I have been operating as Athena's Choice Naturals for 11 years, and in that time, many other "Athena's" varieties of small soap makers have popped up - including one who had a representative come to visit me under the supposition of wanting me to make soap for them - only to instead come up with their own site, making soap very much like the soaps they purchased from me "as samples". They've taken my ideas, my formulas, and claimed them for their own, and there's nothing I can do about it. That won't change by trademarking my name.
I have had some issues in the last year of people trademarking fragrance names or product names that I have been using for the last 11 years, and then trying to force me to stop - thankfully, US trademark law protects me under assorted "previous use" laws, so I was able to say no, I won't change my product line, but I fear that one day, someone with money for a lawyer and a prolonged legal suit might come along and then I'm in trouble - I can't afford a legal battle. I don't make that much money from my business or my day job, and I'd have to start all over again. So it's time for me to at least trademark my business name, to make sure no one can take it from me on a whim.
Additionally, Etsy, whose site I make the majority of my money from, obeys any cease and desist letter from a laywer without question, so a few of my products can no longer be sold there - without a letter from a lawyer of my own stating 5 reasons why my product name is not the same as their trademarked name (even though it obviously is not...), they will not let me put my product back online. Again - I can't afford a lawyer every time this happens, and if someone trademarks something similar to Athena's Choice Naturals, I am simply out of luck, without my own trademark.
So please - help me protect my business name, that I've invested 11 years of my life in. The $1,000 I ask for will cover a trademark attorney's research fees and filing fees with the US government. Thank you.