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generally speaking trademarks are awarded on the basis of use. So interstate use should proceed a trademark filing
there is a provision whereby you can file for a trademark on the basis of an imminent use of the mark in interstate commerce but then you would have to submit a affidavit and many times such an application is scrutinized more by the examiner.
the use and application can happen almost in tandem as there is no requirement that the mark be in interstate commerce for any length of time.
I understand your dilemma in not wanting to invest in trademarking if the business is not going to take off, so often times a business starts using a name and then after there is some positive signs of success you can immediately file an application This would probably be the most cost effective and legally cautious approach.
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