A Canadian small business owner is making headlines after taking on Khloé Kardashian for allegedly copying her trademarked slogan “Strong as a Mother.”
Tamara Komuniecki, the owner of a North Vancouver boutique called Delish General Store, has been selling a line of clothing emblazoned with the saying for more than two years. Komuniecki, a former journalist, said she was inspired to create an online community to connect and support women in the rewarding, but often isolating role of being a mother.
However, despite growing a community of thousands online, Komuniecki was dismayed to learn that her hard earned efforts were being challenged by Kardashian’s clothing company, Good American.
Earlier this month, Komuniecki was notified by a friend who noticed Kardashian’s brand began featuring T-shirts with “Strong as a mother” written in cursive to the company’s 1.3 million social media followers.
“There’s quite a few knockoffs that come out every week, but never did I think there would be one associated with the Kardashian family. So I knew immediately this was going to be trouble for my brand,” she said in an interview Global News.
The discovery troubled the business owner, who legally, does not own the rights to saying in the United States.
“It’s kind of a gut punch,” Komuniecki added. “What’s her net worth, $40 million? How am I supposed to tackle this?”
Komuniecki believes the entire situation can be chalked up to poor business practices by the Good American team.
“If they had a team that did any research whatsoever, they would see someone’s got the corner on this market — this person is building a community and it’s not just a flash-in-the-pan trendy thing, and this is also a business that’s supporting a lot of moms going through some really crappy things,” she told CityNews. “If they had a team that did any research whatsoever, they would see someone’s got the corner on this market — this person is building a community and it’s not just a flash-in-the-pan trendy thing, and this is also a business that’s supporting a lot of moms going through some really crappy things.”
Legions of Komuniecki’s supporters have taken to social media to blast the Kardashian co-owned company, and encourage Good American to stop the sale of their “Strong as a Mother” items.
Komuniecki said she has yet to hear from Good American camp or Kardashian and has no expectations that the company will address the controversy.
While initially trepidatious about going public for fear of suffering the wrath of the Kardashian-Jenner fanbase, she is choosing instead to bring attention to the plight of small business owners.
“I don’t have a legal leg to stand on...I’m not threatening to sue anybody.” Komuniecki told Yahoo Canada. “I want to highlight the fact that a larger company coming in with might, dollars and experts on their team should do their due diligence and honour the fact that a small maker is trying to make a go of it by making a product that is not just a piece of apparel. I’m trying to build a community and celebrate women; honour that and back off. There’s no reason they need to do this or continue to do this.”
The buzz surrounding Komuniecki is helping push her forward, with a renewed sense of purpose to ensure that everyone recognize her brand is authentic, and working towards building something greater than herself.
“I’ll be a mom for the rest of my life,” she said. “I want to keep doing this for a long time.”