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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Book Review & Giveaway: The Boss of You


The Boss of You: Everything a Woman Needs to Know to Start, Run and Maintain Her Own Business by Lauren Bacon and Emira Mears, published by Seal Press (May 2008)


Lately, I have been getting a nudging feeling that my business name might not be doing enough for me. So at a recent meeting with a local crafters' group I prodded fellow makers on their strategy for selecting their business name, but there didn't seem to be any! While some people get it right and just have a feeling for the right name for their business, others, like me, will feel really glad that The Boss of You guides through this and many other very important business decisions.


Small business owners (and now authors) Lauren Bacon and Emira Mears casually talk to you while helping you through the basics of starting your own business, running it, and maintaining it. They speak for and to women because the many business tomes out there just weren't. Most importantly, they speak from experience having been business owners since 2000 of a Vancouver based web design studio cleverly named Raised Eyebrow Web Studio. Although their business is service based, they also address product based companies extremely well. Besides telling their own story, they cite a range of examples from businesses in North America. In fact 22 women entrepreneurs are profiled making it quite likely that your business model and size is represented, from bag making to dread lock services and products.


When was the last time that someone told you that you get to define what success is for you and that you are successful even if you are not shooting for big growth and fast progression. What a relief to finally hear someone say that you don't necessarily need a business plan before you get started, unless of course you're seeking financing. What you do need to do is to sharpen your pencil and let Lauren and Emira help you along the way in defining your vision and your business image. They'll also guide you through that very dreaded stuff called budgeting or “budget-o-rama” as they call it -- such as expenses, overhead costs, pricing your items or services, and most important calculating your salary (this one has its own chapter entitled “You are your best employee”!) If you want the nitty gritty on reading financial statements, head to the resources page for a good recommendation on this and other business topics.


This book is not only for beginners, it is also for those whose business has been around for a few years. Maybe you're stuck at the marketing stage, and countless other marketing textbooks leave you feeling “icky in the process.” But as the authors say, “It's just a matter of finding an approach that feels right to you, and that allows you to feel comfortable while you're showing off your brilliance to the universe.” You'll want to have a notepad handy to jot down all the suggestions offered on how to talk to your audience, developing marketing materials, advertising and promotions, public relations, and networking.


So your marketing efforts are working really well and suddenly you are very busy, maybe even burning out. “Eventually, we were just too plain busy to handle the work that was coming in, and we had to hire someone to come in and help.” In their last section Lauren and Emira turn their attention to “Growing and Maintaining” your enterprise. At some point it may be necessary to hire staff or to find contract workers, add new product lines or services, or increase the number of stores.


This book would make for an excellent workbook. In chapter one you get room to jot down answers to questions but for the rest of the book you'll need a notepad or lots of post it notes. Enough said, my pencil is sharpened and I'm eager to start answering questions . . . “If you were describing your business as a person, what characteristics would it have?” Answering this and a few more questions will guide me through my re-branding process.


Read a sample chapter

Giveaway Rules:

The giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only. To participate leave a comment below and tell us:

  • how you picked your business name (if you currently have a business)
    OR
  • what is motivating you to start a business (if you don't have a business yet)
Thoughtful comments will be entered in the draw and picked randomly by the reviewer.

Entry deadline is Wednesday, midnight, June 11, PST. Winner will be announced Thursday, June 12th on this blog.

About the reviewer:

Laura Bucci has been selling accessories & bags under her own name since 2006. She is also a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada. She has a background in Fine Arts and has always been involved in the arts either through photography, web design, and the commercial art world. She blogs on arts, crafts, activism, and being a small business.

85 comments:

Tracy said...

I am actually toying with the idea of changing my name. A long time ago I used to buy a Stash tea flavour that I can no longer find. It was Orange Starfruit, but my mind always read it as Orange Starfish, and we would joke about drinking starfish tea. *blech* At one point my husband said that if I ever had my own business I would have to call it Orange Starfish.

Fast forward 10 years or so. I was starting up my own business, and without much thought I went with that old idea.

Now I wish I had put more thought into it. I think that I may want to be more upscale than the name is particularly appropriate for. If I could do-over I would use a variation on my own name. As I can't change my Etsy store name I doubt I'll actually change my business name, but it is something I've been thinking about. I'm not going to rush into the decision though - look what happened last time!

Rycrafty said...

My business name has a bit of tradition in it. It is very close to the name my mum had for her craft business, and it is also very close to my last name.

I love it, and it means so much to me to partially be using my mum's business name as she was the one who inspired me to be crafty. :)

Hil'Lesha said...

So many names were taken So I picked out Fashion Fling not knowing that was a popular phrase.

glamourthis said...

