Flint, MI — A traditional career path in law never suited Kyona McGhee.
She graduated from Cooley Law School in 2018 and passed the Bar that same year. But instead of clerking for a judge or joining a big firm, like most newly minted lawyers, she opened her own practice.
McGhee’s firm, Trademark My Stuff, launched virtually in December 2018. She practices intellectual property law, a sector that deals with the rights of inventors and other creators. After growing her business over the past two years, she is returning home to open her brick and mortar office in downtown Flint.
“When we looked at spaces, I couldn’t foresee myself spending $20,000-$30,000 on a renovation and a buildout in any other city outside of Flint because that’s our home,” she said.
McGhee and her husband grew up in Flint and both their families have lived in the city for generations, so there was no question where Trademark My Stuff would find its headquarters.
McGhee and her team of four serve clients from all over the country and help entrepreneurs through the entire small business journey. “We try to focus on playing offense instead of defense. We want to be able to help people protect their small business…and then also protect it once they have developed brand,” McGhee said.
Filing an LLC is not enough to prevent others from copying an idea, she said. “More importantly and more significant than that is filing a federal trademark to make sure they own the brand that they’re building.”
Toni Wilson, a Flint-based entrepreneur and co-founder of I am My Billboard, a fitness and lifestyle brand, said she reached out to McGhee after she saw an Instagram post on the importance of trademarking. “It’s a little bit of a waiting process but it was easy and the peace of mind that it gives is second to none,” she said.
Like Wilson, Flint entrepreneurs are becoming more curious about protecting their creativity and running their own businesses, McGhee said. “I think [Flint] has always had a beautiful buzz of entrepreneurs but, thanks to COVID-19 and the recent turn of events with politics and health, a lot of people have been forced into entrepreneurship. They’ve formed a level of creativity they didn’t even know they had.”
McGhee and her team are thrilled to help Flint “bet on themselves.” She plans to hire more staff in hopes that she can expand education initiatives about intellectual property and trademarking brands.
For more information visit her website. Trademark my stuff is located at at 653 Saginaw Street Unit 100 Flint, MI 48502.