The Person Behind Talk Herbie To Me

Thursday, November 13, 2014


For those of you that don't know, my name is Taylor and I'm the person behind the Talk Herbie To Me brand.

I'm a proud graduate from the University of Nebraska where I studied English and Creative Writing. Even though a few people suggested I choose a more "practical" major, I'll never regret the path I chose. I had some of the best writing professors at UNL who encouraged me to go for what I really want in life and never settle for anything less.

When I graduated I immediately took what most might call a "real job." It was in sales and I had a salary and full benefits, and all of that cushy stuff you're supposed to have as an adult. It was okay. But I wasn't happy and I could still hear the nagging voices of my English professors telling me there's something better out there.

So one day I quit my job and decided to pursue a career in comedy. I don't have a "real job" now, instead I work about six small jobs to make ends meet. And I work harder now with those small jobs than I ever did with that one real job. I'm working hard so I can afford to take writing classes and improv classes and do stand-up whenever I can. It's a grind, but I've chosen to do this. I take full responsibility for where I am in life at the moment.

In the summer of 2014 I created the brand and established my trademark for  Talk Herbie To Me because I've always loved coming up with new designs and phrases for t-shirts. I'm also a huge Husker fan and think it's pretty cool to see my fellow Husker people in something I've created. I take great pride in this brand and have put more hours into it than most people know.

That's why it was such a hard blow to take when I learned this month that a very large t-shirt company had recently started selling shirts with the phrase that I originated, Talk Herbie To Me. They're not located in Nebraska, they just happen to be a huge supplier in our state.  There's been a few smaller Nebraska stores who have attempted to sell Talk Herbie To Me items on their own, but every single one of them has immediately stopped once I called and explained the background behind Talk Herbie To Me. That's just one of the many reasons I love working with fellow Nebraskans, the majority are just kind understanding people.

Sadly the large t-shirt company I'm referring to is a different story. The contact I've reached out to has not even given me the courtesy to return a phone call. I have called numerous times to discuss this, but each time I feel like I'm treated more and more like a joke. And to their large company I probably am, but this isn't a joke to me. It's my livelihood. It's my brand and I want to protect it.

But I'm familiar with the avoidance tactic because I too used to be a cowardly child. You know, when I was a child. Not an adult running a business.

I'm not writing this today for sympathy. I just want my voice to be heard, because sadly in today's world David rarely beats Goliath. The big guy pretty much always crushes the little guy, which is why there are so few of us left. If you've ever started a small business or created something you really believed in, I applaud you. It's not an easy feat and know that even if it wasn't as successful as you might have hoped it would be, at least you gave it a try. That in itself is a success if you ask me.

So thank you. Thank you to everyone who has continued to support me in my Talk Herbie To Me endeavor, I truly appreciate every single order. And thank you for taking the time to read this and even sharing it if you feel so inclined.

The Man might usually win, but it's the little guy who always has the supporters.


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40 comments:

  1. You own the trademark though, right? I'm not a lawyer, but I'd send them a cease and desist - those are taken a lot more seriously than phone calls.

    I am really sorry, but you should lawyer up if they're infringing on your intellectual property. You can sue for insane damages, and also attorney's fees. This would likely be taken on a contingency basis, so don't back down.

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    Replies
    1. Totally agree with this Taylor. You did mention a trademark right?

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    2. I do have a trademark, it's just not always as easy as it seems :(

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    3. You need to send a Cease & Desist letter for reals, if you have any lawyer friends that can help, great! If not, you can find fairly generic ones online that you can "taylor" to your needs, hehe.

      Just threaten that you will take legal action if necessary - that usually does the trick!

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  2. WOW! This is why trademarking is very important, but us little guys don't always have that money laying around to get it done.

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  3. Ugh. So sorry to read this. Keep fighting the good fight!

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  4. I'm so sorry to hear this. Good luck!

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  5. Awww- how infuriating! I hope you get it all sorted out and you're compensated for what's rightfully yours!!

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  6. Ugh! That sucks. Maybe someone knows a lawyer or a lawyer will reach out to help you. It's just not fair.

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  7. Tay Tay! I agree on sending a cease and desist letter if you have a trademark. We had a travel agent swindle us out of $650. We tried for eight months to reach him, to send him messages, with no response. FINALLY we sent him a letter stating we were taking him to small claims court, and whaddya know, he called 48 hours later saying the check was on the way and "I'm so sorry I've been so busy, etc, etc, etc." Some people will get away with exactly how much they can. Lawyer up!

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  8. Also why are you protecting the name of the large t shirt company? Tell us who it is already so we can all send them hate mail! You know we got your back!

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  9. I live in Omaha and will be sure to pass this on to all the Husker fans who love this shirt!

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  10. I have to say, girl, this is super-wack. You are probably making a killing on this - and of course the Man has to take your idea. I'm sorry - I hope it gets worked out soon.

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  11. My law professor thinks I should become a lawyer, so I'd be more than happy to go all out on this and figure something out for you. But then again, you need (and deserve) a real lawyer who can bring down Goliath once and for all. This is your trademark, your intellectual property, your brand, and legally they cannot touch that. Fight on, Tay.

    lovelovelove,
    Erica
    cominguprosestheblog.com

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  12. My brother is a trademark attorney in California. I'd be happy to talk to him about what you can do in this situation, if you'd like.

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  14. This is crazy! I recently met a girl who had a Herbie shirt on & when I said I bought it from you, she explained that she found it at a store in Cozad. I guess I didn't think much of it because I didn't know if you were strictly selling it personally or if you had some agreements with stores here in NE. I'm hoping that you can get this figured out & can get those places shut down!

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    Replies
    1. Ugh, sorry for the double commenting.. I need to re-read things that I type before I hit publish sometimes!

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    2. Cozad is actually a store I've sold to, so those are 100% legit :)

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  15. I just saw this ... You have the TM and I know it wont be easy but fight fight fight. That is your brand and baby!

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