A Brand New Business Name

by Elena A.

I make jewelry since 1999 and I really love it, for now it’s just a hobby but who knows maybe someday…

I sell my creations at a couple of fairs in my area but my main revenues are purchases, custom orders and fixings from people I know.

I had a business card with my name, contacts and services I offer but so far was quite useless, I live in a small town and if my customers need me they stop me almost everywhere, from market to church asking me when they can come to my house for fixings & Co. or just to check out my new creations.

I’ve noticed that this year sales are slow (the economic situation isn’t good and people tend to save money, that’s understandable) so I signed up for some new fair hoping to expand my business, and I’m planning to open an online shop, aware that new customers ask for more professional business cards and a brand new name.

But there’s the rub!!! I never imagined how hard it is to find a new nice name! I was looking for something nice but not too strange. I’m Italian so I needed an Italian name. I don’t want something that my senior customers won’t even understand.

My first name is very common, I tried a million combinations but they were always already used ans so were all the names that popped into my head, so frustrating, than all of a sudden I found something I like!

I want to call my business “Machepazienza Bijoux” (the right writing is actually ma-che-pazienza but I find an “all together” name nicer) meaning “what a patience”, I know that your first reaction will be “what sort of a name is it??” but for me it makes sense.

The average start conversation at my booth is something like this:

– Me greeting the customer and customer browsing arond while I wait for the prophetic question….

– you have really nice stuff, did you made all this?

– yes everything is hand made by me

– oooh, what a patience!

I’ve been told this phrase countless times so I decided to use it as a name, I would like to know what do you think about it and if you find it too weird… please let me know what do you think about my idea,

Thanks, Elena

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  • Tamara says:

    What about splitting it into two words? I know you said you liked it better as one word, but it’s a lot for customers who aren’t Italian to plough through, and it doesn’t give a lot of hint to the meaning as one word. You could call it Mache Pazienze Bijoux. I think customers could easily see that that means “much patience”.

  • Lena Earring says:

    I’m not sure how one would go about coming up with an Italian name for your jewelry business but I took the name of my jewelry business from the cemetery where my beloved parents are buried and it was the name my mother called her plot of 100s of roses she grew and took such joy in maintaining.

    It makes me feel closer to her and Dad so I went with Rosehills Jewelry and rosehilljewelry on EBay. I had my business cards, booth banner and just about everything else made to reflect that name.

    One aside and that is the fact that I made mink teddybears for years and sold at fairs, special orders and on EBay and the name I used then was Appalachian Bears. I quit making bears when my parents became a full time job to care for and I consulted withy EBay who gave me all the information needed to change my EBay account to my new line of business.

    I hope this helps even if I know zilch in Italian.

  • Elena A says:

    Hi Tamara and Lena, thanks for commenting!
    Not only I’m italian but I live in Italy, that’s why I picked an italian name…I opted for a one-word name because here in Italy we are familiar with this kind of writing specially when it is an exclamation because it gives the idea of an immediate reaction, something that just slips out of your mouth (e.i mammamia! which is normally written mamma mia).
    I tried different ways to write it but, being a 3 word sentence, splitting it the way Tamara suggested will unfortunately look more as a typo,
    for example: if you write “make a wish” “makea wish” or “save the whales” “savethe whales” your first reaction will be “hey there’s something wrong with this name!” but thanks for the idea!
    As for foreigners customers I don’t think it will be a real problem first of all because I don’t have any ;)))) and than because they would mispronounce it anyway (as I probably do when I read a name in another language).
    Lena thanks for sharing the way you took your name, very peculiar!

  • Tamara says:

    Hi Elena,

    In view of your further explanation, I think you should go ahead with your name as you came up with it. It seems like you’ve really thought about it and considered it from quite a few angles. And it’s a neat name – there’s nothing wrong with a name with a bit of whimsy to it. It endears people to it, and draws attention.

  • Barbara says:

    When I lived in Italy I was infamous for my less than stellar grasp of the language. That didn’t stop me — “Artefaccio” is my play on “Art, I make it” and the word “Artefact”, which I discovered through an Internet search is already well-used.

    Don’t worry if people don’t understand your name at first — it’s absolutely true that the more you can draw people in by talking with them and personalising the connection, the better they’ll connect with you and your jewellery.

  • Kim Ryan says:

    Initially I had reservations about the name, simply because you want people to be able to remember you easily and have something that’s not too difficult for them to search for if they look for you on the net. But after your recent comment about you actually living in Italy then I think this changes everything. I think it’s great to have a story behind your business name if possible and I love the fact that it’s what my customers always say to me too!
    Keep with it and best of luck!
    Kim 🙂

  • I love your idea, but it does seem a little long. How about just Patienza? It still has the essential meaning, and most people will have a sense of it’s meaning, because of it’s similarity with the English word “patience”.

  • Kim Klass says:

    i think if you love the name you should use it. It has a nice ring to it and besides it is different enough that someone will ask about the name and what it means which opens up the door for further conversation which is always helpful because sales can be awkward anyhow. I say go with it!! it will make them remember you even if they cannot say it correctly.

