“Knock off the middle man”    “Buy my work directly”     “I can’t have platforms taking a percentage off my hard work”    “It sounds too good to be true”

There are no direct responses to these concerns, as they are frustratingly expressed by freelancers that feel robbed off their creativity, and that have been taken advantage of multiple times by systems and platforms preaching the same message as we are- connecting them to clients. Because, quite technically, we also are middlemen.  

However, we are more than just middlemen or a platform for clients to meet and hire fashion and lifestyle freelancers, we are a community!  Founded by a fashion freelancer, built by freelancers, for fashion and lifestyle freelancers. We understand and can personally relate to these concerns, because we too have been handed these cards by other freelancing platforms. Ones that make you loathe the experience of paying some unknown person a sizable percentage of payment for your hard-work, the creative value, sweat, time and passion, you put into creating-a photograph, an artwork, a center piece, a design, a custom piece or in providing a service. We get it. Which is why we are doing it differently. 

We understood early on what our value preposition and revenue options were in order to maintain the community, and cancelled out commission and transaction fees from this pool because not only did we want to do this differently, our core values weren’t in any way reflective of this option. Accessibility, choice, transparency, and liberation needed to reflect in every component of the community. Because as freelancers ourselves, we craved for empowerment and seek to empower  with AKO. We crave for control over the terms that decide our creative efforts and abilities, because it goes beyond just being paid to provide a service.

What we are doing differently?

Making you the decider of your own terms of providing a service- as a stylist, a designer, a tailor, a photographer, an artist, an interior designer, a jewelry maker, a pattern maker, a furniture designer  or as a creative professional. You are in control of everything that relates to your craft! Your discoverability, your identity, your schedule. your requests, your payments!

You choose if you want to be discovered or not. 

You choose your identity as a creative. 

You set your availability.

You choose your clients. 

Your control your payments, as there are no payments on the platform. 

AKO isn’t  subjecting you to terms that constrict you as a professional on our platform. We are letting you decide and choose what works best for you, whilst we work as the bridge letting you connecting with clients, start a career, expand your client base, promote your accessibility, do more.

Join the community.

P.S.

“Knock off the middle man” – This would mean knocking us off, as well as all other platforms that keep us connected. Lets knock off a few middlemen.

“Buy my work directly”  – What if clients can’t find you directly, where else would they find you?

“I can’t have platforms taking a percentage off my hard work” – We 100% agree!

“It sounds too good to be true” – Yes, indeed. But it is, AKO is making the difference.

The Earth is indeed affected by our passion for looking and feeling good, and while there are campaigns around the world advocating for more sustainable fashion and lifestyle products and services, there are few actionable mediums and/or platforms enforcing sustainability. 

Across major spectrums of production and supply of services and products, from fashion design to interior design, the supply side of fashion and lifestyle industries typically adhere to archaic regulations and compliance that date back to the industrial revolution era, and initiatives towards sustainable fashion  have been restricted to usage and disposal of products, by-products,  and services of the fashion and lifestyle industries. Even though we comply with some ideally acceptable sustainable practices, little control exists over the next phase of the utility usage, which extends the issue beyond being able to afford custom made or made to order items, or being able to hire fashion and lifestyle freelancers to make or supply custom products or services.  

AKO’s goal is to serve as an actionable medium of sustainable fashion. Our approach to sustainability extends beyond the norm of buying ready-made fashion or lifestyle items from popular brands. We are pushing back against mass production practices that focus on cost and analysis methodologies, and that are based on standards and practices that are environmentally unsafe and unsustainable. 

As a fashion and lifestyle community, we have a personal stake in preserving the resources and output of these industries alike. AKO is re-structuring current consumption trends reliant on mass production and fast fashion, and as as a broader mission we seeking to create sustainable processes and enforceable compliance, as a crucial step in preserving the environment.

Yes, as a client, you have an unrestrained choice to hire fashion and lifestyle freelancers, custom jewelry designers, tailors,  fine artists, furniture designers and more. And as freelancers, you have the moral choice of choosing the best applicable standards or social conditions to your creative processes. But (you should) also hold more responsibility to do more than just consume or create. Recycle, repair and reuse, share used products by donating to goodwill, sell to vintage and thrift stores. These actions in addition to other ethical practices lend to the greater mission of leaving earth better than we found it. 

 

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