I would love to start an invitation line... Im a graphic designer and love anything weddings so I thought it was the perfect combo.

I just have to figure out the logistics of it... so this book would defintely be useful to me.

Get giveaway!!!

Gretchen said...

I picked the name of my "business" (still don't think of it that way) from one of the names I always had had banging around in my head for future children: isabellebooks. To the extent that I thought about it consciously, I guess I feel as if this is something I'm raising, some days by luck and some days by the guidance of experts. Looking forward to nurturing it into a mature entity!

Sharon said...

i hope to start my own business SOON and have put a great deal of thought into how to define it AND how to name it. My motivation is to do the work i'm best at and to collaborate effectively with great clients and co-conspirators.

Cat said...

For my business, I wanted a name that was fun and random. ...I also enjoy the word "kiwi" so I was hoping to incorporate that somehow.
One night I was lying in bed and the name just popped into my head! And 'Kiwi Punch Designs' was born. :)

Janick - Neawear said...

"Nea" came from my brainstorming for a name for my jewelry company. I wanted it to say "new", in the meaning of "fresh" and "modern".

Then came to my head "neo" which means "new". I thought it was too masculine and "Matrix movie" (lol!), so I changed it with an "a" to make it more feminine, there was Nea!

When I got to Etsy to create an account, the username had to be at least 4 digits. I thought that adding "jewelry" was limiting myself in the future if I wanted to add accessories or any other thing I made to the store.

So it became NeaWear, although I still use my name mostly as "Nea". (And boy am I happy that I chose "Wear" instead of "Jewelry"! I'm about to launch something knew next week that has nothing to do with jewelry!)

And that's the story! :)

Good luck everyone!!!

Kate said...

My company name is inspired by my own name, Kate O'Leary. The myth surrounding the great Chicago fire is that Mrs. O'Leary's cow knocked over a lantern and started the fire. Her name was Katherine O'Leary same as mine. So I started brain storming around that concept and came up with Arsonist Cow Studios.

Jessica Mott said...

I was lying in bed with my young daughter, listening to her lullaby music as she fell asleep. I wanted to work from home making children's clothing so I could spend more time with her. I listened intently to her music for any words or phrases that spoke to me of my daughter and could reflect children's apparel. "Moon River" came on the CD and I knew I was close because the message I get from the song is one of possibilities. When the phrase "huckleberry friends" was sung, I was transported to huckleberry picking with my mom when I was very young. I got chills because I knew I had the perfect name. I could not wait to call my mom to tell her!

tammy vitale said...

I started my business as Tam's Originals (which covers a plethora of the things I do, but was originals for dolls which are not more), and eventually just changed it to Tammy Vitale because that is what was branding out on the net, and because "Tam's Originals" brought up cookies from England all the time. So I just went with my name. I have been a full time artist for 6 years but am seeing things change drastically with the economy. Revisiting everything isn't a bad idea...

Emira said...

Emira here (one of the authors of the book), obviously I'm not entering to win a copy ;) I did just want to pop in and say that I'm really enjoying reading all your stories! It's so inspiring to Lauren and I to hear stories of other women's businesses and their journeys. I just love the naming process myself and hearing all your personal stories of where you got your names from/how you arrived at them is such a treat. Thanks so much for sharing.

Shayla said...

I picked my business name "Hidden Place Studio" through a lot of research. I had to have clearly in mind what I wanted my business to say.

In the end I was inpired by song lyrics by Bjork about a hidden place. Song lyrics won't work for everyone, but the nature of our businesses is similar so it worked for me.

My art was about painting people's inner lives and personalities. So often that is hidden. My art also comes from that hidden place in me. Not to mention that the name felt mysterious and contemplative. These were all feelings that matched my art.

Melanie L said...

I toyed with a bunch of business names before deciding on the right one. Primarily, I wanted a name that captured my bilingual nature, plus I live in a city where one should ideally be able to do business in both English and French.

In the end, I chose "Miel Designs" because it was short and relatively memorable in both languages. 'Miel' means honey, a word that to me connotes femininity and sweetness, 'designs' is used in English and French and conveys an idea of pleasing esthetics. Also, most people refer to me as "Mel" -- short for Melanie, but also the latin word for honey. I felt it all fitted well together.

Lyndsay @ LouLouBell said...

My name is Lyndsay. I started my online business last year. When I opened shop the first thing that came to mind was to use the name my mom called me when I was a little girl, which is LouLouBelle. There was another user on Etsy at the time with an inactive account that was using this name. So I shortened it and dropped the e. Of course it seems this user's account has since been deleted, but I'm now stuck with my name, but am fine with it, as it's been over a year now and I'm happy with it because it means something to me. Also, it makes sense, since it was my mother who I remember sewing when I was little, and I used to love to go through her fabric scraps (still my favorite part, picking out the fabrics for my designs!).

