THIS GIRL'S TEES has taken off rapidly; a good thing, however, I'm scrambling to catch up on the business-end of things. For example: In addition to selling through the TGT etsy shop, I've been invited to sell TGT t-shirts in a major online retail marketplace (super awesome!) But with that added exposure, I'll want to protect my ideas and my brand with those good ol' copyright and trademark things. My work is actually protected without both, from the moment I put it on paper, but filing for the additional protection makes a stronger, more expedient ruling in my favor if I find someone likes my ideas so much they decide to call them their own. In addition, THIS GIRL'S TEES needs to be its own business entity, at the bank, on contracts, with the IRS, and in court - so that means becoming an LLC or limited liability company. All of the above involves a lawyer, and thus, all of it usually requires a sizable monetary investment. (Ahem.) Sizable monetary investments are not something artists and designers typically have in their back pockets. Therein lies my cumbersome conundrum.
Thankfully, I was referred to the Cleveland Bar Association's Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Program. What's this, you say? Well, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, found in many major cities across the U.S., provides a broad range of free and low-cost legal services and educational programs addressing the needs of artists and arts organizations. So I applied, and found out recently that I've been accepted as a candidate for services. I have my first meeting this Thursday, and this, this is a very good thing. All those years, donating artwork and design services to various non-profits - it's nice to have it reciprocated. Really.
All this to say, things are happening rapidly and at the same time, progressing really slowly. Sales are steady, but much of TGT business development is waiting until I have somewhat of a foundation underneath upon which it can grow. In a year, I'll likely look back in a year and these weeks will be merely seconds. A bit like parenting. With both, it's nice to have a little help.