Tannia Ospina, The Ospina Law Firm: NJ Mompreneur of the Week


Our NJ Mompreneur of the week, Tannia Ospina, always dreamed of being an attorney and having a fulfilling career in the courtroom. But the pull to be present in raising her kids was also a dream in her heart, and at first, it seemed like those two dreams couldn’t coexist. So, after learning to sew special occasion children’s clothing and realizing it would be a way to provide without sacrificing time with her kids, Tannia pivoted to opening an online clothing boutique, Belle Threads, hoping she’d someday return to practicing. As her online business grew, she began to see the need to represent her business legally through trademarking, which sparked an idea for how she could re-enter the law world. The Ospina Law Firm was born, and now Tannia’s using her business journey to guide other NJ Mompreneurs through protecting the businesses they’ve built. We had a chance to chat with the Hasbrouck Heights mom of three about her untraditional career path, why businesses need to think about trademarking, and where her family likes to go for the best Spanish food in Bergen County. 

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Tannia Ospina, our NJ Mompreneur of the Week

You have had such an interesting career journey, starting as a lawyer, then becoming the owner of a kids’ clothing boutique, and then returning to your roots in law. How did you start that path?

I was pregnant in law school and graduated when my son was 3 months old. When I became an attorney, I had multiple job offers, and then I had another baby. I was trying to balance having a law career and being a mom of two with my husband working long hours in the NYC corporate world. I founded my company, Belle Threads, when I started looking for a special first birthday outfit for my daughter. I wanted it to be pink and sparkly, something I had never seen before. It didn’t exist, so I learned how to sew to make it for her. I started selling the clothes I created, and everyone wanted what I made. That’s when I made the difficult decision to push my career in law aside and open an Etsy shop. My family, friends, and attorney colleagues were confused and questioned my decision to pursue an online business over practicing law. But as much as I had always dreamed of becoming an attorney as a little girl, I also dreamed of having my own family and creating special memories with them. I still had law school debt looming over me, and I wanted to find a way to provide for my family and pay back my student loans while having more time with my kids. Belle Threads became a bigger business than I could have imagined, with employees, retailers, trade shows, traveling, 50 thousand orders, and many copycats. I also transitioned into becoming general counsel for my online brand and needed to protect it.

During that time, I was so busy working for the business that I didn’t trademark the name immediately. I didn’t understand how valuable it was to do so, and quite honestly, I didn’t think people would copy me. It was short-sighted of me because I had already invested so much time, education, and resources in the business and wholly pivoted in my career. But thanks to Belle Threads, I found an area of law I love—intellectual property and business law. I had always planned on returning to practicing law, and I knew I wanted to be the attorney for business owners, which I needed when I first started Belle Threads. At The Ospina Law Firm, I have the personal experience of running a small business and knowing how crucial it is to protect a brand, so it made my entry back into law pretty powerful.

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What motivated you to focus on trademarking for small businesses? Your passion for this practice is evident.

I want to educate and inspire other business owners to have a visionary mindset and look at their businesses with unlimited potential. I don’t want them to make the mistake of not trademarking right away as I did with my online business. People in my network with whom I developed strong business relationships trusted me as a business legal advisor and hired me to protect their brands, too.

I want to grow my law firm into a big law firm, and hire other lawyers and staff. I’ll eventually sell Belle Threads, however the experience I’ve had as an online business owner will always be super valuable for my clients as I can turn a very complex area of law into a simple way to understand it. My path was very different, and a lot of people questioned me, but I truly believe my path to finding a practice area of law that I love and am obsessed, excited, and passionate about was meant to be this way. 

As a first-generation Latina born to Ecuadorian immigrants, my parents pushed higher education and never entrepreneurship, but my business world opened larger doors for me than my legal world would have ever opened for me. Only 1% of practicing Intellectual Property Law attorneys are Latinas, and even fewer speak fluent Spanish as I do. The legal field of Intellectual Property is extremely difficult to get into, and ironically, this is probably one of the easiest career doors I’ve ever gotten myself into—it’s almost like I was meant to be an Intellectual Property attorney.

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What is the most gratifying part about your business and working with your clients?

My clients at the law firm are fascinating people, and their experiences are pretty amazing. I have clients who make fantastic products, provide top-notch services, have pivoted in their careers several times, have over $1 million in annual sales, and are great at leading employees. I’m just in awe of my clients and all their prospective areas of genius. I love helping them with my area of genius, which is providing personalized and strategic brand protection for their businesses. 

How did the pandemic play a role in the demand for trademarking and your services?

Many businesses started during the pandemic and are now filing for trademarks, so the trademark office is inundated with applications. The trademark process used to take only a few months, but now it takes over a year. So, I suggest that if you want to have a trademark in 2025, you should start connecting with a trademark attorney today. 

What have you learned about yourself through your journey as an NJ Mompreneur with Belle Threads and now Ospina Law Firm?

A great mentor once told me that you can do anything, but you can’t do everything. Through Belle Threads, I’ve learned that my vision is limitless and that I should trust my journey but hire early on, so I hired an amazing law practice manager for my law firm.

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Tell us about your favorite local NJ businesses and what you love most about them. Where do you like to visit with your family around the state?

I love local eateries and businesses in my town of Hasbrouck Heights. I go to Sophia’s for great Mediterranean food, Café Squared 2 for delicious coffee and pastries, and Boulevard Dogs for amazing hot chicken sandwiches. My kids love Spanish food, so we love going to Noches de Colombia, Segovia, Rey Sol, and Villa de Colombia in Hackensack for family dinners. My kids and I also love the Jersey Shore and our NJ farms.

What piece of advice do you have for other aspiring NJMompreneurs?

Be proud of creating your own path to success. Permit yourself to discover your business interests and career path even if they don’t make sense to others. If your career path makes sense to you, that’s all that matters. Don’t ask for advice from people without the experience you want to have in the future. Don’t be afraid to look at the numbers and scary legal terms that are important in your business. Lastly, put yourself in front of the people that you want to be your clients. 

For more information on Tannia and The Ospina Law Firm, check out the website and her Instagram.

About Author

Marisa is a mom to two sweet boys and a little lady (all under 4!) as well as one precious girl in heaven and her heart. A true Jersey girl, Marisa loves raising her family here and embracing all that being a #NJMOM has to offer. Whether it's summer days on Spring Lake beach or down on LBI, or heading out to sample some of the state's best eats (Montclair and Jersey City are favs), family days out and about together are her favorite way to spend a weekend. A former news anchor turned on-air lifestyle host and expert, you might also catch her on TV or in the kitchen cooking up something delish for the littles.