I continue to put as much time into my little business as I can because I love what I do, and how great is it to make money while doing it! I dream of doing this full-time someday, if it's meant to be. It will mean more time at home in our cabin in the woods, and also, I love the idea of a handmade community, as opposed to mass production - where things are unique and one of a kind, and artists and crafters can make a living for themselves doing what it is they love!

Angela said...

Someone first suggested a couple of years ago that I try to start selling my origami jewelery that I make. So when I had to come up with a name for my business, I chose 1000PaperCranes. The paper crane has actually influenced a huge part of my life. And it is said that if you fold 1000 that your wish will come true. I was 10 when I taught myself how to fold a crane, and that eventually led to my love of crafts (including over 7000 cranes folded in my lifetime), and the two years I lived in Japan, which made me who I am today. So I thought that was an appropriate choice.
I would really love to expand my craft business. I just love making things, and I love it even more when I see people with the things I make.

AmyDe said...

My business name is my signature that my Father gave me nearly 15 years ago. I like using my own name and I like the connection I feel to my father. Could I use something more creative or specific - probably, but not knowing what direction I want to take in business or otherwise right now - I like the portability of AmyDe, Handmade Just for You.

planetjune said...

My business name (PlanetJune) was an accident! Several years ago, I named my personal website PlanetJune because my name is June and the website is all me. But then I fell into becoming a crochet pattern designer and the name was already there - I didn't even consider getting a 'proper' name until I was too well known for it to make sense to change it.

A well thought out business name is a great idea, but I think, for many of us, the business sort of 'sneaks up' on you, and a lot of decisions are made without realising the impact they may have!

But I like PlanetJune, so I'm happy to be stuck with it :)

Sally said...

Yea. I need help. :)

Stacey said...

I've been working over the idea of "working for myself" for some time now. I graduated college nearly 3 years ago, and I still haven't managed to find a really good job. I really miss the freedom of setting my own hours. The idea that I could have to answer only to myself, and that I could set my own standards and schedule and work load, simply thrill me. The only thing stopping me at this point is simply fear of the unknown. Will it work, will I be successful, will I be able to manage the business side of things, etc.

When I do manage to get going, though, I'm thinking I'll use my own name. I know it's sort of selfish in a way, but as a female who still wants to change her name when she gets married, I really want to do something with my name now, my father's name. I want to be known for me and what I can do. ^^

Laura Bucci said...

Hi, this is Laura, the reviewer. I just want to pop in for a sec and say that I am delighted to read all your comments! Such wonderful stories.

tanisalexis said...

laura you are so great for doing this giveaway- I think we ALL need to read this book. :) if I had the opportunity, I would give a book to everyone. hahaha.

My biz name was easy, heh-heh, my parents blessed me with 5 legal names! (including the family names)my choice for tanis alexis was fairly simple. my mother gave me my name alexis and in a way it is in honour of her own entrepreneurial spirit and creativity. I initially used it to name my website. the website was the 1st of many other ventures. To me it is a reminder that all creative projects I make and try to sell must be purely of my spirit. purely tanis alexis. If I begin to wander or try to force myself to do something that isn't true to me, I cannot put my business name on out of my own personal respect. Tanis Alexis reminds me to always be as real and true of myself that I can possibly be. And BOY! am I ever enjoying it all!! the bumps, the bruises, every single lesson learned.
some day I will write a book myself, lol! called "how the underdog did it" aka: how to start a small business out of nothing.
I have no capital, no big business account but I am proud of that. I keep growing slowly no matter what loans or business accounts I dont have...and it's working! so I keep trucking along happily..
xoxo you are ALL so inpsiring! THANK YOU!!!

Rhiannon said...

My business name is Maked. I wanted a name that could encompass all sorts of crafts and art, not just those with yarn or paper, etc. I also wanted my business to be very open and I feel the connotations of "naked" implies that. Our tagline is "crafts exposed". And I love puns.

Nicole R.J. said...

Well 'Designed by RJ' is not a terribly exciting name, but when I first started out I considered that I may want to also sell my other crafty goods, all things knitted, paper crafts, etc. etc. So I wanted something that would not limit me to jewelry.

As it turnes out I've opened a second business selling supplies, as well as a charm-related division of my original jewelry shop and have incorporated the "RJ" into both, tying them all nicely together. Next step? RJ Inc.! :D

Rachel said...

I'm presently in the fledgling stages of home business. I'm doing it because sewing and design make me happiest out of anything in the world, and what better reason is there? It's a place where work and play meet for me.

As for the trade name, that's a secret until the launch!

Ele said...

