Tuesday, May 8, 2012

thinking out loud


I got a message today, one of those strongly worded messages with the words "attorney" that make your heart beat fast and your stomach flip-flop. I was just sitting at the table with my sweet baby, drinking my coffee, checking my emails (and Instagram) on my phone and BAM! out of the blue, on top of everything else right now, I get this. My Facebook page's name is too close to hers, I'm interfering with her search results on Google, she's worked too hard for the last five years to have someone new come and interfere with her search rankings. Never mind that we offer completely different services at totally opposite ends of the country and that there is no possible way I can steal clients from her. Never mind that there are a bazillion photographers with the word Violet in their names.

I dropped "design" from the subtitle of my Facebook page and blog (and will change my header accordingly) I haven't been doing any designing lately anyway, not the way I'd hoped I would at the beginning of the year.  I'm tempted to just go back to my old Simplicity blog with my 400 FB followers and 800 GFC fans - I'm not gonna lie to you, it feels nice to have a lot of followers and it's humbling to start back at square one with no time and less money. Or maybe I should move on to something else? I don't like the idea of changing names again and I really don't like the idea of migrating my business to my name but it seems like an inevitability.

I'm standing on the line between sad and mad. Sad because I have worked hard at blogging, photography and offering classes and it's tough balancing home and "work" and tough that work is just "work" at the moment and not the thing it was before I got pregnant. Mad because I feel like this other photographer is being petty and that a better way to resolve the conflict of someone having a similar name as yours is to just be better than they are and blow them out of the water with your awesomeness. Not send threatening messages to try to make them compete less for clients that aren't even in the same market.  That is what I'm doing with the photographer who set up her website at pretty much the same time I did and has exactly the same name as I do but she has a different market, so I'm cool with it.

So this is just me... thinking out loud.

Good grief, I'm turning into my mother.

(Love you mom)


  1. I am not a lawyer, but my understanding of the law is that if you are in a completely different geographical market, and not directly competing with the similarly-named business, they do not have a leg to stand on with regards to any legal action. They would also have had to register the name with the government prior to you beginning to use it (I understand that the process is not cheap) AND demonstrate that you have negatively impacted their profits as a result of your actions. Highly unlikely given that you are in a different area AND your business is targeting a different market.

    Sigh. I am sorry this attempt at bullying you is putting a damper on your morning. If I were you, I'd just try to ignore her. She has no legal grounds to come after you, and unless she's rolling in extra money the cost of actually taking legal action would be more than it's worth, assuming there's a lawyer out there willing to take the non-case.

    This is a reflection on her professionalism (or rather, a complete lack of professionalism), not on you. Hold your head high and keep doing what you do, to the best of our ability.

  2. Oh what a mess!! I'm so sorry -- I know you had researched and done so much work picking out your *new* name for your photography business, so I can easily see how frustrated you must be right now!

    Deep breaths ... do what YOU want to do and don't let someone else's pettiness dictate what YOU want to do. She can't force you to change it, it's not the *same*, and if she went after every peson with "violet" and "design" on the planet she'd be up to her eye balls in complaints. She needs to get over it and move on. That's business.

  3. Back when I was Our Typical Life, I discovered a blog with the same name and similar blog design as me. Her daughter was even named Avery, like mine. I was and still am creeped out, although it may have been a coincidence? I was going to change my URL and blog anyway, but this have me a good reason to get on it quicker. I dont have a business, so I don't know all of that, but I'm pretty sure she cant do anything unless her name is trademarked first or something like that. I know how hard you worked to get to your final name, so it would be awful if you had to change it.

    I'm not sure if this helps at all, and sorry for the typos, I'm on my phone at Lauren's therapy.

  4. I am really sorry you have to deal with all of that! I know how big of a pain is to come up with a creative name for your bussines and later if you have to change it it's almost impossible or heartbreaking.
    Don't get discouraged, though. Maybe there is a solution to your problem. Just hang in there!

  5. I think Kat is right. She is just throwing those words around to try to scare you. Do you know how many photographers have the same studio names across the country? She is ridiculous. I will be praying for you for peace about this.

  6. Faith,

    Be yourself...I loved the "Simplicity" blog as well as "Sweet Violet". Names are unimportant. How about "Simply Faith". Like Kim said praying for peace hope it all works out.


  7. I love you dearly, little one (all grown up)and what ever you learned from me that is WORTH "becoming" ... go ahead and do it!

  8. Are you kidding me?! What is wrong with people??? Keep your head up. You are fantastic and everything will work out.


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