I've been around the Hat Academy site for a while now but hiding in the background just reading posts and watching videos etc... And I'm looking at starting up my own Millinery label.
What I was wanting to know is, how to choose my label name? Is it better to just use my name or something completely different that doesn't include my name?
When I started, I tried to find a clever play on words, but every single name I came up with was already taken, at the time, I was making a variety of items and used a wide range of materials and media, so went with Mixed Media by Bridget. I didn't really like it then and still don't, but gave me something to register my business under. More recently, I have been migrating to using my name followed by Milliner, Designer, Artisan with Mixed Media by Bridget underneath. I find there are advantages to being identified by your name, but can also be confusing, if you have a more common name. Wish I could come up with a perfect solution, but haven't yet.
Some names seem to lend them selves to branding , but I felt that I did not like my name for my brand , so chose mine by playing with words and searching the available "domain" names at the same time, that way I could secure the website long before I needed it.
Think about how your potential clients might find you by your brand name alone in a google search, you need to make yourself as visible and easy to find as you can.
If you choose something other than your name, in my experience, it's best to pick something that will still hold up if people don't get it exactly right.
My name on my labels is "Silverhill Creative Millinery." My name as registered with the state and my .com and my Facebook address and my Instagram handle is "Silverhill Creative." Sometimes people have referred to my business as "Silverhill Millinery" or even just "Silverhill." And those are all okay with me because the most important word sticks. So it doesn't matter to me or upset me if people play a little fast and loose with my name.
My other advice is to pick a name that you really care about and identify with. A name can be cute and clever and be wasted if you're the type to get tired of it or feel like it doesn't fit you.
In 1990 I established my brand when we moved to the Coast and decided to do millinery full time to spend time with my 4 kids. I decided to use a made up word and as I wanted to create outrageous hats for that time called my biz "Hatrageous Headwear" .
In mid 1990s a designer I was working with challenged me to use my personal name as customers will find it easier to recall. These Swing labels were then designed with same logo but with my name added. I must admit I was hiding behind my label. Using my name was best decision.One of my USQ students was in a hair salon the day of Magic Millions and admired another customers hat. When she asked who made it the lady said -"Her name is Elaine something" Student then told her 'I am learning from Elaine.' I am a real advocate for your personal name as it worked best for me.
Coloring for branding changes with trends but after a seminar on such in the 90's I decided on Burgundy and Gold on cream background. I added the little message to customer to make them feel special & it worked. On the back were details of hat Title - "Pink Swiss Princess" or "Black & White spot Elegance" - all code words relating to color & brim I used. Plus size / price/ code. I have a record of all hat codes with detailed description which I have made in last 24 years -in a book as this was prior to my online learning! I spotted one of my hats on ebay recently -recalled when I was using that straw and knew when I made it in 1995 from my records. Hope this helps.
I have had a "business" for just over a year. Charming Lady Designs is the name I envisioned. People often refer to me as "That Charming Hat Lady" which is just fine with me! Or Charming Hats, but it works, as Kristin mentioned.
Here's an exercise to start to solidify your ideas: Simply have several pieces of paper and a couple of writing instruments, a quiet, comfy room and about 30 minutes. Start listing everything you like about hats, all words that describe them. Words that describe you (no one else will see this), words that will describe your ideal customer. Anything else you're crazy about that's not hat related. Then pull out your favorite 10 or 20 words from this huge list. Focus on those words, roll them around your brain...you'll create what is right for you.
Best of luck!
It depends if you want fame or anonymity! With face anonymity you get only brand recognition and with name public you add face to it and then the expectations grow. With that from the public! So to understand marketing and or effect that
T can be effected by either you will need to research it further as only you know exactly the results you want! Coming from a marketing background I chose face anonymity but brand recognition instead.... My creations are not about me the person, but about my craft, design, quality and brand! All the best
I'm at the stage of planning the business and I'm thinking of using my name.
I have used a moniker in the past and it caused confusion and payment issues.
any other thoughts on this subject?
My surname is so common, and I was not keen on using my name for my work for anonymity reasons (the internet is not a nice place sometimes). I also work in the IT industry full time - I don't want my professional career crossing over with my creative career.
I use the pseudonym Lady Celestine for my online accounts - it's close to my real name and builds a bit of a character and story for my brand.
My label Celestial Closet was originally going to be a clothing brand when I registered the business name back in 2016 - but I ended up making headpieces instead as I'd fallen out of love with sewing! What this name does allow me, though, is that I have the flexibility of selling jewellery, accessories and other wearable art - without being bound by the word "millinery" or "hats".
My point exactly!