Well, this will probably sound very silly, but I named my business after my cat! My cat's name is Minouette. 'Minou' means 'kitty' in French and the '-ette' suffix suggest small and female. But the word sounds like 'minuet' and reflects her love of music. I think the word is pleasing, and rather cute. I've quite consistently identified myself as 'minouette' on-line, so I think there is some recognizability -to a small group of people no doubt ;). I think of the moniker 'minouette' as denoting my creative side.

Lori said...

I named my business using my given name Loretto. It is not used often and I think it helps define the creative part of me. Also by using Designs By Loretto, I am not limiting myself to just jewelry if I decide to branch out.
I'm just now starting to work on the business side of jewelry. There is so much to learn in this area!

Tanja said...

I chose schatz-a-batz because it's what my family used to call me when I was little. It's sort of a German pet name.
I sell children's clothing and accessories, so I thought that it was suiting.

Wendy said...

I'm in the early stages of starting a home business. I know what I want to do, but I'm having a hard time coming up with a name that's simple, meaningful and not already taken :)

julie said...

My graphic design side has a formal name, which is based on my last name: Kundhi Creative. My crafty side is based on my childhood nickname: julie-bird.com. The first was pretty easy to figure out. The second one took years to finally be happy with.

Everyone is talking about this book! If I don't win it, I'm going to have to head to the library or bookstore, for sure!

Janice said...

I don't have a business persay. But I do have an etsy store (empty at the moment). I couldn't come up with a good name and so my husband suggested 'Kinderstitches'. I like it, although it suggests that all I do is stuff for kids. Mostly I do but I would also like to do other stuff.

Beth said...

I always knew if I started a business, I would call it Heaven and Earth. My art reflected the metaphysical so I thought it a slam dunk. However when I went to a web server and used their softwear, they suggested the business name reflect keywords one might use on a search engine. I settled on Maine Coast Jewelry even though I make much more than jewelry. When I sell in person, I can showcase all my work but on the website, I just sell the jewelry. I am thinking this might change over the next few years however.

LoopyJ said...

I opened it the floor up to some close friends. My DH came up with the Loopy - which describes my personality often and the loops in crochet and knitting. From there and with the help of friends it evolved into Loopy 4 Ewe.

I wanted something that was fun, sort of decribed what I did and something I could expand upon.

Melisa & Erik Nielsen said...

Oh I am so pleased that my dear friend turned me onto your blog! This book looks great. I have owned several businesses over the years and they all had names that were inspired by my children - for instance the friend who sent me to your blog, she owns mamatiedye.com - I started that business (which of course she purchased) nearly ten years ago and it is growing strong - that business was name by my two oldest boys who at the time were tiny and only had short words for what I was doing (tie dyeing) so the name was born from there "MamaTieDye" - and it has grown.

We are also homeschoolers - Waldorf homeschoolers, and I have been at it for some time - I was encouraged a few years back to really start building a consulting business from my experience and I hunted for the right name. Of course Waldorf is so over used that I really didn't want that in my title and what I offer families is so much more that I really wanted something that spoke "nature, sweetness, and relaxation" all at once. I came across a poem:

A little garden flower
Is lying in its bed.
A warm Spring sun
Is shining overhead.
Down came the raindrops
Dancing to and fro -
The little flower wakens
And then begins to grow.

I laid in bed and imagined what that would feel like - how much I love the site of flowers in the Spring and how good we feel when flowers are part of our home - thus A Little Garden Flower was born. We have been toying with the business as a hobby for a couple years, last year we started writing and publishing our own line of homeschooling guides that currently go from preschool up to gr 5 (with gr6 in the works now) but what started as a hobby, doing somethng that I love (homeschooling and connecting with women, supporting them) has turned into support for our family. Last year my husband left his job (he's a writer/editor too) so that we could work together - this year we are no longer a hobby! We are looking for investors to help us grow - this book looks like a great read and even if I don't win I will be picking up a copy - I may not be able to wait! lol... might have to hit the book store today and see if I can find one and then gift the other if I win. I love what I do - being with women is so healing - I am proud of everyone who has commented on starting their business - it is so important to have a place where you can feel like you belong! We are the wave of the future.

Blessings!!

Kat said...

Ugh! naming. I did well with my kids names, but anything else, I get all anxious. I'm looking to start my own business in the fall, I'm working on a business plan and taking some related classes. But a good name really helps.

Enjoli said...

I do not have a business yet, but I have always had a passion for media. I have always wanted to start a magazine and publish my own and others books. Right now, I am working on a photography business start-up, and am one half of a music publishing team named Canrius Music. I know this book will help me organize myself into becoming a productive business owner as well as getting things together to get the word out about who I am and how I can help people. You inspire me to be a strong woman and be the only one in my family who has the strength to take this kind of risk doing what I love. Thank you.

