Choosing a name for your Craft Business

Getting the right name for your business is very important and it’s a decision that will accordingly require a good amount of thinking through.

Why is the Business Name so important?

Well, it’s one of the first things that the public will notice about your company, that and your logo, and then your strap-line (if you have one – and you should). Those three things combine together to make up your brand identity. Thus making your company easy to identify and to understand (both of which are very important in any business).

Take a minute to think of Martha Stewart, and Amy Butler, and Purl Soho. As well as knowing what products they sell we also know what their logos, and their fonts, and their company colours look like (and this didn’t happen by magic!)

I don’t have background in web or graphic design so I can’t help you with that knock-out logo. It’s definitely worth getting a professional in to do that job if you can’t do it yourself, but I can help with getting choosing a craft business name.

Things to consider when choosing a company name:

  • Check for the website domain- whatever you choose check to see if the website domain name is available for you to buy. Even if you are not ready for your own website now you may well be in the near future.
  • Be descriptive – I think my own business name ‘U-Handbag’ is somewhat descriptive of what I do. I sell things to make handbags – hence the word ‘Handbag’ , and it is you making the handbag, and the bag is yours, and the bag is unique – hence the letter ‘U’.
  • Keep it simple – a good name will be short, catchy, and trip off the tongue. A long name is a pain in the butt to write, looks bad on business stationary, and it makes for a hard to remember website name.
  • How does it look – this might sound funny, but try writing down your business name choices and collaborate with your logo designer to see how your name looks on paper and importantly how it looks when incorporated with your logo.
  • How does it sound – as well as looking good on paper your name should be pleasant to say and appealing to hear. This one is hard to define, but you know how some babies names just sound a bit off and some babies names sound lovely? Well it’s kind of the same for business names…
  • How memorable is it - ask yourself and ask others how memorable is your business name. Does it strike a chord with people? Ask people what they feel/what images are conjured up/what judgments are they making when presented with your chosen business name choices. The more folks you can ask the better. This all might sound like a bit of a pain or it even might sound like overkill, but really if you are willing to make your beautiful craft into the early hours then a bit of time spent on doing this research isn’t going to hurt and it’s worth it.
  • Careful with the comedy – when used appropriately comedy is great for sales and giving a positive image of a company, but used inappropriately it can make your company look unprofessional. Also things spelt like ‘bagz’ jelwz, etc. etc. etc. can look a bit tacky (IMHO).
  • Using your own name – Some folks such as Amy Butler & Martha Stewart use their own names to name their company to great effect, but us mere mortals can’t do that because we don’t (yet) possess the strong brand identity that these 2 women names have. So if you name your business ‘Cathy’s Pottery’ (for example) the business name won’t necessarily be very memorable…
  • Look around you - what town do yo work in, do you work on a converted factory, workshop, etc., what famous landmarks are nearby, is there a loved on in your family history that has a nice sounding name, is there a name of a craft technique or craft material that you use that you like the sound of? These are just a few things that might inspire a business name; just remember to keep things relevant.

See also: How to name your craft items in your craft business.

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Lisa, I’m probably biased because I’m a website designer, but I think your first point is the most important one – “check if the domain name is available…Even if you are not ready for your own website now you may well be in the near future.” Every business should have a website – even if it’s a one page website. And finding a domain name that’s available can dictate what your business name will be. It shouldn’t be too long, or difficult to spell. It’s also not a bad idea to do keyword research to find out all the variations of searches done for your type of business and get these words into your domain name. So many domains are taken, but with creativity, you can find a good domain – even if it means adding your initials or your state to the domain name. For ex. years ago, my client (actually my first website which I volunteered to do) found that potterswheel.com was taken, so she reserved the domain, http://www.potterswheelny.com. But for my own e-commerce sites, I named my business the exact name of the domain.

  2. says

    Each state in the U.S. has a different set of rules for how to register your business with the state. Some times the type of business your are, sole proprietor, corporation, limited liability corporation, etc., dictates what you can name your business. For example, in order to be a sole proprietor type of business, I had to have my name in my business name. I would check out the regulations in your state before you buy a domain and name your business.

    Heidi Elliotts last blog post..Yarn Adventure

  3. says

    That’s some really good advice. I think I failed on a couple (keep it simple and see how it looks on paper), while i like my name, I wish I had thought of those first. This is also a good reminder for me that I need to get a logo happening.

    Oh, and I wanted to ask, what is a “strap-line”?

    Melanies last blog post..Matsumoto Tanabata Dolls

  4. says

    hi!
    I chose my name (macati) because it has the first 2 syllabes of my name… and it has the word cat in it because I love cats and make crocheted cats… not that I have a shop now but it’s in my plans!!!
    :)
    love reading both of your blogs

  5. says

    LOVE,LOVE,LOVE your adivise. I have pain stakingly been trying to come up with a name. My problem is trying to come up with something catchy but will later look professional enough for a trade show for example. It has been very helpful to ask everyone around me what they think about it. Also how it looks on paper has been a huge deciding factor. The last advise I personally would give from a person in the process right now is, stop stressin’. Nothing will sound right if you are so fearful of that you are not meeting every tiny bit of criteria you have for your company. Frankly you start psyching yourself out, and the creative juices come to a screeching halt instead of flow. I thank you enough for this blog, it has truly given me the confidence to know that a handcrafted business can and will work.

  6. says

    @ Heidi Elliott:

    Thanks for the helpful comment Heidi. Being based in the UK I wouldn’t known about that so it’s very nice of you comment. :) We don’t have those kind of rules in the UK.

  7. says

    This is good information. I chose my business name already. Great post and I am sure others will find this information useful.

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