What's In A Name?

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 and my heroes. They were both immigrants and made a new life for themselves and our family 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 or two). 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 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 so I can sell stuff. I was thinking of this is a hobby or side project, not my future or career. So my kitschy side came up with the cute lamb and it didn't occur to me to think beyond that minute. I wasn't thinking at all to be honest. And THAT was a mistake.

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 n fact, I'm a reluctant transplant and do not claim Chicago at all as my identity. I am a NYC gal and anyone who knows me knows that. So Midwest in my name is just off. 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. I design and make slow fashion for adults, not kitsch cute or kids stuff.

As scary as the thought of changing what I had worked so hard for 2 years to brand and build was, the truth is that I was more afraid of not changing it. I knew I needed to because the name itself was stifling me and my goals.

In truth; 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 because like those companies, I knew finding MY brand identity was as important to succeed. It also 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. I thought about all the things a "brand" is supposed to be: a representation of me and the product. 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. So much of how I live and what I do goes back to them. Even starting this crazy business has me constantly thinking of them and what would gampa do. 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!

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Read more about Branding here in the Naturally Nora Crochet Cottage Branding Series