  • Lisa W. says:

    I would suggest that you think about who your customers are, and whether this is a name that will make it easy for them to find you. In my own personal case, I think it would be too hard to pronounce, and difficult for a customer to remember in order to find me on the internet. In fact, I have been strongly considering taking the advice of those “above” me in the jewelry field, and changing my business name to some form of my personal name which is available as a dot com domain. This makes it easy for those who know your name to locate you via the internet. Maybe you could make your “Machepazienza” term the name of one of your jewelry lines, some pieces that take the most patience? Just a thought!

  • Barbara says:

    I agree with Lisa — register your domain name using your own name.com. After going with another name for two years that nobody knew what the point of it was or how to spell it, I ditched it, and now my primary website is http://www.barbaramacdougall.com.

    I have my “real” job listed, I have my artwork there, and I have my jewellery. I have my original line of PMC flowers and leaves which I had called Gifts from the Garden right from the beginning. I then came up with Artefaccio, which is kind of an umbrella for everything else (mostly the one-off stuff) and which is also the name I use for my blog and any other internet presence (deviantArt, etc.). If I get any more into hammering stuff, then I will probably come up with a name for that.

    The point is things change. As you experiment with new and different techniques over time your direction will change. Keeping it simple right from the beginning and allowing for potential lines and directions makes so much more sense.

  • I can understand your loving the name but others will be confused by it. One business called themselves Lagniappe. People didn’t know how to pronounce it or what it represented. They went out of business. I think the simpler, the better — and something people don’t have to wonder how to pronounce. My first business was called En Theos. I loved that it was the root word of enthusiasm but no one knew what it meant and many stumbled on how to pronounce it. I quickly learned that business names are very important. Remember you’re building your brand, something recognizable and not puzzling in any way. Customers like simple, clever, memorable, and easy.

  • Jean Beech says:

    I struggled to come up with a name as well. I make jewelry but do not restrict myself to any particular materials so I didn’t want the name to only sound like “Fine” jewelry, or “baubles”. I also make masks, and try my hand at other projects as well — so I didn’t even want my name to only imply jewelry. I went with the last names of my mother’s parents : Dubar and Hendry. Sure it is just a name – Dubar Hendry – but so is Cartier, Versace. The name will get known on the merit of my work. I can only wish!!! Good luck!!

  • Liz Juneau says:

    I have found that the name of my business is a conversation starter. It is nice to be able to tell others why I chose the name. I use the analogy of a chain of islands and a chain of beads. Our local bead shop owner now prides herself on being able to pronounce the name, which she could not at first when we met, and announces when I walk in her shop who I am and the name of my company to everyone there. I agree that you usually just know what fits for you and go for it!

  • Brandi says:

    I too have just recently decided to change the name I use. After 2 full years of using the Bead Designs by Brandi and building up my supply of business cards, product labels, rack cards, a full size banner and even promo pens & t-shirts ( would not be possible without Vistaprints.com ), a website, and so on…I had discovered 2 major flaws in the name that were bothersome enough to re-vamp it all.

    #1) was the flaw in how the name is interpreted into the “what” the business does. I only make jewelry and its strictly glass or crytal bead necklaces and bracelets on either beading wire or memory wire and earrings on simple earwires. My Yahoo! website was listed in Google and other search engines that sent me many many phone calls, ALL from customers who were looking for beads and not one single jewelry call in 2 years. (so clear to me now, but no one has ever pointed it out).

    #2). Having a 20 letter name (that has to be written as all one word for the email and website) makes printing promo or ad materials quite a challenge when it comes to having the actual name with spaces, stay the focal point and trying squeeze it in two more times for the website and email address and still be visible to the naked eye. I also did not take into consideration just how many times that I would be writing or typing the name of my website and email or how tiny the spaces usually are to write them in.

    The new name will not be much shorter this time. I will use a “slogan” and “quote” to describe what I offer and to explain the name at the same time.

    I would very much appreciate any advice and input on the name choice which is BEADIALITY (I combined the words beading and personality).

    “Show off your…”
    B E A D I A L I T Y
    “with handcrafted, beaded jewelry designs to”
    “Bring out the Bling in Your Personality”

  • Barbara says:

    Hi, Brandi, what a great summation of your dilemma and thought processes. Love brainstorming.

    Have you tried saying “Beadiality” out loud? It doesn’t actually indicate “personality” at all — as it’s not “personiality”. What about dropping that first “i” and going with Beadality? That has much more of a ring (so to speak) to it and is much easier to say.

    Just a thought. I will be very interested to hear what other people think.

