It was long before I started this blog that I knew I wanted to learn to build frames someday.
I remember staring at my laptop screen after going down a rabbit hole of bikeforum links and ending up at the page for the Yamaguchi Frame Building School. I knew then that I would take that class someday, and from that day on I started to daydream about what it would be like to build my own frames. I knew nothing about what it entailed, nothing about geometry, very little about tubing, and almost nothing about the time and care that went in to building and designing a frame. In my daydreams, I tried to come up with what I would call my frames. There were a few ideas that came and went, but Petrichor was the one that seemed to stick.
It seemed I wasn't the only one that had this idea, and that's why I am writing this post today. I filed for the trademark of Petrichor Frames nearly a year ago, and shortly after I learned that the name was being used in the form of Petrichor Cycles by a man in Europe. I was mostly upset with myself that I hadn't discovered this before - I had done research on the name back in 2011 (which are the earliest documented records I have of wanting to use the name) and hadn't found anything, and after taking the class in 2013 I began a the long, arduous, and ridiculous process of trying to get a business license under the name. It took a year and a half, countless paperwork, more money than I should have spent (and then some) to finally be granted a business license. Once I got it, I filed for a trademark. After all of this, I discovered the name was being used.
I ended up contacting the owner of Petrichor Cycles and explaining myself and the situation. I found out that he's a pretty cool guy, and also that what we're doing is drastically different as far as the cycling world goes. He is making mass produced frames, while I'm doing mostly 3D work and making a few custom frames when I can. Basically, if he were a high end coffee shop, I'm the person with a salvaged espresso machine making drinks for my friends in the basement on Saturday nights. He agreed that what we were working on was different enough, and since we're on different sides of the world serving different groups of people, we decided to keep each other posted on what was going on.
A few days ago, the trademark for Petrichor Frames was approved, though I have declined to extend the trademark to any European countries. That said, owning the trademark means that you own it for life. Had I been declined the trademark, I would have gone through the process of starting to change the name, as I would have had a legal reason that I could present to undergo that process. However, in the meantime, I am going to keep the name. It's been an uphill battle for me to start this little business and to get to where I am today, and I want to stay where I am for a while.
I don't consider myself a great builder, and I most likely never will. The idea of getting a business license and a trademark was mostly born out of my desire to sell things like the Takhion caps legally, which I decided to extend over to frames, repair work and restoration because I'm a sucker for playing by the rules. I work 45 hours a week at my "day job," and my tiny business venture is something that is reserved for weekends or rare days where I get in and out of work early. But I love doing this, I genuinely from the bottom of my heart find joy in this. Maybe someday I'll get to do it full time. If it comes to that point, perhaps things will change.
I completely understand if this changes your opinion of me, but I wanted to be up front with everyone who reads this blog. I certainly wasn't trying to tread on anyone's territory, or be a jerk, or anything of the sort.