Friday 15 July 2016

Starting a new Business - WHAT'S IN A NAME?

So you know which craft(s) you are going to center your business around  (see here) and you’ve spent some time planning out your strategy (see here). Now comes one of the fun bits – the name!

What should you call your new enterprise?

The list is only limited by your imagination but there are a few guidelines you should follow to best aid your business.
By far the most important factor is that it is something that you love. It would also be great if it says something about you and let’s face it we all love things that have a story behind them so if your business has one it’s good to have it on your site somewhere in the About Me section. 
Now I know lots of wildly successful people with completely random named businesses. So if you have your heart set on being called Purple Hedgehogs then go for it (I’ve seen much weirder!) There is something to be said for novelty value but if in doubt help your customers out by putting some thought into the name.

For instance, it wouldn’t be a good idea to call your business Wanda’s Wigs if you make Jewellery. Try and keep it topical if you can (this also helps when it comes to picking out your website domain name).

In saying this, do make sure that it is interesting. Make it just unusual enough to stick in the mind of your customer. A business simply called Handmade Jewellery, although descriptive is somewhat dull and will not make you stand out from the other million Jewellery businesses available.

Once you have thought of something, do a bit of research. Google the name and make sure that it hasn’t already been taken by someone else as this is troublesome when discovered at a later date. If you choose a name that is registered you could start to receive threatening letters forcing you to change it so it is always best to check this out first before you commit yourself.

So you now have your business name – WAIT! Before you start opening accounts with it and plastering it everywhere, sleep on it. Have a good hard think about it. Do you absolutely love it? Will you be happy to keep using it for many years to come? I have seen many small businesses change their names over the years and it is always stressful for both the business owner and the customer. So make sure that you can live with this name for the life of your business. You can and should change many things as it develops throughout the years but the name should not be one of them.

Those of you reading this that already have an established business and are thinking of making a change, just hold fire. Explore all of the other options first. Does your website just need a revamp? Do you need to add a totally different craft or products? There are many things that you can do that are less drastic than changing your name.

Of course, if you were hasty at the start and chose an unsuitable name then let’s hope you can change it painlessly and be more comfortable with it from now on.

I do have a fair bit of experience in the whole name thing. When I first started my business I wanted to call it The Crystal Lady (as I was initially making purely Swarovski Crystal Jewellery). I thought it would be perfect, but when I ran it by family and friends they weren’t impressed. No one liked it!

So I went back to the drawing board and came up with Radiance Crystals. If I’m honest I never really liked this one which is probably why I don’t use it today. I started Mystic Earth about a year later as a separate business because of the healing side and that one has stuck (mainly because I love it!). You’ll notice that I never gave up on The Crystal Lady though. I decided that if it wasn’t the name of my business then it could be another name for me. Since then I’ve been known online as The Crystal Lady and for someone shy like me it gives me a much needed boost. Once Creative Crafting, The Professional Crafters Guild and CRAFTfest were created I realized that I needed a blanket name for my business to cover all of them so I chose Crystal Lady Designs. This is my registered business name but you rarely get to see it as its own entity as I run the others fairly (but not completely) independent of each other. It does get a bit confusing (my accountant loves me!) especially when I start a conversation on twitter from one account and then without thinking continue it using one or two of the others. I haven’t done that for a while though and luckily a lot of people know me and accept my lunacy.

I asked some of our Professional Crafters Guild members how they came up with their business names. Here are a few of their replies.

Well, mine took a group of friends, and a few bottles of wine. As I sell lots of pretty beads I wanted something to reflect them, so we thought of shiny, bright, sparkly and eventually came up with Glitter. Then we needed something to go with it - that was more tricky. Some of the rejected ideas were GlitterQueen, OldGlitter, Bit 'a Glitter, . Then someone said "oh just wibble your nose and come up with something" Then we all thought of Bewitched, an old TV programme where Samantha the Witch used to wibble her nose to make things happen. Hey presto Glitterwitch was born!

Janet Morgan


My company is called XocolaT and we make handmade Belgian chocolates. XocolaT is the original name for chocolate invented in 300AD and was originally from the Aztec beverage only available to royalty in was served in gold cups.

Mandy Gair


I knew from the start I wanted to have a two word name including my surname REID and was sat one Sunday morning chatting to my husband about it when my favourite garden bird appeared on the bird feeder just outside the window – and it was of course a Siskin hence Siskin & Reid.  A very kind lady needle felted me a tiny Siskin and Selwyn Siskin Esq. my co-partner was born. He is very popular and even has his own photo album on my FB page.
A silly story really but thought I would share it with you.

Tracy Reid


My nickname was Lou, which got corrupted to Loopy as I got older by some friends. That's how I got the first part.  It became Loopy's Place, because I wanted it to be a homely place people wanted to visit. The blog and website has a mixture of all that makes my place mine.

And of course, don't forget to join us at the Professional Crafters Guild.  
We offer, guidance, support and recognition for your craft business. With access to information, support networks, recommended services and opportunities for promotion and participation.

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