The ugly truth behind branding your business.
Social media is an amazing tool. If you have all of your chess pieces in place, Instagram can skyrocket you to a place where your business can flourish and thrive.
The sad reality though, is the more attainable the Internet is and the more opportunity it offers you to make a name for yourself, the faster others with the same agenda will try to hinder your growth.
We have been proudly using our name WHEELHOUSE in all of our branding- it's stands for creativity and self empowerment. To us this name means elevating our industry and supporting our fellow tradesman. By urban definition, our name means "with-in a point of expertise" Not to mention it is a play on my husband and I's last name.
It's public Record that we have received a cease and desist letter regarding our name by a fellow salon holding the same name. Many salons across the nation bear the same name as each other and coexist without confusing their perspective clients. Both of our businesses had the right to use our name within our region because no national trademark was in place. About a year after we started using our name, the other salon filed for the trademark, and the sad reality is, that once there is a trademark in place -That trademark holder can enforce this on whomever they choose. Thus stripping the other party the right to use the name or anything similar to it.
We beat ourselves up asking ourselves "we should have protected ourselves early on, why didn't we trademark our name?! "
Again the reality is that even if we had trademarked our beloved name, because of seniority and prior use, other businesses can fight that trademark and debunk us and strip us of our name. The biggest slap in the face remains that, for most average businesses, this issue rarely surfaces. Especially between two businesses thousands of miles apart. As is the case with our current situation . One might say, "it's JUST business.." My lesson learned is that its a cut throat , competitive business arena beyond the silk curtain of social media.
It is an amazing time to be in our industry as there are limitless opportunities within anyone's reach. The alarming truth of the matter is that if you indeed try to move above the status quo that people will try to limit your success if you happen to step on there toes with a technicality such as similar business names. even though your business may have little for absolutely nothing to do with theirs. And talking to a very successful mentor of mine it was very revealing that anybody trying to make a difference goes through this very same thing. And that it should be be viewed as a batch showing that we are making a difference and we are hard work is not going on notice.
To all those that young businesses out there, continue to challenge yourself beyond expectation! Continue to flourish, grow and share! And also be original and authentic. Last but not least protect yourself and know your rights. Something as simple as. A name can empower you to make a difference. And can also in danger you if you don't have the right of being the very first one to use that particular name.
Where are we at now?
We have invested so much time and energy into building our name . And we are passionate about supporting our fellow stylist and salon owners! It leaves us heartbroken that we can't coexist peacefully with other businesses by that name.
Imagine having a baby that grows to one year of age and suddenly you are forced to read name your child. This is similar to the feeling that we have on this matter.
Why do we feel the need to share?
We share this because we have to. We share this because ultimately all of you guys will be the ones that are confused about why we're going the direction that we are going and know that it is not our choice but legally we have to.
We feel the need to share because we want to see you flourish all you go-getters out there that are building your own empire! We want you to learn through our experiences so that you don't have to learn things like these the hard way. We're sharing because it's a valuable knowledge to know and we want you to feel supported by our journey and to learn alongside of us.
We know we have our reputation and whatever new name that we choose we will protect. So at the moment we are taking Time to shift our branding ID.
Everything that we do is with creative intent and positivity . Together we can take this limit and make a pitcher of ice cold organic lemonade!
We thank you all and love to have you be a part of this journey as you have always been a part of our journey to this point.