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How did you name your business or brand


#1

Hi

Im just at the stage of wanting to sell some of the jewellery Ive
been making, so I need to come up with a brand or business name.

I already have a business writing and providing marketing, research
and PR services, so I want my jewellery brand to be separate from
this. Most people seem to go for their own name, but Id rather not.

At the moment, I dont have an identifiable signature style as I have
too many ideas and way too much curiosity, so I cant have a brand
name that pigeonholes my work.

I was wondering how others on Orchid decided on their business or
brand name.

Thanks
Alison


#2
I was wondering how others on Orchid decided on their business or
brand name. 

Business name is a message to prospective clients of what to expect.
Kind of a shorthand description of products and services. I had a
shop in Diamond District which was called VVS Jewelers. VV was
initials of my partner and S was because my last name is Surpin.

So VVS appear to be very traditional name. But it wasn’t a
coincidence that VVS is also a clarity grade for diamonds. The
message was that while we were not perfect, we were above the
mediocrity. The third reason was a plausible defense in case of
legal actions.

We in essence advertised that imperfections were to be expected.

When I started my website I wanted to send a different message, so I
chose name Studio Arete.

Arete is a concept from Greek language and is not easily
translatable. Aristotle defined it as the best one can be. The
message is that while perfection is not achievable, no efforts will
be spared to make the best possible jewellery every time. I don’t
accept any orders anymore, but I still keep the name.

Leonid Surpin
Studioarete.com


#3

I name my business after my father who pasted away when I was 14. He
had many loves but was a Colonel in The Air Force. He was a wonderful
artist and enjoyed many different medias. He love art and would use
it as a stress release and I believe I caught the bug from him. He
was a double major in college, Psychology and Art, weird combo!

His name was Arista H. Cowan III, so I named my business, ARISTA
DESIGNS LLC.


#4

My art teacher in 8th grade gave us a project in which we were to
use our initials in a creative way. I stuck mine all together with
the III on the end of the combination, and grew some vines around
them as if they were the ruins of a building. Remember it was just my
first art class, I was just looking for an easy A. It turned out that
I combined them the same way as Henri de Toulouse Lautrec except for
the third on the end of the L. It was to be a few years later that I
actually heard of him, and as a young male of the species, decided he
was extra cool. Fast forward another decade and it became my logo. I
make lots of different things, from small sculptures to furniture,
and since it is just my name, THL III all stuck together is the
signature I have used since I started making things professionally.
It obviously has no limitations except my imagination. Downside,
unless you know me or at least “of me” it brings nothing to mind in
particular. Thomas III


#5

I came up with my name using my first name and a odd spelling of
Worx. It is a kind of a tongue in cheek thing, Ken Worx. Any of my
friends get a chuckle since I have retired from my previous carrier
as an automotive technician. When they say my business name it is
usually in the form of a question. Ken Worx?

If you plan to advertise in any directories I would suggest you
start with an “A”. Most directories are sorted in alpha numerical
order. Otherwise use a name that will be easy to remember for your
customers.

Ken Moore


#6

I am a big fan of making it personal. Give me one brand of a known
or famous luxury product, jewelry or otherwise, that is abstract. I
can only come up with names. Even Herms, where one might think this
is a reference to Greek mythology has been founded by a man called
Thierry Herms.

People attach to people, not to acronyms or abstract ideas or the
Midget Widget Corp.


#7

I could have done better. Maybe my mistakes will help someone else
see that what seems like a good idea at the time, might not be.

At first, when I was a teenager in the 1970s I used the word
"silversmith" My first business cards said "S. Walker, Silversmith."
I wanted to do hollowware and any jewelry I made at first was silver.
I still have friends who introduce me as a “silversmith.”

Then I started making a lot of mokume, brass, copper and bronze with
silver. It very quickly became obvious that handing a customer a
business card the said “silversmith” was confusing and
counter-productive when my product was mixed metals and often
contained no silver at all. So the I became a “metalsmith”.

“S. Walker, Metalsmith"became"Walker Metalsmiths” an I felt pretty
good about that at first. “Metalsmith” was an artsy word, fashionable
with craftsmen who considered themselves more than mere jewelers. It
covered the variety of metals I used. But for most people in the
general public it was not especially descriptive. I would sometimes
get calls from people who wanted me to shoe their horses or make
alterations in stainless steel sinks. There are two other companies
that have used the name “Walker Metalsmith”, one is a sculptor in
California who does a lot of restorations. The other, I think no
longer uses the name, made duct-work for heating and cooling systems.

