Monday, March 4, 2013

Moving On...A Name for Your Biz

I am going to assume you read the last two posts in this Series, written especially for those considering to set up a home-based business, or for those that just want to see what I have to say and already have a small business.

One of the first things you need to do in setting up this new business, and this can be tedious but well worth while, is choose a name that will reflect who you are and what you do. I know...some of you are wrinkling your face up or raising your eyebrows, asking yourself why is this so important. It is just a name.

Choosing a good name will set you up for successes in branding later on. How serious are you? Do you just want to make a few pieces for friends and family, or do you want people to recognize your name and your work as an "artist?" I ask this coming from a design background. I design jewelry. What do you design? Do you paint, do you knit, do you do graphic arts? No matter what you do and how in depth into the business world you want to go, you need a great (and catchy name).

I used to do this for other people setting up businesses when I was in marketing. I actually had people that were helping others set up a business call and ask me to help them with a name and a tag line. So, perhaps I can give you some helpful ideas on how to accomplish this. Bear (bare?) with me here.

1.  Define yourself. You have probably already done this if you read the last two posts. At this point, if you haven't already done it, do it now. Take a little time for yourself over a cup of tea or coffee. Who will you be as a business?

2.  Write down at least 10 catchy names. Have fun with it. You don't need to get an ulcer at this point in the game. Here are some examples of what I went through to come up with ggChambers designs. (Yes, I use a small "d" in "designs." I'm just quirky that way.) This is where you need to let your imagination go a little. Here are some names that I thought of for myself and why.

The Chambers Studio - I liked the word "studio" because it lent a sound of artistry to the name. It was voted down by my husband. It didn't say much about who I was or what I did and he thought that "studio" sounded like I was a painter.  :-(

Beads and Wire - I worked with both, so why not? Again, it doesn't brand me...and my husband hated it. He wanted to be included, so he could exhibit his paintings with me when he retires. Okey dokey, then.

Arts In Wire - Clever but no branding of who I was as an artist.

Chambers Design Studio - Again, the word "studio" that my husband didn't like. Not sure why, but he was my biggest supporter, so I nixed this one, as well.

Gail Chambers Jewelry - This one branded me and relayed what I did but if I started using the word "jewelry" in my business name, I was stuck on jewelry. Those of us that are artists...don't we drift a little into other realms? Jewelry is great, but we might want to make business card holders, or wind chimes, or whatever. And the word "jewelry" would be on my business cards, banners, websites, etc. Even though that is what I do, I didn't want others to associate my "home business" with jewelry. OK, I didn't want to give anyone the incentive to rob me because I might have something valuable in my home. There, I said it. Once that thought was brought to my attention, I understood and several other of my business name hopefuls went by the wayside: Gail's Jewelry House, Chambers Jewelry Studio, GGC's Jewelry, Jewelry by Gail, and so on. I did this for days...ugh.

With the help of my husband, Gary, I landed on ggChambers designs. It doesn't really tell you what I do, but it is catchy and it served both Gary and Gail, included our last name, and branded me as a designer. I used the lower case "d" in "designer," too. That was my little effort at being different.

Thinking about how I would brand myself in the future, I knew I could do it with ggChambers. It rolls off the tongue and was suitable for a logo, which I now use as "ggC." I can use this on business cards, my website, Facebook, etc.I am in the process of trademarking, which is food for another thought and time.

At any rate, this is something you need to do. Pick a name...even if it is simple like mine. It needs to be evolutionary and able to grow with you as your business grows. It should be something you won't want to change every month. It should be something you can put on a card and be proud of. It should be something that others can recognize as you as you grow your business and continue to develop a brand for yourself. It is like defining yourself as a person, like your personal name.

I realized that a lot of other artists used "designs" in their business name, as well, but to me it didn't matter because the beginning of the name was mine and all mine. No one else was using it.

All right. That is enough for today and should keep you busy in between loads of laundry or chasing the kids around the house. Which brings to mind another though. (Sorry, I am full of them!) Run your choices of names by your other family members, even the kids. Kids are brutally honest, and it may give you all the laugh for the day, watching their faces wrinkle up or light up.

Be serious but have fun. If you already have chosen a name but are unhappy with it, it is never too late to change it. More on that later, or send me a personal message and we'll talk.

Till next time...stay wired up!! Gail


  1. We went through this a few weeks ago. You know it isn't as easy as it may seem. Since our last name is Wolfe and it wasn't just me we decided on Wolfepack Designs. Now that still may change. :)

  2. I like the name. It's catchy and it's yours! Hugs!

  3. My husband an I went through this when we were setting up a website for family use. Both of our last names (my maiden name, which is now the same as his), both start with P, so we decided to do TwoPWeb, now I'm trying to decide if I use something like that to name my jewelry business...oh these decisions!