Pearl said...

I'd use, "Pearlknits" for a company name as it's simple as I'd like to publish patterns which are as pared down as possible.

Charlene Anderson said...

I chose "Purveyor of all Things Creative" at it leaves me open to exand my products lines into all creative fields.

Charlene Anderson

Tangerine Dreams said...

My business is called While Tangerine Dreams because Tangerine's my daughter's middle name (fave Led Zep song, fave essential oil - makes one happy) and I sell what I work while she takes her nap.

Heather said...

My business/art practice is called "True Stitches". I originally used the name back in the 80's when I was a custom dressmaker, then revived it a few years ago when I started making things from recycled cloth to sell online. It has always felt really appropriate for me because I value above all else integrity - of material, of design, of how I live in this world, of my relationship with others.
The name has evolved with me - when I first started my logo was based on "True Confessions" magazine, now its more earthy and relates more directly to cloth.

Darlene said...

Right now, I'm in the "Idea Phase" of my business.

What has motivated me to start a business? 1. To help me grow creatively and 2. To develop products that will add a little joy to peoples' lives.

Delightful products provide all of us with mini escapes from the routine of daily life.

EAST COAST KITSCH said...

I came up with the idea for my name East Coast Kitsch a couple of years ago, but never used it until this year. I wanted to highlight where I was from and i thought that Kitsch captured what I did quite well.

I am inspired to create because I can- and I think that is the best reason to do what I do. As woman, I am not bound to do something because I have to and that is inspiring to me. I love to create neat and fun items and do it out of love and the desire to become a stronger more creative person.

My etsy shop is http://eastcoastkitsch.etsy.com

Jane

EAST COAST KITSCH said...

I came up with the idea for my name East Coast Kitsch a couple of years ago, but never used it until this year. I wanted to highlight where I was from and i thought that Kitsch captured what I did quite well.

I am inspired to create because I can- and I think that is the best reason to do what I do. As woman, I am not bound to do something because I have to and that is inspiring to me. I love to create neat and fun items and do it out of love and the desire to become a stronger more creative person.

My etsy shop is http://eastcoastkitsch.etsy.com

Jane

lieblingartcrafts said...

I'd love to win!

I chose my business name (Liebling) for a variety of reasons. I get my craftiness from my mom's side of the family, and my maternal grandmother and I are very close. She is a German immigrant, who married my grandpa right after the war (an American G.I.) and moved back here with him. She's a great seamstress, knitter, and in general very crafty lady. We're close, and I'm about 99% German so I wanted the name to be in German. One night, Liebling (german for "darling" or "favorite") just popped into my head. I thought it was perfect, it ties in with my family history and also I liked the idea of someone finding a darling item or possibly even their new favorite item at my shop.

There you have it, I'm now Liebling, selling under lieblingartcrafts.etsy.com.

Thanks for the opportunity!

Jess

modish said...

When I was searching out a name for my new blog, Modish, there were not any other indie design blogs around yet, but I was really adverse to using the name "indie" or "design" or anything like that in the business name because they seemed so cliche. I wanted something a bit more intriguing, a bit more curious, more original. So I started thinking about what I'd be writing about, and decided that the focus would be writing about how handmade goods are just as "stylish", if not more so, than big box goods. I looked up stylish in the thesaurus and hit upon "modish", wrote it down, kept looking, but nothing else really stuck with me. I liked the sound of it, the length of the word and the fact thats it's not really a commonly used word here in America (turns out it's a hip slang word in Europe!) so it'd be more easy to associate with me, and my "brand". I also liked how the word looked design-wise, which is something to think about. So, I tried it out and it has stuck for almost 3 years, and now I'm the #1 result when you search for "modish" in google! That would never have happened if I'd selected something "indie" related for my name...better to be a big fish in a small pond, and BE ORIGINAL! :)
-jena

Marilyn said...

How did I come up with "Pulp Sushi"? I'm a blogaholic. I love to read them and I love to write them. A few years ago I wanted to start a blog a la Perez Hilton and The Superficial where I would write satirical commentary on what's going on in the world from celebrities to politics so I wanted a funky name to it. Pulp Sushi just came at random. I'm a late bloomer when it came to liking Sushi but I love it now.

"Pulp" as in the old pulp magazines published between the 1920s and 1950s that published crazy exploited tales of crime and passion. The two mean nothing together but I liked the sound of it. The blog didn't end up going anywhere because I found I didn't have the attentionspan for caring about celebrities too much.

I really liked the name so I kept it tucked away hoping to find another use for it and I have!

Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Julie, I dont have a company up yet, but I'm working on it. I the mean time I've already set up an etsy account, a blog, and email all under the name MiaDu Designs. The story is kind of corny but its what my husband and I call each other. It started out as Mi Amor, and morphed into miadu. Its short, sweet, and something that I think will stick in peoples head!

Thanks! I really need this book!
miadudesigns(dot)yahoo.com

Tori said...

I am new to Etsy and so my 'business' is still in it's new stages. I chose the name Apostrophy Designs mostly because I liked the way it looked in a particular font I had... I also went with an A-name because alphabetically speaking it just made sense!

Would love to win the book to see if it could help me in my ongoing Etsy/Business adventure!! Thanks!

Meredith said...

When I went into business for myself, a bit under a year ago, I knew there were many things I'd potentially want to do, and many of them would need their own distinctive name. Plus, my first step was to buy out my boss's business and she already had name recognition for that line. So I incorporated as Pa'rus Industries Limited, and run various lines under other names, like myHERObag.

Pa'rus was the Native American name for the Virgin River, which formed Zion Canyon in southwest Utah. The place holds a lot of meaning for me, and as I was finally pushing away from the bank and out into the main current of the entrepreneurial river, it seemed particularly fitting.

samantha said...

I'm just in the beginning stages of deciding what to make/sell, but I have bought www.shedabbles.com to start with and am happy with it so far. Now just to begin!

ren said...

i named "we do it when we feel like it" collective i belong to "tired girl collective" for very obvious reasons. we are tired and we are girls. i never expected that we would get so much attention just for the name though. people ask us all the time why we are so tired-we all have demanding full time jobs AND secondary jobs and families-but who doesn't?. we also find that women totally get the name, men, not quite so much.

Jewel Alchemy said...

I chose Jewel Alchemy because my designs are always inspired by the interactions between the colors, tones, and sparks of light and shadows in and around gems. They look one way all on their own, but completely different next to a different stone.

The Knittymommy said...

At this time, I only have my Etsy Store up, but unfortunately have not yet been active lately. However, I did choose my business name The Knittymommy, to reflect who I am, which is a Mommy and to quickly provide the premise of the products, which is knitting. While I do not knit for profit, I offer hand crafted knitting accessories.

Keeping it this simple also allows me to branch out into other product lines within the realm of knitting later on, should I wish to expand the product lines further.

sweetcheese said...

The name "sweetcheese" began life as a joke during a fun day out with friends, but since I love the sound of it and it fits my aesthetic it has stuck. My Etsy shop that will be opening in the next few weeks will feature accessories and vintage goods from thrifted materials--often of the cheesy-patterned variety, with a dose of sweet fun.
It is so rejuvenating to read everyone's stories and thanks for the giveaway!

Tapas & Dim Sum said...

We named our business(izzyandbuds.com) using the nicknames of our kids, who at the time were much younger (and cuter).

Do we actually still call them by these names? Not if we want to appear remotely "cool" in their eyes!

Our pen names are Tapas & Dim Sum, which reflects our heritage, our love of food and the little tidbits we offer on on blog.

Michelle BIngham said...

My company name is Geez Louise. My middle name is Louise and when I was little and anyone said the phrase "geez louise" I would reply "that's me!" So I decided to use that as my company name.

Now I hope that when people see my designs they think they are so great they say "geez louise, those are good!"

Chantel said...

I called my graphic design business "Archangel Mint" because it's an anagram of my name. I stuck my name into an anagram generator, and this was the first option, and I loved it. It sounded funky, plus, I love mint flavoured and mint coloured things.

jess gonacha said...

I just use my name for my business, because I like the idea of there being a real person creating teh artwork and products. Lately I have been considering starting a new branch of my company under a different name that sounds more like a cmopany than just my name does-- but I don't know what to do and how to tie it all together!

i think this book would really help me, and I'm so glad you're having this giveaway!!
Thank you!

Stockton said...

My business name is Stockton & Co. "Stockton" comes the movie Funny Face (Audrey Hepburn plays Jo Stockton, a book shop employee who agrees to enter the world of modelling in exchange for a trip to Paris), and the "& Co." is meant to be suggestive of a time when things (business-wise) were smaller, and maybe meant more. The combination of these two things represents (to me, and I hope conveys to others) exactly the aesthetic of the business I'm trying to build.

(Funnily enough, the process of writing this down just now has made me realize that I've strayed somewhat from my original focus, in terms of what I'm making & selling ... right now my products are somewhat baby & kids oriented but I hope to return to making things that have more of a 'glamourous book-nerd' kind of feel!)

Sew Bettie said...

I picked my name because I sell sewing patterns and crafty kits and because I am inspired most my dog Bettie.

Creations StayMa said...

I would like to start my own busines at home (to begin) and I will name it StayMa Creations (Stay and Ma are two parts of my real name).

