A Rose By Any Other Name – Naming Your Quilting Business

by Charlotte Colmon

Finding the perfect name for your quilting business is similar to parents seeking the perfect name for their newborn. But while parents can pick any name under the sun – with the aid of baby name books, co-workers and family – you will face several limitations because of trademark law.

If the ideal name for your quilting businesses has already been trademarked by another firm, you will have to go back to the drawing board and choose from among other suitable options. These options may or may not do as good a job of capturing the essence of your business concept, but you will have to do the equivalent of making lemonade out of a lemon.

What's the primary consideration when choosing a business name? The simple answer: your product. However, keep in mind that there are many companies throughout the world that sell quilts. So simply choosing a name for your business that makes mention in some way to quilts is not enough.

You need what is called a “unique selling proposition” or USP. How do you do this? Finding your USP involves studying your product and coming up with its features and benefits. You must then find something about your product that sets it apart from the competition in some way.

For instance, if you make the best baby quilts in the world, then that could be your USP. If you use a unique procedure when making quilts, then that could be your USP. Or, if you're opening a quilt shop that specializes in teaching beginner's how to quilt, that could be your USP.

Once you've found something about your product that sets it apart from the rest, you should use this special something as the starting point when looking for the right name for your quilting business.

But be careful not to pigeonhole yourself. A business called Just Mashed Potatoes would conjure the image of a company that only serves mashed potatoes. So if a potential diner wanted to get steak, vegetables and a drink, he or she might choose another establishment instead.

The same principle applies to your quilt business. If you pigeonhole yourself, you could lose potential business from people who simply don't know you offer products or services they are interested in. If you call your quilting business something like Just Fabrics or Baby Quilts Are Us, and you offer products and services other than just these specific things, you will lose business to customers who take your name at face value.

Before you go off and start brainstorming for a business name, remember the following points:Because of the possibility of trademark violation, you need to ensure that the business name of your dreams isn't already taken. And if you decide to start a corporation, you must follow the necessary regulations. You can get more information-and find out if a name you want has been taken-by going to your county clerk's office.

It is important to do your homework when choosing a name for your quilting business. Like parents selecting a name for their newborn, you've got to find the perfect name for your shop. But if you find your USP – unique selling proposition – and follow the rules to make sure your choice of names is available, you've gotten one step closer to a successful business.

NOTE: Do you have any questions about a starting, running, or marketing a quilting business? If so, please let me know and I will try to write an article that addresses your specific questions. Just send me an email at:

chuck@quiltingbusiness.com

Chuck Smith is the owner of QuiltingBusiness.com, the web's only site dedicated to helping you make money with your quilting. Visit QuiltingBusiness.com today to sign up for the FREE email mini-course: “7 Unique Ways to Make Money with Your Quilting.”


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Virginia June 5, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Hi Chuck

Yes, I am stuck in getting a name for my quilting business. I don’t do a lot of quilts, but I do several different sizes, from Crib to King size. I have finished a king and a queen withint the last few months. It takes longer because everything is completely handmade.

I see quilt or other business’s that say: “Quilted by:, Made Especially, etc. I want something different. My quilts have a basic theme 4 patch, 9 patch, striped, etc. The things that make my quilts unique is the applique I use on each top and on top of the pieced blocks. Any suggestions?

Virginia

Kim November 26, 2009 at 11:06 pm

Virginia,

How about ‘The Quilt Patch’?

Lucile December 7, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Hello Chuck,
How do I find out what license or forms I will need to get started?
Also will I need to take a business course to learn about tax laws before getting started?

Thank you,

Chuck Smith December 7, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Hello Lucile,
There’s a lot of great free resource available online for new business owners. The very first stop I would suggest is the Small Business Administration’s website – http://www.sba.gov. They have a ton of great information on starting and running a small business. I don’t think you need to take a course unless you have trouble finding what you need on the SBA website.

As far as taxes, you should check your local state government website. They should have a section on taxes and reporting. You can also talk to a local accountant or lawyer to discuss starting a business. Of course, if you have some friends or relatives who have their own businesses, then consult with them first to get their input. If nothing else, this will give you some good questions to ask an accountant or attorney.

Good luck!
Chuck

Eileen Keane December 14, 2009 at 7:17 am

When I was thinking about a name, my husband made a joke saying “You always liked ‘Designing Women’, how about ‘Designing Quilts’? I liked it! That’s what I do-take quilt tops and put quilting designs on them. Since then, I’ve also branched out into commission work which is also “designing quilts”.
So don’t pooh pooh any ideas that come your way.

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