A personal message from Tracey on facing and overcoming founder fears.

A personal message from Tracey on facing and overcoming founder fears.

Hi Hairbrella Family,

This week, I want to share something deeply personal and, frankly, quite challenging. After seven thrilling years of innovation and community-building, one of my biggest fears as a founder has been realized: our patented flagship product, the Classic Rain Hat, has been copied.

For those who are new here, a little backstory—I'm a lawyer turned passionate entrepreneur, deeply inspired by the journey of Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. Like Sara, I was captivated by the idea of transforming a simple yet ingenious idea into a thriving business. My "aha" moment came after my own hair disaster on a rainy day at UGA Law, leading to the birth of Hairbrella. I dove headfirst into the world of product development, dedicating three years and all my savings to create a rain hat that would keep your hair dry and style protected no matter the forecast.

Securing a patent was a monumental part of this journey. I can still vividly recall the day before my provisional patent was set to expire, sitting nervously in an Atlanta restaurant, only to find myself seated next to Sara Blakely herself. 🤯 Her encouragement was a pivotal moment for me. After four years of hard work and investment, including over $75K in product development, attorneys fees and startup costs, our patent was granted, and the Classic Rain Hat became a reality, eventually claiming the #1 spot as the best-selling rain hat on Amazon.

Seeing a near-identical replica on retail shelves and online, marketed against our brand name, was as shocking as it is an all-too-common reality for innovators across industries. While this situation initially felt like a punch in the gut 😭, it also served as a powerful reminder of several important lessons and affirmations that have guided me through this journey. I’d love to share these with you, hoping they might resonate in your own work or personal journey:
 
  • Perspective Over Problems - Big problems only feel insurmountable when we see ourselves as smaller than the challenge. As a founder aiming to build a significant business, I am choosing to embrace these obstacles with gratitude, seeing them as opportunities to grow stronger. The book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker profoundly changed my perspective on mindset and navigating challenges. I highly recommend!
  • Gratitude in Adversity - My legal background has been instrumental throughout this journey. Facing this challenge head-on is an opportunity to strengthen that muscle, preparing me for even bigger achievements. Adversity, when framed as an opportunity, becomes a gift in disguise.
  • Opportunity in Everything - This incident has spurred us to tighten our IP portfolio and adopt a more strategic approach as I finalize two new patents. Seeing the attempts to circumvent our original patent has sharpened our focus and strategy in protecting our innovations.
  • Unwavering Faith - This is a reminder to trust that everything is working for my good, even when it doesn't seem so. The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer has been instrumental in reinforcing my faith in the journey, teaching me to trust fully and with conviction. Who knows? This challenge might just open new doors for us in retail spaces that were previously closed.
As we navigate this infringement matter, I am more resolved than ever to continue innovating and creating products that keep you polished, protected, and prepared, no matter the forecast. We are committed to maintaining the integrity of our designs, and your role as our community—in keeping us informed of any sightings of our patented products in the market—is invaluable.
In response to this challenge, I am excited to take an innovative approach to defeat the infringers, and I can't wait to share this journey with you soon.💪🏽😎
 
Meanwhile, we're making space for some exciting new product SKUs releasing this summer (best summer ever loading 💯), including some exciting V2s and V3s of your summer favorites.
 
Exclusive for You: Our Warehouse Sale starts tomorrow, with discounts up to 50% off! As part of our Founder Friday family, you get first dibs on these amazing deals before they run out.
 
Thank you for being such an integral part of this incredible adventure. Your enthusiasm and feedback fuel our commitment to excellence and originality. Here's to many more years of innovation and community!

 

Rain or shine,
Tracey Pickett Founder, Hairbrella

 

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2 comments

KUDOS to your journey & products! I have bought 2 rainhats, 1 sunhat 🤠, & a shower cap! I keep your scarf 🧣 in my car for unexpected rain!

I have recommended HAIRBRELLA to many a ‘Sister’ who wanted to support & encourage Black-owned Women’s businesses!

It seems our people’s history of stolen & nearly-stolen inventions & patents persists!

Keep “keepin’ on” all legal patent protections and laws! I will pray 🙏🏾 for your Victory!

Michelle Monroe

This was WELL WRITTEN & SPOKEN! I send an ABUNDANCE of STEEL 🥷 AROUND YOU AS WE, (YES WE)😊 PREPARE FOR WAR!!!
💪🏽🤜🏽🤛🏽✊🏽👊🏽

I STAND & SUPPORT YOU 💯

Shajuan Woo Gray

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