What I mainly do now is Celtic jewelry in gold and/or silver. My
family name, Walker, is one of the most common names in Scotland
(think Walker Shortbread or Johnny Walker Scotch)but Walker is not an
especially Gaelic sounding or stereotypical Celtic name. In fact most
people named Walker are of English ancestry. Since I have been
slugging away at it “Walker Metalsmiths” is now fairly well
established as a brand for Celtic jewelry, but it might have been
easier with a name that conveyed Celtic jewelry.

When my son opened a branch of the family business in the Rochester
area, he called it “Walker’s Celtic Jewelry”, which was better.

My original “silversmith” title is perpetual a problem. I still have
people who will start their inquiry by saying, “I know you do a lot
of silver, but can you work in gold?” I have made over 10,000 gold
rings in my career. When people introduce me as “the silversmith” it
gives me the chance to answer with a mild, good natured scold, “How
am I supposed to sell gold and diamonds when you introduce me as a
silversmith?” I go on to explain how it is my own fault, because that
was what I called myself when I was a kid and all my role models were
hippies.

Stephen Walker


Andover, NY


#8

Hello Alison,

You are wise to be thinking about a name/logo before you get going.
With your background in marketing, you no doubt have some ideas.

When I applied for my sales tax license, I had not thought about a
cool name and simply used my initials followed by ‘jewelry’ - not
imaginative, but simple.

I will say that incorporating a word that literally says jewelry or
jewel or gem or silver or such, does immediately tell someone what
you are selling. That is an advantage when your business name is
listed along with 100+ others at a show. Also, if you want to be near
the top of the list, begin with a letter near the beginning of the
alphabet.

With that, my good wishes for a successful business start, Judy in
Kansas, where nights have been in the lower 50s and recent days in
the mid 70s to mid 80s. Soooo deserved after the last two summers of
exceedingly hot and dry weather!


#9

Dear Allison; I had a small farm and it had been known for a long
time as the Farm at 5 Mile Creek. So when i started, locally i made
it 5Mile Creek. Then I moved from the farm and decided to come up
with something else. I had wanted it to say what i did, and where,
so Alaska was the first obvious choice, Stixs comes from the fact
that i was a knitting and crochetting fool. Stones comes from my
passion for rocks, gems and minerals. Put together i am Alaska Stixs
n Stones. My sign is cool, it has Stixs spelled with knitting
needles and crochet hooks, while Stones is done in facetted stones.
I had wanted rocks, but the artist could not get what i wanted, and
the facetted stones look cool. Now no one wonders what i do.

My suggestion is get a unique name, something that will stick in
anyones mind. blessings. pat


#10
Arete is a concept from Greek language and is not easily
translatable 

Uh Mr. Surpin-, “Arete” is certainly translatable! The word, the
concept, the entire origin and its use today is easily accessed! It
is commonly found and very much used in the art world ! It means,
says, states, proffers, etc. that a reasonable degree of artistic
professionalism is implied in the art attached to a name, maker,
atelier, or salon or skills an individual has in whatever their
pursuit !!!..It also implies a bit of high-brow attitude. The first
time I read it in your posts I knew what it implied- as I’m certain
many others did also ! Yeah, its from the ancient Greek: Aristotle
and Homer used it to imply a sense of knowledge of whatever the
person’s area of concentration was…( by the way technically it has
geological meanings too!).

Give us a bit of credit for having lived on the same planet past
secondary school age and for more than,20 or even 50 years! It is
certainly not a mystic language or term. but basic and well known to
the educated human. and in particular among arts and letters
scholars! if not wider, used among the broader slice of artist types
in Western societies. Please!.. and I know many who have perfected
their craft- It is possible, and likely to achieve by any stretch of
the imagination with experience and a decent skill set and MOST
IMPORTANTLY, an open mind !.rer