I think I will try to sell my creations by the Web first. I don't know when but I'm sure that this dream will come true!

I'll put this blog site on mine for sure!

Elena @ TickledPinkKnits said...

This sounds like a great book to have, so thanks for the opportunity to enter the contest. It's interesting to read everyone else's replies, too.

My handmade knitwear & accessories shop (exclusively at Etsy for now) is Tickled Pink Knits. I toyed with the name idea for some time. I wanted the name to express the joy I feel when designing and making the knits. I wanted it to be playful and whimsical. I wanted people who purchase my creations to be tickled pink about them! :) That's how the name was born!

Elena
http://TickledPinkKnits.Etsy.Com

M. Bingham said...

Oh and I forgot to mention I also named the design business my husband and I started. Simply put our last name is Bingham and our company name was Studio Bing or just Bing for short. We liked that it made a fun sound like when you come up with a great idea, BING all of a sudden the idea is there. We figured we could do a sound like Yahoo did at some point, but we haven't gotten that far yet.

HipKid said...

The name of my business is Hip Kid T-shirts. I started it about 4 years ago when my son just turned 3.
I like to dress my son a little out of the orginary and couldn't find anywhere to shop for little boys other than Baby Roots and Baby Gap. Big snore. But great quality for your money. I decided I wanted to have clothes that were good quality, but had more personality.

I was working long hours at my job which was technology oriented and didn't leave a lot of time for me to explore my creative side. Then I was laid off from my job and was feeling discombobulated and a little lost. Part of my severance package was attending career counselling where I met my original business partner. We threw around lots of names (my original choice was Babycakes), but one day she just said Hip Kid and I new that was the one.

We are no longer business partners, but I am still at it and loving every minute of it.as

jadelights said...

I had thought about my business name for a long while and wanted something that was reminiscent of what I actually did (candles - which has moved on to handmade home and body items). I also wanted something that felt upscale.

I went with Jadewicks as an idea based off two. Jade came from my often naughty kitty who didn't let burned whiskers and paws come between her and her fascination with a flame. And -wicks came from my desire to tie back in to my product in some form.

stephanierenee said...

I'm in the process of creating my business. I've been making things for years, and freelancing doing graphic design work. The one thing that I'm stuck on is the name. The reason for starting my business now is that I'm going to be having my first child this July, and I need another way to make money while staying home with my daughter.

Sharleen Morco said...

My business name is actually just my name (Sharleen Morco)! Very simple, but I figured it would be easiest to make a brand out of myself. Though, my domain name is mmm-fruit.com.. I had the domain before I first started my business and it was nice to make use of something I already had.

Ilix said...

okay I'll bite...my business is very fledgling but the name is the same as my blog. Up Late Designs. It was pretty simple for me, I am a night owl and prefer to get stuff done later in the day and work late into the night.... I feel more creative. I wanted a word that didn't define the crafts I made so Designs is a was of saying.... "plans" that way I can bead, embroider, knit, paint and make pottery. Thanks for the book review, I think I will check it out. Gotta support the local authors!

Esma said...

Sounds like a great book! I love reading about the success of other small business owners... so inspiring.

My business name is "Esma". I was thinking about using my own name, but both my first and last names are so common that I felt it wasn't memorable enough. I started researching variations of my first name, Amy, and I finally came across Esma. The Spanish origin of Esma means "emerald". Emerald is my favorite gemstone and green is my favorite color, so it really just seemed perfect, so I went with it.

Since I have a couple of different aspects to my business, "Esma Studios" is a name that covers all of my endeavors. Under that, I have Esma Jewelry and Esma Villa (my forthcoming home decor line).

I wanted a name that was short, unique, and generic enough to cover any future business ventures I may decide to pursue.

vadjutka said...

My shopname is VADJUTKA .

Basically this is the translation of my name, which is Judit Wild.
Wild in Hungarian means "VAD", and JUTKA is a nick for Judit.

I was given this nickname at the age of 13, by the father of a good friend of mine. I have been using it as a mark of myself since 2000.

Paige Thomas King said...

I've always thought the name of my boutique is less than creative, but I wanted something easy to remember (to look-up in a telephone book or to google). I think my tag line does the job of describing/explaining what you'll find inside. My business name is Hodgepodge--which I gleaned from the pages of my all-time-favorite magazine, Victoria. Hodgepodge was a regular feature column in their magazine. As I wasn't sure which direction my boutique would take, I felt the name left me open for adjusting my inventory based on sales. My tag line Where You Gather Your Home does the job of describing what patrons will find inside.
I've enjoyed reading these comments. I've always been interested in business names and how people choose them. It's like naming your child, but rarely do you paint your kids' name on a sign, purchase advertising space featuring their name, plaster their names on bags, business cards and receipts. There's a lot of pressure!
Hats off to all of you creative risk takers!

