|Beth Hemmila of Hint Jewelry|
After deciding on the basic concept for your handmade business, you need to create a shop name. Naming your shop on Etsy sounds like it would be incredibly easy; however, four years later, and I'm still refining the identity of my business name.
In this post, I'll offer some basic tips for creating a shop name on Etsy and then later explore the idea of branding a name or concept.
Tips for Creating a Shop Name on Etsy
A Business Name Should Be...
- Easy to remember and spell
- No more then 2 or 3 words
- Creates interest and communicates a message
- Available for trademarking
BrainstormSet aside a whole day or weekend to brainstorm a name for your Etsy shop. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do I want my business name to describe a concept or brand an identity?
- Do I want my business to describe what I'm selling?
- What message am I trying to communicate about my product?
- What business names am I drawn to when I shop on Etsy?
SearchOnce you have a list of possible business names, search them on Google, Etsy, Facebook, and Twitter to make sure they aren't already being used. Check possible business names as dot-coms on The WHOIS Search to see if anyone else has it registered as a domain. Even if someone isn't using the domain yet, they might be thinking about using the business name in the near future. Lastly be sure to search your possible business names on the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This will keep you from stepping on any toes and creating legal problems down the road.
FeedbackAsk your friends and family for feedback on your potential Etsy shop names. Have them say the shop names back to you so you can hear them aloud. Network with other entrepreneurs and ask them for feedback on your Etsy shop name. Other small business owners usually give you the most unbiased feedback because they know how difficult the process can be, and they want to help you as much as possible.
For more ideas, check out this article on picking a name for an online Etsy craft shop: Etsy Success: What's in a Name?
Should You Brand a Name or a Concept?
When I considered the name for my Etsy shop Hint Jewelry, I went back and forth between calling my business my name "Beth Hemmila" and placing my products under a concept.
What attracts you to a brand name? Does a person's name convey more about a product then a concept? Below I've outlined the process I went through in putting my business name together, and I've included the feedback from other entrepreneurs that has helped me change it along the way.
Reasons for Choosing the Shop Name Hint Jewelry
- I wanted my main concept to be a short word that would be easy to remember and spell when typing into search engines. I wanted the word to be no more then four letters.
- I wanted a name that conveyed a concept. For me the word "Hint" communicates the idea of scent, secret thoughts, and desires, which connected to the idea that charm symbols help us develop a deeper relationship with our hidden, interior lives.
- My last name is often misspelled and can be difficult to remember. It's also not easy to pronounce, so I was worried this would make my business difficult to find.
- My website address might be too complicated to remember and type.
Reasons for Changing my Business Name to Beth Hemmila
- As a artist I've always built my identity on my name, so it feels disconnected having a concept as my persona.
- I like my name and think it's unusual.
- My name connects with my cultural background which plays a part in the stories behind my charm designs.
- I can add other products and services under the umbrella of "Beth Hemmila" that is not related to jewelry.
- It would be easier to deal with the legalities of trademark.
- It would be easy to get a domain name for a web site.
Feedback From Other Entrepreneurs
Hi Beth, The goal with trademarks is to have a strong trademark. For word marks, the strongest word trademarks are words that are arbitrary or fanciful such that when consumers see the word, the only thing that comes to mind is the source of the goods or services. When I say EXXON, who do you think of? You have a lovely name, and your last name, HEMMILA, falls into the arbitrary and fanciful category in my mind.
Hi Beth, To your case specifically... I like HINT. It's whimsical, mysterious, short, and easy to remember. Your name is beautiful, but I can see how spelling errors with Hemmila might present a problem, plus it might be difficult for people to recall the name. HINT is a word we all know, and it's easy to remember. You have a unique situation because you are an artist. Although you're selling a product, it's really your name that gives it it's value. Have you considered HINT by Beth Hemmila? Visually focus on the HINT part, and keep your name as sort of a tag line. Eventually, one or the other will develop the equity, and you can drop the other. Remember, POLO is actually POLO by Ralph Lauren. Everybody just says POLO, but his name is always emotionally attached to that brand.
Hi Beth, I like the idea of having a brand concept for your jewelry - and I enjoyed hearing how it came about. I would agree that using Hint by Beth Hemmila gives you the best of both worlds, with the visual focus on Hint, much as it currently is on your Etsy site. Another advantage to having a separate brand name is that it mentally reminds you that the business is a separate entity - something that's very hard for artists. A business is like a child - it has come from you, and feels like part of you, but it is ultimately separate from you.