Day 1 of #the100dayproject - Choose a name
OK for those of you thinking or starting an art or craft business lets go right back to basics before I get to the technical stuff later (apologies to those beyond this already but please stay tuned as things will quickly pick up!). What do you want to call yourself? You don't have to set this in concrete just now as the first few things I will go into over the first few days of this project will help you focus on what you are going to do and you should consider revisiting all of them a few times in the early stages as ideas start to flow.
OK a few things to consider when choosing a name
- a name should be considered for the long term not short term
- do you want to use your name or describe what your business will be about?
- is the name unique and memorable?
- will humour help?
- are there any spelling issues?
- is there a web domain available?
- don't rush it
- don't be worried to ask people for advice
People will start to remember you by name as you grow your business. It is important to keep that name if you can so people remember you. It's a bit like changing a telephone number - you can if you need to but its a lot easier to keep your number as you change providers as everyone has it noted and may lose touch when you change it. Think well at the beginning so you wont have to change it and only change it if absolutely necessary later.
Is your name unique? If your name is Jane Smith chances are there are lots of you so you shouldn't be using just your name. If you have a very uncommon name it might work well for you. Is your trade short. Can you add it to your name (e.g. Jane Smith Art)? Is there something unique about how you perform your trade or your subject matter (e.g. Jane Smith Animal Art) etc? A customer of mine has called her business 'Stitched Ceramics'. The lady in question I am sure won't mind me telling you is called Cath Ball which I imagine is very popular name but her craft is very unique - she makes porcelain ceramics but with a unique twist combining them with textiles in the form of lace and stitch. Her wonderful craft is unique and memorable as is the name she chose for her business! She is well worth checking out!
Google the name you are considering. Look it up in Etsy, look it up in Instagram. Does anyone else have it? My name (Herschell) has a complicated spelling so I didn't want to use that. Think not only about difficulty of spelling but also different spellings overseas (we use Jewellery here in the UK for example but on the other side of the pond it is spelt Jewelry).
I have developed computer software for many years. I wanted to stand out by making software that was intuitive and easy to use at a time when software was very complicated and computer programmers were frequently pictured as, how shall I say, a little bit nerdy and lacking in certain social and communication skills? I tried to use Intuitive Systems but that name had already been registered with companies house here in the UK so I went for my second choice of Instinctive Systems. That was back in 1991 and I am still using it today! The web was still in its infancy then but these days its worth reserving your web domain name as soon as possible even if you are not ready to set up your website yet. More about that later in the project.
My partner Lucy Gell just went with her name. Its pretty unique and although she is a printmaker she is also an illustrator, card designer, tutor and whole host of other things so its not limiting. Her daughter Tabatha (currently 15 years of age) who will be going through each of the steps of this project with me as it unfolds tells me that she was thinking about 'Tabatha Gell Art' but then felt that might limit her to her drawings and paintings whereas she sees herself creating other things too such as jewellery. She is considering 'Tabatha Creates' at this stage, short, memorable, not limiting and places her as a creative rather than just an artist.
There isn't a right or a wrong here, a lot is down to personal preference but just give the ideas above some thought. Take your time, don't rush it, ask friends and colleagues what they think, think outside the box a little, maybe draw up a shortlist for further discussion? Ask others on social media? Then come back to Day 1 after Day 2 and Day 3 in the project and see if anything has changed!