#11

One business license is a single brand name that is used for all
accounting, invoicing, etc and ends in “group”. The jewellery
business reads “…- a division of…group”.All the stationery,
mailers, etc. colour co-ordinate so we can use one presentation
folder and printed matter in the name of the division the marketing
materials or consulting relates to. One main decorative scheme serves
all the divisions in terms of aesthetic and is identifiable as a
parcel of the larger group once/when viewed together. No need for d.
b.s’s etc that way. the group and all the subdivisions can stay under
the same general classification (and the single division - a
micro-loan fund- that isn’t related to the rest (as it is a
not-for-profit in this stage) Currently it appears as a separate
brand. that primarily serves fourth world locales and is in a
’trial’ phase to determine long-term feasibility before investing in
a separate brand identity and other than desktop printing costs, but
falls under the umbrella of the group. So until it is necessary to
formalise and charter the division independently the test can go on
up to two years. If after that time it is necessary to split it will
be seamless. For what sounds like you are doing is trying to sell
some pieces not a formal business. Why would you want to incorporate
separately unless you are changing your livelihood to metalsmithing
entirely. Just use your business name to order catalogues.,supplies,
etc. - just keep good records should you need to separate the
entities.

If i am not understanding you correctly, and you are going to
continue making and selling jewellery you should set up a brand from
the beginning.

if you plan on selling jewellery as a regular sideline it is unwise
to change a name, logo, theme motif, etc. mid-stream. You are
establishing a standard of quality and identifying yourself from the
rest. An earring card won’t do that effectively. If your work is more
than strung beads and you think there is a market for the quality of
what you make that has a viable future from the beginning set it up
with its own name and accountability, logo, motifs, brand, trademark,
etc Clients are more likely to respond with repeat business and
recommend your work if it appears to be from the same maker
consistently than constantly changing the logo, name of the business
etc. because there wasn’t enough thought put into the first go. Its
fine not to use your own name, but come up with something that sets
you apart from others in your area in particular and on the market in
general. Make it as professional an identity as you can muster
initially so all you can do is improve. Think of a name that
communicates your work and equally to the market you want to attract
and hopefully, retain, but most importantly will serve you from
Branding is perhaps the most overlooked part of becoming an
independent jeweller aside from poor packaging and display concerns
that really have a large impact on buyers, customers, juries, etc. If
you go into a museum gift shop with a collection of your work that
mirrors an exhibition they are featuring for a given period and the
display is shoddy, or cute-sy no matter what the work looks like or
the price points given other’s work on display or retail filler, if
you want them to enter into an agreement with you you have to make a
good impression from a retailer’s standpoint as well as the wholesale
potential in your line. If you don’t like one store’s terms (i. e.
consigning the work to them for a percentage less than you need to
cover labour, costs, etc.) don’t sign an agreement. Try to sell the
pieces outright or find another gallery to place your work where the
fit is better for you. If you are simply just trying to recoup money,
a bazzar or fair may be the outlet, but if you are planning a long
term venture come up with a brand that will endure with only minor
tweaks necessary if at all. If you need something clarified contact
me off list… rer


#12

Hi Alison,

My DBA is Eisenring Enterprises.

It’s the old family name. Swiss German, means “Iron Ring”.

Struck me as oddly appropriate, for a goldsmith who started out as a
blacksmith, and once was known as Alberic, long before he had any
notion of who Albrecht the dwarf was.

The funny spikeball logo is the old family arms. Swiss burgher arms
look odd, if you’re used to English or French crests.

Ancient past as prolog. Seemed fitting.

Regards,
Brian


#13
I am a big fan of making it personal. Give me one brand of a known
or famous luxury product, jewelry or otherwise, that is abstract. 

So very true. I think in many cases the formality of starting a
business fools inexperienced people into thinking they NEED to file
for a DBA. At least in this state, New York, if your business name
and your personal name are the same, there is no such requirement.
You can apply for a sales tax certificate in your own name and file a
schedule C business tax return in your own name. The purpose of a DBA
is to establish as a matter of public record which individual,
partnership or corporation is legally responsible for the dealings of
the business. As an “artist” it is all about you anyway. So yes. It
is far better to use your own name.

Stephen Walker


#14

When I started my business, I wanted something a customer would
remember.

Not my name which would quickly be forgotten. I wanted a name that
would be synonymous with what I was selling and have a saleable asset
value later down the road. Originally, all my merchandise was
nautical related, things of the sea that one would wear. Thus,
‘sea-wear’ was born. The funny thing is, the swim suit manufacturers
want the name more than jewelry manufacturers! It was owned by Sperry
Shoe and had to be acquired by them before I could obtain the
trademark. The web domain was easy but did not want to risk having it
taken from me later.

