Monday, December 28, 2009

Picking a Name for Your Etsy Store -- The Good, the Bad and the Ridiculous

Another deliciously wild year ends, and a new one begins. In the spirit of new beginnings, I'm posting a section of my Etsy Seller's Guide for your reading enjoyment:

When picking a name, there are lots of factors to keep in mind:

Uniqueness - Obviously, you’re going to want to search Etsy
first to see if someone has already registered your business
name. If it’s taken, you can pick a new name or you can tweak
the name you want to use. For example, if MarysJewelry is
taken, maybe JewelryByMary is available.

Typically, I don’t think names like JewelryByMary or
TarasTees are good business names. Do names like these
make you curious about the company or products they are
selling? Probably not. Now, how about these (real!) Etsy names:
PulpSushi. UrbanEden. BlendedSplendid. These names are fun
to say, memorable, and they make you want to know more.
Once you’ve confirmed that your name is available on
Etsy, it’s time to go to Google and see who else is using that
name. Put your chosen name in quotation marks in the search
bar, and see what the results yield. If you find your name is
already being used, it’s best to move on because, 1) You might
run into some problems if the name is trademarked, and 2) You
want your name to be easily found using a search engine, not
buried under 100 similar names. Also, keep in mind that even
though today you may only be interested in selling on Etsy, in
the future you may want to begin blogging or buy a domain
name, so check a site like Network Solutions
( to see if your business name is
available as a “dot com” or a “dot net”

Findability - Ok, so I made that word up. Regardless. Imagine
this scenario: You’re hanging out at a BBQ, wearing a tee shirt
of your own design. A guy comes up to you and compliments
you on the fabulousness of your shirt, to which you might reply,
“You can buy it on my Etsy page, “KathysKrazyKreationz”. Later
on that night, your inquisitive tee-shirt loving buddy goes home
and searches “CathysCrazyCreations.” He can’t find your shop,
but he does stumble on some other cool designs by another
Etsy artist. So long, sale! Another name failure: “UneekTieDye.”
It sure is “uneek” to spell unique that way…in fact, you’re going
to remain unique, because no one is going to be able to find
your shop! A final scenario: The original name I had for my
business was Pomme & Granite. I thought it was witty. Pomme
& Granite, sounds like pommegranite... The more I told people
about it though, the more I found myself repeating the name,
explaining it and spelling it. It was confusing and it didn’t roll off
the tongue.

When you are deciding on your business name, it’s
essential that the name is findable. That means no wacky or
tough-to-spell words, no names that involve a long string of
numbers, and no names that are similar to a thousand other
businesses. You need to distinguish yourself from the masses
and come up with a name that is both memorable and unique.

Tell a Story - Your name doesn’t have to describe what you’re
selling. In fact, you may be wise to not get too specific when
picking your name. If you plan on selling crocheted potholders,
the name PerfectPotholders may seem, well, perfect, today. But
what if, in six months from now, you decide to branch out and
begin selling crocheted scarves and hats too? Suddenly, your
name is confusing to your customers and no longer accurate.
Rather than getting too specific with your name, pick a name
that conveys a feeling and paints a picture in the mind of the

A Final Thought - Keep in mind that you’re going to be saying
your business name over and over again. If you pick a name
that you continually have to explain, repeat, or justify, it’s going
to get pretty tiresome.

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