I completely re-branded and relaunched my crochet business this month. It was no small undertaking. I will talk more about the process in a later in the post. What I want to talk about now, is the name because I LOVE it. I am excited to tell you the story behind the new name: 144 Stitches.
It is actually named after my grandparents who were also small business owners. They were both immigrants and made a new life for themselves in the USA. Their last name was Gross.
Well, I couldn't name the business Gross Stitches (though I thought about it for a minute). Then I turned to my inner geek and, in math, a dozen dozens is a "gross". So that means a gross is 144 (12 x 12).
So I am honored to rename my business 144 Stitches!
It is fun, edgy and has a lot of meaning for me. It is also a great conversation starter which is a bonus because it allows me a starting point to tell people about my business and brand. It makes it personal. I also feel like it is limitless. I can explore beyond crochet into knits and Tunisian crochet and it is all encompassed in the name. 144 Stitches really represents me and my brand.
So why the change you ask?
Well - here is the thing: When I named my business, I did not put nearly as much thought into it as I should have. I was thinking short term, get something up quick and cute and catchy. I was thinking of this is a hobby or side project, not my future so just have fun. I wasn't thinking at all to be honest. And THAT was a mistake. I had no idea what was ahead and wasn't looking at the long haul and the future. And I ignored all of my marketing background and instincts (never do that).
While the name Midwest Crochet and the lamb logo were cute and a play on my initials, they did not really represent me or the brand. I am not from the Midwest. I'm a reluctant transplant. And, while crochet is my main technique, I knit and plan to expand and the name limited me and my customers.
Additionally, while the lamb is oh so cute and I do just adore him, that logo does not really represent what me or my brand is about.
As scary as the thought of changing what I had worked so hard to brand and build was, the truth is that I was more afraid of not changing it. And re-branding is not new. Starbucks has name changed and re-branded many times. Heck, did you know Pepsi was originally "Brad's Cola" or something like that? Yup. Totally true.
Knowing this helped. It removes the "oh my gosh what am I doing" fear. It reminded me that change is good. Change is growth and evolution and that is what I want for me and my business. It helped me keep my focus on future and not be trapped by fear of the task.
And this time I didn't rush into anything. I thought about me, my story, my brand's story. I thought about what would I say when someone asked "where did the name come from?" I thought how do I invite people to learn my story? I considered where do I want to go next and what name will express that. Sure I thought about websites, search and all that important stuff. But mostly, I kept coming back to the brand story. To my story.
And that led me back to my grandparents over and over again. I mulled it over, worked with my graphic artist to create a logo that encompasses all of the above. And I am so excited and thrilled with the finished product.
144 Stitches IS my brand story.
So I say this: When you name something (a blog, website, business) think about your story. Think about the road ahead. And if you already have a name, but your gut tells you it's not hitting and not telling your story then don't be afraid to change it. Start asking yourself the same questions I asked. You will see how quickly the right new name reveals itself as it did for me!