated legal and accounting fees, Beth's after contract payout (if patent approved): $150K. M's after contract payout (if patent approved): $130K. If patent denied, Beth to get $25K and job; M to get $15K.
Text from ME to Andrew:
No deal. Must discuss. Call me.
We discussed.
All this mumbo jumbo, but the bottom line is that if the patent was approved, I'd walk away with $130K. If it wasn't approved, I'd get $15K. Crazy. I wasn't selling out for that. John thought I was nuts. Andy thought I was nuts. Even Beth thought I was nuts, but I had a goal and I knew that even $130K wasn't enough to make me happy. I'd been a demo, and a good one. I'd owned a stamp company, and we succeeded beyond our wildest dreams, but I hadn't achieved my real goal:
Brave Arts refused to put me on its design team because "you have no record of actually making any cards." Crazy!! After lots of back and forth, they finally agreed to give me all of their products -- every single product sold by the company -- for free for 2 years! That was worth WAY more than $130K. And I figured once I started Design Team Member work, I'd write it all off our taxes. 
We signed. Beth and I and the husbands went out to dinner and celebrated. It was great not to have anymore deadlines -- owning a company with a monthly release was crazy hard. What we we thinking?? 
And then we learned that the patent was denied. 

Apparently, other businesses had been making photopolymer stamps for non crafty reasons so our "patent pending" went to "patent denied." It was open season and dozens of companies began producing clear stamps. It's a good thing we sold when we did!
When it was all over, we had no debt, Beth had some cash and a career with Brave Arts designing stamps. I had no debt and a guarantee of free product for 2 whole years. 
I couldn't believe how lucky I was. I couldn't wait to start making cards and getting on Design Teams. I knew getting on a Design Team would be hard, but I had NO idea what I was about to get into...........