How our name came to be
At some stage or other in your life so far, you’ve probably had to choose a name for something or someone. Whether it was for a house, a pet, a child or your business. I am pretty sure that you found it quite tough, am I right? You just really don’t want to get it wrong, as either you or someone has to live with that name for a long time to come!
Even picking a beautiful foreign sounding house name can backfire on you when every time you try and order something over the phone you have to spell it out yet your post still arrives spelt incorrectly! Frustrating, huh?!
When it comes to naming your own child a lot of time and energy is spent finding that perfect name that you will continue to love as the years go by and that will grow with your child as they turn from cute baby, to toddler, to rascal, to teenager and on to become an adult. (think boardroom to bedroom! wink)
If you’ve got more than one child then not only does it have to work with the surname but also fit alongside other siblings names. (oh man!) There is so much to consider. I have three children and yes, I spent many an evening reading through baby name books and googling their meanings! I'd say the effort paid off, as I still love the names the hubby and I chose for our kids... let's hope we still do in years to come! (Don't want to think about 'bedroom' quite yet!!)
Choosing the right business name
Now, the difficulty of choosing a business name is really no different. You have to live with it for a long time to come, it needs to be able to grow with your company and most importantly it has to appeal to your target audience. If you research advice for picking a business name there are usually three common strategies to consider...
- The first is to choose a name that clearly identifies the product or service you are offering
- The second is to name it after yourself
- The third is to pick something that might seem quite random initially but either is very memorable (e.g Apple, Amazon, Nike etc), has a personal meaning or a background story that will connect with your target audience.
That is my attempt at summarising a lot of articles and blog posts I have read on the subject, there are obviously so many other things to also consider when picking a name for your future business but those three strategies seemed to be the ones that stood out to me the most.
My Eureka moment...
It was during my pregnancy for ‘numero 3’ that I was in the midst of setting up my textile studio. So not only was I searching for baby names but I was also brainstorming for a good business name. I felt using naming strategy one; identifying the product or service I was offering, might become restrictive for the company's future growth and I knew I didn’t want to call it after myself, as I wanted to keep my name to myself, as daughter, friend and wife. However, I liked the idea of using a pseudonym, a bit like when an author uses a pen name (or "nom de plume"- so I've learnt!). I like a bit of mystery and intrigue!
The name we had chosen if we had a baby girl was Penelope Hope. (When I say ‘we’, I really mean ‘I’!) I was drawn to Penelope as it has a melodic sound, that sort of rolls off your tongue as you say it. 'Hope' is also the meaning of my name, Nadia, in Russian and is a word filled with aspiration, desire and ambition. I had tried to use 'Hope' as a middle name for our first daughter but got overruled!
So when numero 3 turned out to be a boy, we picked a more masculine name for our son and it was then I had my eureka moment…… I could use the name Penelope Hope as my business name! Thunderbolts and lightening!! There is no denying this business has become my fourth baby and at that point I certainly wasn’t keen on saving it for a future daughter! (Hell no!)
As I’d done my homework on names and their meanings, coincidently the meaning and history of the name Penelope seemed to tie in perfecting with my textile company.
Coming from Greek Mythology, Penelope, wife of Odysseus, was a weaver. Penelope remained true to her husband for the ten years he spent fighting in the Trojan War and for the ten years it took him to return from Troy. She promised to choose a suitor after she had finished weaving a shroud for her father-in-law, but every night she unraveled what she had woven during the day. After three years, her trick was discovered, but she still managed to put her suitors off until Odysseus returned and killed them.
Hence the name has come to signify a loyal, capable and faithful woman. The name also derives from pene, which translates as ‘thread on a bobbin’. How very appropriate!
I have always been intrigued by folklore and mythology so I definitely felt using the name Penelope Hope for my business was just meant to be.
What did you name your business or children and do you have a special story behind it? I’d love to know.