I hope you have a minute to sit and read this condensed version of my story about what happened during a fairly silent time in the life Salt + Paperie—my maternity leave last June + July.
It all started around February of last year, which is one of the busiest, and most productive times for us. I was rapidly planning for baby Gemma’s arrival, and felt like we were in a position where if someone took our name, we would be at a complete loss! So, following suit of my friend Ashley from White Rabbit Studios, I set out with a lawyer in-tow to begin down the national trademarking path. If you’ve ever done this then you know, it takes for. ev. er. Seriously, months would go by and then I would think… “Oh! Maybe I should check in…” Nothing much changed.
May came and went, and my little Gem became the focus of my summer. Taking the 8 weeks like a “normal” person to learn how to be a mom was a great choice for me, but let’s be real… I was still working some! Around July of last year, I finally got a call from the lawyer, and here’s where the story starts to take a really icky turn.
Before the trademark becomes “official”, it gets published in this magazine for 30 days for businesses/people/lawyers to read and dispute if they so wish. On the very last day they were able, a big branding company called “Salt” disputed my trademark. The big company had already trademarked the word “salt” and said it was confusing for their clients. After some very expensive phone calls and paperwork between the lawyers, they settled on “Salt” allowing me to continue to use my name, but only for use of “paper goods” only. They demanded I take down any reference or advertising of any branding from my site, or they would take me to court.
If you’re anything like me, you’re thinking, “Well “Salt” isn’t the same as “Salt + Paperie.” Yea, I know. And so did the lawyer. He actually said we had a pretty good case to win, but that they were so huge, they would just bury us in paperwork. Considering I was hardly even booking new clients because of baby, this was already a very tight monetary time for us already… there was no way we could have survived that fight.
So, they won. I did get to register my trademark for the State of Alabama, but it’s a bit lackluster after all that! However, the branding work continued… I just had to beg my new clients to not tag my business in any way for fear of being sued. I just sent in my final payment to the lawyers last week, and now…
I am finally ready to announce the new name for the branding side of my work!
It’s been truly fun and an honor going back and gathering work from years past, for businesses and friends! I love this side of my creative work, and am excited to finally be able to talk about it again without any fear. I’d be honored if you check out our website, and let me know what you think! If you’re a past branding client, I’d love to have reviews about our work and process, since having a new name is almost like starting over.
One other thing, Salt + Paperie isn’t going anywhere! This is simply a new passageway for me to be able to showcase and advertise the work I was already doing alongside the work I’m doing for Salt + Paperie.
Thank you, a million trillion for your continued support + love of this small business. Without you, we are literally nothing.