The catchphrase has since been used to sell music and fashion, and even appeared in advertising spots by restaurants like IHOP and Taco Bell. Meanwhile, Newman hasn’t made a dime off the viral catchphrase that’s still in today’s youth lexicon. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Newman said, "I would definitely have made sure I was more aggressive if I had known that the video would blow up to be this big. I would have had a team of lawyers with me as well."
Unfortunately, this is nothing new. “Independent black creatives are exploited all the time,” Allums observed.
She went on to describe a process called “Twitter mining” in which writers and television producers troll the interweb of #BlackTwitter swiping ideas. Allums wants to help Black creatives and independent artists trademark and receive proper payment for their contributions.
As one of fourteen participants who pitched, Allums found out about the competition a mere five days ahead. “My friends pushed me to sign up,” explained Allums. “It felt like a now or never situation.”
That leap of faith paid off. When it came time to vote, Allums took home an overwhelming 36% of the votes and emerged as the clear winner. “I couldn’t ask for anything else. I felt safe, comfortable, seen, and validated,” Allums said. A rare sentiment coming from Portland, where safe spaces for Black people are not widely available.
Allums split a cash prize of $12,000 evenly between entrepreneurs who pitched the top four ideas. When asked how she would use her winning prize money, Allums said she is first going to invest in protecting her idea. Perhaps not an unsurprising first act, coming from the founder of an intellectual property protection startup.