How to name your cute new business

nettle twine

Just in case I ever get the money to open an offbeat little boutique, I’ve got the name ready: Sackcloth & Sashes.

The only problem is this is also on my short list for indie band names. So I’ve come up with a backup list:

 
Feather & Twine (substitute the words ‘pocket’, ‘paper’, ‘bone’, ‘wire’, ‘willow’, ‘door’, ‘silk’, ‘lace’, ‘rag’, or ‘plank’ for either of those). 
Dust & Denim (men’s clothing). 
RE:claimed (doubles as name for young adult church ministry). 
Brick & Mortar (sort of cheeky name for a physical store that used to be an online store). 
Velvet Brick (nope, too late; that’s actually a church name already).
The Painted Brick (housewares).

nettle twine

The Coal Lump (classy stocking stuffers and hostess gifts).
Brick & Wire (housewares and jewelry, obviously).
Feather & Egg (can never have too many bird references).
Egg & Bean (pregnancy and baby clothes).
Linen & Plate (maybe a little too… prosaic).


And then there’s my restaurant list. These are all one-word titles.

Picked (all farm-to-table vegetables, all the time).

Fired (either this is a pizza place, or everything is grilled—even the dessert kebabs).

Tossed (nothing but salads—wait, that’s already a thing; I’ve seen it in Cool Springs).

Frozen (gourmet shaved ice—although any one with this restaurant is really in bad shape now that Disney is on the one-word title shtick too).

Creamed (ice cream—what else?).

Root (this is a serious business that I would totally open: a restaurant that serves nothing but potatoes. Potatoes are the most wonderful of all the starches; you can do anything with them. I love twice-baked potatoes, mashed potatoes with the skin, fried potatoes, potato wedges, potato au-gratin, rosemary potatoes, loaded baked potatoes, and parmesan broiled potatoes. I love Yukons, Idahos, red-skinned, mini, and sweet potatoes. If necessary, this restaurant would also provide steak and salad—but the potatoes would be the main thing.)

Fare (this means food in fancy-talk; you could serve anything).

Bite (this is another evocative way of saying ‘we serve food’)

Spork (maybe outdated; but you could serve items that really need a spork, such as chili and cornbread or French onion soup, or brownies and ice cream).

 

See, I’ve got the marketing thing DOWN. Not. A. Problem.

Now all I’ve got to do is go online and make sure I’m not violating a copyright already. These names are bound to already exist out there—somebody has already got a photography business, boutique, café, design firm, eatery, or marketing website under each of those titles.

There just aren’t enough evocative nouns and adjectives to go around!

If marketing is no longer about ideas, but about feelings, impressions, and subconscious motivation, then our current system of naming businesses makes perfect sense. You don’t need to tell anybody anything about the store: just create an image in their mind:

Some kind of textured thing, juxtaposed against some other textured thing. Color, muted. A vague impression of something handcarved by a farmer in Wisconsin. A passing vision of skinny people wearing wispy clothes. A brief craving for the sweater you had as a child, or a sweater Gregory Peck wore in Roman Holiday.

That’s all it takes, folks! A little mood lighting and some twine. I don’t know what’s stopping me (unless it’s the overhead, lack of business expertise, lack of motivation, and general unwillingness to commit to a product genre).

I’m practically an entrepreneur—anyone want to invest?

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