Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jamie Bashtanyk, owner and CEO of Trademark Depot Inc., located in Saint-Lazare, QC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I own a small boutique Trademark Services Agency. We help entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses protect their brands through trademarking. Our clients are those who have created a brand and want to ensure that the rights to that brand are exclusively theirs and that they can go into the market with the confidence required to sell using a protected brand.
Tell us about yourself
I am a Registered Trademark Agent in Canada. I successfully passed the Qualifying Trademark Agent Exam in 2008. I have worked for various law firms in and around Montreal and was in-house for Canada's largest women's retailer brand for seven years.
While working in the corporate world, I realized there was a lack of trademark services for those without large budgets. I wanted to change that. I wanted to ensure that trademarking and protecting a brand didn't have to cost thousands of dollars. Trademark Depot was born because, being a small business myself, I could not afford the high fees of IP attorneys for trademark application prosecution. I knew I could serve the ever-growing entrepreneurial and start-up space.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Honestly, my biggest accomplishment as a business owner is just staying afloat for the past four years. One thing people never talk about is how hard it is to run a successful business. I am proud that I have been able to protect brands like SKINNY POP POPCORN, BAUBAX, HUEL, ANTIDOTPRO, and countless other brands.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The absolute hardest part of being a business owner is all of the different hats you have to wear. I am a trademark expert, and I am confident in my ability, however, I am not an SEO expert, website design expert, social media expert, ads expert, or copy expert. All the roles a business owner has to take on are overwhelming and can weigh quite heavily.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Get help right away. Make a business plan and stick to it.
- Pick a good brand name. Stay away from descriptive terms in your industry.
- Just keep at it. It's hard, but it's worth it.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
As a small business owner, if anyone had told me the amount of work I needed to put in, I am not sure I would have chosen to own my own business. However, after four years, I am constantly pivoting and learning and growing. I get up every morning, look for the good, and always stay humble and grateful.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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