This is it! You’ve decided to start your own handmade business, and all you need now is a name!
Only, if choosing your craft business name was that easy! Right now, you are probably wondering how to choose the perfect name, that will describe your business perfectly, will charm your customers and won’t go out of fashion in a few years. Choosing the right name for your craft business can be tricky, so here are few tried and tested ideas that will help you choose.
Do your research
No matter how original you think your name is, the chances are that somebody else has already thought of it. A simple google search will tell you if your chosen business name already exists or not.
If you find out that somebody else is already using the name you like, I would recommend that you choose a different name. Don’t be even tempted to do a slight variation on that name. You really don’t want to wake up one day with an e-mail in your inbox about breaching copyright from a more established company. Plus, why would you want to have a name that’s far too similar like somebody else? Any potential customer will be probably confused with other similar sounding companies and you might lose sales because of that.
Know your corner of the craft market
You need to know who are your potential customers are. This might be tricky to imagine, especially if you are just starting out and you don’t have any customers. But think about your type of products and the type of customers your products might attract. If you are selling brightly coloured fashion designs choose a contemporary business name. If you are selling upcycled vintage home decorations, perhaps something more traditional as a name will be more appropriate. The right customers will be then attracted to your name and the brand you’ll create.
Your business name can either be descriptive, so it is obvious what you do or you could think of a name that will evoke the ‘feeling’ about your products and the feeling that you want to evoke in your customer (e.g. Bespoke Vintage, Rose Vintage). You might also like to leave a bit unravelled, so that the customer is interested about the name and will want to know more (‘Through the looking glass…’).
Keep your craft business name simple
Don’t try to be too clever. If you need to explain to your customers what your name means and how to spell it, then the chances are that they will not remember you. From a practical point of view, if your name becomes a web domain and people won’t be able to type it in correctly, you might lose any potential customers. Similarly, avoid any names that could be misspelt to sound rude (unless that’s the brand you try to create) and be careful with names in different languages. What you think might sound lovely and very exotic, might be just too much to remember for your customers.
Keep your business name short
This goes with the previous advice. Your name needs to be memorable and should have a strong visual image behind it. If your name is awkward and long people will not remember it. If they can’t immediately picture something behind your name, your name will not stay in their memories.
Make it a positive name
I don’t believe that in our crafting world many people would do this, but it is a good idea to bear in mind that positive images (and names) work better than negative or offensive names, that will deter people immediately. Unless that’s your edgy brand that you are trying to create and in that case, go for it!
Finalise your choice
The chances are that you won’t end up with just one, but several business names. The best thing to do is to write all your choices down and ask for an opinion. You can try your friends and family, but I would really recommend asking people who don’t know you. They are likely to be more honest.
Finally, you have to be comfortable with the name you choose. You will be the one, who will promote it and say it a million times to your potential customers, so it has to be something you have a strong connection with.
Another simple trick I’ve learned, is to write down all the names on individual pieces of paper and stick them somewhere where you see them all the time (your fridge or notice board in your craft room). Every time you pass by, look at the names and try to pronounce them out loud (or just in your head). Try to imagine that you are answering a phone saying: ‘ Hello, I’m ….. (your name) from ………..(your new business name), how can I help you?’ You’ll find that some names will be easier to pronounce and some names will make you cringe. Carry on practising on all the names you’ve selected so far and one day the right name will literary ‘jump out at you’ and you will feel that it’s right for you and your handmade business. This might sounds like a bit of a woo woo, but believe me, it works!
Choose your own name as a brand
There is nothing wrong in using your own name as your brand – in fact, most designers do this and if you are successful, people will start recognising your name as the ‘brand’ (think Laura Ashley or Cath Kidson). But, until you get there, the brand of ‘Janet Smith’ will not mean anything to others. That is why some people choose a name that symbolises and describes what they do.
Be strategic when choosing your craft business name
Also think about the name from a business point of view – if your name is ‘Susan’s Handmade Cards’ and you decide to add other product lines and expand your business, by sewing cushion covers, people might be quite confused about the name and you will need to keep explaining that you ‘also do cushion covers’. So, think about a name that could be used for not just now, but also in the future – e.g. ‘Janet’s Handmade’.
Should I include the word ‘craft’ into my new business name?
This might be a little controversial and at the end of the day you’ll have to go with your gut on this one, but these days, I find the word craft or handmade a little old-fashioned and overused for craft business names. Your new business name doesn’t need to be that descriptive,in fact slightly more obscure name will allow you to grow your business without having to change it further down the line. By all means you can always use ‘craft’ or ‘handmade’ in your strapline to describe what you do.
Future proof your new craft business name
Once you’ve decided on your craft business name, make sure that you check whether that name is available as a website domain, e-mail, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook domain. Even if you don’t want to use all of these now, I would strongly recommend to at least set up all the social media accounts as these are free and you want to make sure that nobody else can get them. (either by accident or on purpose!). If you choose to use just one social media channel at the beginning (which is perfectly fine), you can always redirect your customers to that social media channel and keep the other accounts dormant.
I would also consider buying your website domain. Owning your own domain will be important if you decide to have a website or blog in the future. There are any number of domain providers (such as Reg 123) where you can check if your chosen name it’s available. The yearly fee is anything from £2.99 to £14.99 (or more). It is worth securing your domain early on, so that nobody else can take it later. There are number of endings to each website e.g. co.uk, com, biz etc., so if you want to make sure that nobody uses the same name (but just with a different ending) buy all the domains. As minimum I would recommend to purchase your home country domain ending, for example co.uk, if you are trading in UK. If you think that you’d eventually like to venture further than your own country, buy also .com as this is internationally recognised.
Choosing your business name is exciting, it means that your business properly exists and you start creating your own piece of crafting world. If you’ve already decided on your handmade business name, I’d love to know how you made that choice. Was it easy? Or difficult? What inspired you to choose your business name? Let me know in the comments below.
This blog post was written by Magdalena Marsden and originally published on WowThankYou.