Follow your dreams!
Charlie
Seawear.com


#15

Since anything that I was going to do with my saws was going to be
on the web, I started looking for available names. I wanted
something that described what I was offering, but after going
through a search, “new concepts” wasa little bit overused. Being a
scrabble fan, “knew concepts” came up, and was available. It was
distinctive, memorable, and readily stands out in the crowd.

No other choices came close.
Lee (the saw guy)


#16

Nowadays, im known as Ted Frater Bronzesmith and minter. Pretty well
describes what I do now.

Thats what the sign says over my exhibition.

tho when I started out I had to decide on a registered mark to
comply with the UK silver and gold hall marking rules.

So I chose my initials VF. Th V stands for Vladimir, as my mother
was Czech and I was born in Prague, with an English father.

These initials fit well within an eqilateral triangle. So all my
work is marked with this stamp as the makers identifier.

In addition to this there is a date stamp, ie 1968 or later, then,
depending on the piece my name Vladimir and my location stamp Corfe
Castle UK.

Yesterday, I went to a small car boot sale I hadnt been to before to
the West of here.

Browsing along the stalls my eye spotted one of my pieces, the Dark
Ages design bracelet, picked it up said ill have it. Took off the one
I was wearing and asked the seller to compare the marks. I said I
made the one I was wearing and the penny dropped! you made this one?
too? she said.

Dated 1993, the VF mark and the Vladimir mark. Most probably
purchased at the Great Dorset Steam fair I worked at that year.

Looking as good as the day I made it.


#17

When I finally decided on my trading name it was in retrospect an
utterly obvious expression of the process of developing my interest
or obsession in making jewellery. The primary focus of my work is the
use of lost wax casting to make pieces with an organic aesthetic that
in a range of ways expresses our relationship with the natural world.
I was generally familiar with lost wax casting at an intellectual
level for a number of years before I developed an interest in
jewellery although I already had an interest on woodwork and metal
work as a hobby while I married, had children and pursued an academic
career totally different to my interest in making things.

However there was an event that planted a seed when I encountered a
wonderful display of Inca gold and silver jewellery in a museum.
What struck me about this work was not simply it’s beauty but the way
I directly encountered the hand of the artist in the shaping of the
original wax patterns and the mark of the casting process itself
including some of the flaws such as the tiny spheres adhering to the
work because of bubbles that occurred in the investment process. In
my own work I call these “warts” and assiduously try to minimise
their occurrence and remove the few that sneak through with my
castings.

The Inca referred to gold as “sweat of the sun” and silver as "tears
of the moon, and since I work in silver the latter seemed the obvious
choice for a name because it encompasses both the aesthetic that I
seek to express in my signature style and the seed of my inspiration.
Ironically since the power to studio comes largely from the solar
panels on my roof, the sun makes a major contribution as well.

Jenifer Gow
Tears of the Moon Artisan Jewellery


#18
With your background in marketing, you no doubt have some ideas. 

I guess there are a few “rules” about naming a business - keep it
short being one. Other than that it’s largely a matter of opinion
what works. Your business name is about image and it’s not really
forever but it should be. My business name is Donivan & Co. because
I am Donivan and I don’t work alone, I have a network or people
around me. It doesn’t say jewelry for security reasons, on purpose
and it doesn’t say jewelry on the door, either. I don’t want or need
walk-in traffic or cold calls. That’s just me.

Also a conscious decision is that the name is not cute, preciousor
contrived, and there’s no need for conversation about what it means
or that I know Greek culture and you don’t. It’s just solid, simple
andelegant, which is the business I am looking for. One of our pearl
stringing friends is “Jewels in the Shell” - she’s our friend, she’s
a nice ladyand a good stringer but the name conjures up a booth in
the tourist area, to me. IMO…it’s not the time to try to be
clever.

Life, living and love is fishing - the bait you put out determines
what you catch. Choose your bait carefully, you are what you pretend
to be, so be careful what you pretend to be. {Vonnegut}


#19

When someone says they are a big fan of “making it personal” and
that “people attach to people” and then use a name that is obviously
not their personal people name, I wonder who is speaking.

Barbara on a rainy day


#20

I am a big fan of making it personal. Give me one brand of a known
or famous luxury product, jewelry or otherwise, that is abstract. I
can only come up with names. Even Herms, where one might think this
is a reference to Greekmythology has been founded by a man called
Thierry Herms.

People attach to people, not to acronyms or abstract ideas or the
Midget Widget Corp.