Back in April, I decided it was important to name my business, nail down my domain, create a logo, and get a Trademark. My first thought was to apply for a patent for my specific base design idea, but I quickly learned that it is super rare and nearly impossible, not to mention extremely expensive, to get a fashion item patented. Never mind. Trademark it is! My sister and I sat in My Pie (yum!) and laughed our heads off trying to come up with a name that’s catchy, descriptive, and has an available domain name. It’s tricky. I finally landed on Shelfie Shoppe for the business (because Shop was taken, not because I think I’m fancy) and Shelfies for the product name.
I went through many different logo ideas and had tons of fun doodling. Here are a few of my spitball results.
I landed on this one
and downloaded a free trail of Adobe Illustrator (not easy to use!) to create an official rendering to send off for trademark.
I hired a gal on Fiverr to clean it up and to create a web banner and initial-only version. She was awesome, and that is a super affordable route.
This is a long process. You might want to skip this paragraph unless you are planning to apply for your very own trademark. It’s very governmental. Once I had my logo, I headed to the United States Patent and Trademark Office website. It is actually a really well done site with lots of video tutorials that walk you through the process. I guess most hire an attorney to file for their trademark, but you can certainly do it yourself. If I can, so can you. The process starts with a search of the existing trademarks to ensure you aren’t stepping on any toes. For that, you use the Trademark Electronic Search System. Once you complete your search, the online application process is next. I slogged through the best I could, paid the $225 application fee, and received my first email confirmation of my application April 14, about a week after I applied. The application is then assigned to an examiner who takes a closer look to make sure no similar trademarks exist. It was crickets until August 29th when I received my Notice of Publication. The mark gets published in the Trademark Official Gazette which starts a 30 day period during which anyone who takes issue can file a notice of opposition. It’s a speak-now-or-forever-hold-your-peace opportunity for other businesses. I cleared the 30 days and received my Notice of Allowance on October 24th. Yay! I have 6 months from that date to show use of the mark in commerce by filing a Statement of Use, and then the process will be complete.
So, I have been awarded a trademark. Sort of. Cue the trumpets! I’m so proud. I have until April 24th to use it in commerce unless I want to pay $500 for an extension. This means that my online store, Shelfie Shoppe, must be up and running by then. So, it will be. Mark my words. Haha! No pun intended, but I like it!
The Business Cards
Ok. I didn’t think business cards were still a thing. Well, I was wrong. I got asked for my card at least twenty eleven times at the DG Expo (more about that experience here). Knock me over with a feather! And I collected a lot of them, too. My favorite was from Tahra who makes after sports dresses. Check out her cool dresses at TMak Sportswear. Her cards were simple but eye catching, and she used Moo. So, I headed to Moo square business cards and ended up with these.
I can’t stop looking at them! I have been handing them out every chance I get.
Have you gone through the trademark process? Are you thinking of setting out on the journey? I’d love to hear all about it! Comment below.