When the owner of a (much bigger) independent beauty brand contacted me yesterday via Etsy and asked me to remove the name "French Girl" from my French Girl perfume because she had the name trademarked, (it was apparently filled last summer,) I was a bit shocked, and a lot disappointed, to be honest.
Although I'm not actually sure that I am legally required to remove the name because I released my French Girl fragrance in October 2015 before the name was trademarked, this Okie Girl certainly didn't want to make a faux pas, and I definitely never meant to infringe on or copy anyone else's brand. I happen to have plenty of my own ideas, if the size of my product catalog doesn't already make that clear...
I originally named the scent French Girl because I thought it was a common, cutesy pop-culture trope, like, you know how there are about 50 million articles on the Vogue website about how to be more like a "French Girl?" (Wow, actually 48,143 articles. I mean, give it a rest maybe, AW?) I think of the term "French Girl" as I do the phrases "Basic" "Goddess" and "Nasty Woman." To me, these words are part of our common vernacular, and I didn't even realize it was something that anyone could trademark!
But, nevertheless, I happily agreed to rename my French Girl fragrance for a few reasons:
1. Twinkle Apothecary is not and never will be the kind of brand that takes itself très sérieux.
One of the reasons I started my brand was because I wanted to have fun and make cute stuff that just happened to be made from quality vegan ingredients. No gimmicks, no touting my ingredients as "miracle products," no fluff, just good, honest stuff, that's packaged in a really fun way with an easy-breezy attitude. I think a lot of natural beauty businesses try too hard to create brands that sound ultra exclusive and fancy, which is a turnoff to me as a consumer. There's no need to be all in a huff over a silly name, just as there's no reason why you can't make stylish, high quality products and have a sense of humor about it at the same time, am I right?
2. I think my customers are just here for the effective, approachable products that look great and smell better, regardless of the names on the labels.
I know my Twinkle fam has a LOT of options inthe green beauty marketplace these days, and I certainly don't think that you're buying my fragrances because the name on the bottle is actually going to turn you into a "Goddess" or a "French Girl." If that were the case, I don't think that "Basic" would be my most popular scent! Clearly, you're choosing the scents because you love the way they smell. I have 15 different fragrances, not including my aromatherapy line or The Asterisk Collection, so, while there may be some confusion as I transition everything over to the new branding and continue to let my (former) "French Girls" know that the name of their fave scent has changed, I know it's not going to stop anyone from buying or loving the product.
3. I have no shortage of creative branding ideas in my head, and I actually love the new name for this scent even more than I loved the name "French Girl!"
(Perhaps I should trademark it?! lol)
It took me exactly 24 hours to come up with a brilliant (yes, I do say so myself) new name for this Paris-inspired scent:
It's french for "to sparkle" or, when you're talking about someones eyes, "to twinkle"
Très approprié, non?!
I think it's also très adorable.
So I printed up some new labels, snapped some pics, changed a bit of copy and, voila!
(Luckily it's perfect timing as I am pretty low on all of my current French Girl inventory and about to restock!)
But, fair warning, if anyone tries to trademark a Nasty Woman brand and tell me I can't use it anymore, we gonna have a throwdown... (seriously please don't do that I obviously don't have the money to trademark all of my fragrance names.)