For stiletto loving Missy's, comfy couture never looked so good!

The first step in starting a business is to create an idea. I remember like it was yesterday when a light bulb hit me with the idea of Relax Missy. Women would get it and they would fall in love with such an ingenious design. But how do I go from a pretty picture in my head to holding the product in my hands?

Manufacturing a product is not easy. It takes a lot of research and planning, and I knew nothing of this. My family was not in the manufacturing world and therefore I didn’t have any hookups. I was completely on my own. Actually, there were tons of things I needed to do before even getting into the manufacturing phase. I hadn’t even begun and I was already frustrated!

Borders is one of my favorite bookstores and since it was a 2 min drive from Stony Brook Campus, I took a drive to see if there were any books on business or manufacturing. Again, I was coming up short, until I walked one aisle and saw a lady on the cover smiling at me in colorful clothing. Her smile and her bright colored clothing, including white, green and pink, caught my eye. I picked up the book and read the title: Mommy Millionaire, How I turned my Kitchen Table Idea into A Million Dollars and How You Can, Too! Hmm, the title was catchy, so, I sat down and started reading. Instantly I was drawn in because I realized this book was not just a motivational book but it was a real HOW TO book, with step-by-step details. I bought it and sped home to dissect every word. If there is a book out there for entrepreneurs, it’s this one. Go out and buy it!

I finished Mommy Millionaire in about a week and used it as my guide. I discovered the USPTO website which became my new best friend as I was researching patents and trademarks. Everyone has a different opinion on patents, mine is – don’t waste your time on it. Unless you are TRULY inventing something, and not re-inventing, then get a patent. As you get into the market, expect to see competition, it’s just a given. If you want to write a provisional patent, which is a shorter version of a patent that you can do yourself, then do it, but don’t wait years for it to be approved before you develop and market your business.

Now, Trademark, is a MUST!! This protects your product name and it makes sure that you are the only XYZ brand name with a lip gloss in the market. You can’t have two XYZ companies because it will get confusing for the consumer. This is no good. All you have to do is hit the Trademark tab on the USPTO website and type in your potential product name. If you see it’s taken, move on and pick a different name. I went through about ten names before I chose Relax Missy. When thinking of a product name, you have to think about branding and your customer, this of course, is another topic itself.

Once you finally decide on a brand name, you should register it ASAP before someone else does. You don’t need a high priced attorney for this. I successfully registered my own Trademark with the help of a NOLO book. NOLO.com is a great free legal website with templates and advice and inexpensive books you can buy to help you out.

I tend to ramble because I have so much to say and teach!! Tune in next time for Branding 101 – the do’s and don’ts.

Unleash your inner millionaress!!
Sotiria

2 Responses to “I Got an Idea. Great! Now What?!?”

  1. Kim Lavine says:

    Thanks Sotiria! Nothing makes me happier than knowing that I helped inspire someone to follow their dream of turning an idea into a business reality. Now go ROCK THE WORLD. Tell ‘em I sent you.

    Kim Lavine

  2. RelaxM says:

    Thank you so much!! I plan on rocking and coming back and telling you more! Your book has been, and still is fabulous.

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