Jen said...

My company's name is
Starving Artist Bazaar.
I picked the name after I left my 9-5 job. It seemed appropriate. The "Bazaar" part because I love the movie Lawrence of Arabia.

My etsy shop is Sighfoo. That's the phonetic spelling of my last name. Don't like it when people pronounce it see-foo.

Chris said...

My etsy shop name is Crixmix. It was my nickname in high school. Somehow Chris became Crix which became Crixmix.

Cathy said...

I am working on starting a spiritual healing business, and on starting a jewelry business. I'd like to come up with a name that works for both. I'm always on the lookout for inspiration -- it's great to read everyone's comments.

cathy peng said...

My business name is "Cathy Peng Illustration" because I was initially focused on (book) illustration after graduating from school. Plus, the instructors sort of guided us into adding "Illustration" after our name. But I've since branched out into other art and design areas, so am thinking of changing my business name to just my name. Leaves things a bit more open and makes it easier as a way to "brand yourself", like someone else mentioned in one of the comments.

Thanks for the giveaway! I've been considering getting this book and will likely do so even if I don't win :)

michela said...

When I started brainstorming on business names, I already knew the target audience for my baby quilts. So I thought a lot about the mood of the names I was thinking of and the image the name would create for my company. I mined my life for things I like, words I enjoy the sound of, characters from or authors of my favorite books, etc. Everything was a bust (apparently I like a lot of things that aren't baby appropriate). It ended up that my bf and I would just say whatever words came into our heads and finally I didn't hate one. I had this idea that I would find something perfect and I would *know*, but in the end I think that's a bit much for most people to expect from a name.

Lorrie said...

I just found your blog - I'm a Canadian, thinking of opening an etsy store. So much to learn!

Lorrie

Penny People Designs said...

When I was in Grade 6 I was obviously doodling on a desk, and proceeded to circle a penny. I put two eyes and then a mouth, creating a sweet, but simple character which I continued to draw, and immediately named the Penny People in Grade 6. Over the years I continued to draw them, as my private pleasure. When I decided to open my own business, it was only natural that the characters that made me continue drawing over 13 years be the name of my company.."Penny People".
A simple idea drawn on a desk, became my simple name, with a lot of meaning for me. :) Ta-da! That is my entry! ;)

guiniveve said...

The Revenue Canada woman flat out told be not to use my own name as my business name because "nobody will be able to pronounce it." I did and it works just fine. Over the last few months I've been researching how to morph from a 'graphic design at home gal' to a 'little shop with stuff to sell + design office in the back gal'. Reason: simply to connect with more people. The at-home stuff, especially in places where you get -40 for extended periods of time, can be a tad isolating. I hope to make this book part of my research pile.

Lia said...

I chose my business name (Goodmorning, Morning!) from a school girl joke I had with one of my friends in highschool. We were going on a band trip, and there was five girls in one room, which had french doors separating one section of the room from the other. We were so excited about these doors that we couldn't wait to throw them open in the morning and exclaim "good morning, morning!". When deciding on a business name, this phrase popped into my head and it stuck!

Cherry Runway said...

It actually took me a very long time to come up with my business name. "Cherry Runway". I brained stormed and came up with everything from Happy Face Jewelry to Cherry Jewels....i'm very happy with the name i choose.

I wanted something original, and that honestly, i wanted a name that i could see in a magazine next to a really pretty image of jewelry. I figured "Cherry Runway" would seem like a name i would see in Marie Clare. :)

sweetninja said...

I wanted a quirky name that would reflect the humor of my goods. I went with "Sweet Ninja," because sweet is a good description for my nature and ninja is what I wish I was!

tina witherspoon said...

my business name is glam.spoon. it is a combination of my last name "witherspoon" and the word glamour. It doesn't clearly say 'this is a women's clothing business' but my tag line does: bohemian chic for women with tenacity. It has worked for me so far, but I do have to explain it frequently.

Tiffany said...

I want to do what I love and to do it well. Calligraphy and designing unique, custom, handmade announcements & invitations without limits or boundaries. I'm toying with a business name currently. I polled many of my friends with a long list and broke it down after that. It was difficult because then people kept giving me ideas which were not on my list. But alas I think I've narrowed it down to one. Hopefully you'll see me on Etsy soon! ~Tiffany

Michelle B. said...

My business name is Geez Louise, originally it was from when I was a kid and people would say "geez Louise" and I would say "That's ME!" cause my middle name was Louise. But now I find it evokes so much more of who I am. Its cute, clever, funny and girly! www.geezlouisedesigns.com