I am a big believer in supporting small local business. There is a wonderful local tack shop here in Maine called Blue Ribbon Consignment and Tack. This store was owned for many years by one person, who then sold it to a woman named Christine. I met Christine a few years ago when I started shopping at Blue Ribbon. Not only did I love browsing the new products and huge number of consignment items, but I developed a friendship with Christine. She has a generous heart, an infectious laugh, and is one of the kindest people I have met. Christine is also a single mother of two very polite teenagers. She works hard and does her very best to raise her kids the right way and run her business professionally. I admire her strength and tenacity.
Well, that would be a nice story, now wouldn't it? But wait until you hear what is happening....
There is a company called Blue Ribbon Custom Tack out of Arizona. They have trademarked the name Blue Ribbon Tack as a website domain and today filed a lawsuit against Christine. The infuriating part is that her website domain is Blue Ribbon CONSIGNMENT. It is not even CLOSE to the same. Google "blue ribbon" and you will find the Blue Ribbon Coalition, Maine's Blue Ribbon Fair (which is the Fryeburg Fair here in Maine), Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, Blue Ribbon BBQ, Blue Ribbon Campaign...I could go on and on. You cannot trademark the name "Blue Ribbon" (look it up on the government trademark site.)
The horse community in Maine is small. We stick together and support each other. Within hours, we have written posts on the Blue Ribbon Custom Tack's Facebook page. We have liked each other's posts. We have vowed to boycott this ridiculous company, who apparently is doing so poorly that they feel the need to shut down a small consignment tack shop on the opposite side of the country.
Please consider doing the same. Bullying in any form is wrong. And thankfully social media is a powerful tool. ;-)
We love you Christine! No matter what happens, no matter if you have to change your name, your customers are loyal and will stand with you!!