  • Diane says:

    I too am having a dilemna of how to rename my business. I’ve had input from lots of people even on forums but still haven’t settled on the name. I’m beginning to think I just need to pick one and hope it works. My original Rockhound Designs was original but it was pointed out that it didn’t let people know I make jewelry and beaded items like bookmarks and hair barrettes. I was told a lot of people don’t stop to read the “tagline” so the name needs to be associated with what is made or sold. Also, some people didn’t even know what a rockhound is (person who goes to places to find cool rocks). I thought of using Italian or French but for a mostly US market I was told that wouldn’t work because most Americans don’t speak those languages. I thought of using my name but Diane’s Designs or Designs by Diane are both taken and I don’t want to use my last name (long story short I didn’t change my name when I divorced – but I should have…lol). A friend suggested “Beads, Gemstones, & Beyond” which could work but I just read Brandi’s post and am thinking I could have the same problem about people wanting beads and gemstones instead of Jewelry. Oh my, I’m confused, befuddled, and frustrated. I’m still up for suggestions though. After the naming process it is another story to get it registered and such which I’m not even sure I did right the first time…lol. I hope you have better luck than I am Elena. Hope I didn’t hijack your post too much.

  • Barbara says:

    “Beads, Gemstones and Beyond” sounds too much like “Bed, Bath and Beyond”, which is a huge bedding, bathroom and lifestyle big box store at least here in Canada. Dunno if it’s down in the US.

    Then the problem with “Diane’s Designs” is… designs of what?

    Why don’t you use your maiden name for your business? You can use any other name. There are a ton of Barbara MacDougall’s out there in the world. I was amazed what a common name it is but http://www.barbaramacdougall.com was available. Your name is your name. Just make sure that you look carefully at whatever you choose when it’s all run together into one word as in a website address to make sure it’s fairly readable and doesn’t give you a nasty surprise when certain letters run together. Readability is also why you would want to stay away from apostrophes.

    Is there a specific stone you like or that you mostly use, or a primary characteristic or colour of that stone that as soon as people hear it, they think of the stone or jewellery? There are businesses I know of that use their primary high end stone as the name of the business, even though they carry all kinds of other stones and silver findings, as well as finished jewellery. The point, though, is that their business name exudes connotations of high end and superb quality.

    The main thing is that whatever name you use, you have to market it nonstop.

  • Diane says:

    Barbara, you give me a lot to think about. The business name I have right now is Rockhound Designs but I also use the name Rockhound Jewelry and Bead Designs which is a little long.

    I don’t really have a specific gemstone that I use plus I also use seed beads, glass beads and glass focals in addition to the semi-precious stones. I was originally going to stay with only natural stones but got side tracked by sparklies (crystal beads). I also know of a few businesses that use the names of stones for their business name. My favorite stone is Azurite but I’m not sure a lot of people are aware of that or it’s value as a semi-precious gemstone.

    I thought about using my initials (maiden name) but DEW doesn’t exactly flow. I get told one place that I shouldn’t use the word “jewelry” in my name or use my name and Rockhound doesn’t evoke images of fancy jewelry.

    I am still very stuck. I like making the jewelry but I don’t wear much jewelry or even get interested in buying jewelry so I’m sort of out of touch with my target market.

    I really wanted to come up with a good name before December so I could start selling on another site (besides Bonanza, where I’m getting no where fast with no sales in the past year). That’s another story entirely. I’m so frustrated and feeling like I want to just give up but I know I don’t really want to do that. Any help would be appreciated.

    Elena, hope you have found your business name. I feel a little funny that I seem to have hijacked your “thread”.

  • Barbara says:

    Hi, Diane, It’s not hijacking at all! It’s a surprisingly lonely profession, making jewellery, and I for one have little face-to-face contact with others except at my weekly market, very occasional bead shows or the occasional bead society meetings, and coming up with a business name is one of the least likely conversation topics. Like you, I never wear jewellery, have rarely been moved to buy it, and came late to making it. I thought I was the only one. The only way I know what to stock or make is if more than one person asks me for something — I’ve had several requests for ankhs lately, so they’re on order.

    Along with so many others here and other online forums, I too know all about slow online sales. It’s nothing you’re doing wrong, it’s just a huge number of vendors and too few buyers with too little money. There’s also demographics at work. Those people with bags of disposable income who bought like crazy on Etsy and eBay and their ilk in the past 10 or 12 years are now married with kids, mortgages and other spending priorities, and there haven’t been enough potential buyers to replace them. There’s also been this disastrous economy of the past few years and we’re still not out of the hole. On the other hand, if nothing else, even in a crappy economy people still have to buy gifts. The trick is finding those people.

    I still think face-to-face contact is of primary importance and building personal trust in an ongoing relationship with customers. It also puts you in the way of finding customers “addicted” to your style. It’s taken years, but I have several of those. It’s not just women. I have guy customers too, who like what I make for them. However, it took me four years of Saturday markets with many weeks of zero sales to barely covering the table to build that tiny customer base. But they’re “mine”. These people won’t go anywhere else, even if I tell them where they can get something if I don’t happen to have it in stock — they’d rather wait or even pay a little more to buy from me. That’s gratifying.

    Actually, you could use your initials — and call the business Dewdrops.com or something like that. And then the tag line could be some kind of play on fine jewellery, fun jewellery, sparklies… by Diane E. W… fill in the rest of your name, with the “drops” part of the name connoting drop earrings. Maybe you could have a picture of drop earrings on your card… Swap some jewellery to get a graphics buddy to make you a picture of beads and jewellery with little dewdrops and the sun coming through crystals… I dunno, something like that?


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