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C&T Q&A – How did you choose your business name? {Share your Story}

This week’s question is from Karen, who writes:

My question is how do people arrive at their business name? I love yours, Epheriell. It’s a beautiful word, but why not Jess Van Den Jewellery Design? Why and how do people choose what they choose? It’s such an important first impression, that one word or phrase chosen, or to put their whole personal name out there. How do you know what’s the right choice for you?

Also, the boring bit, the legalities of it all. I believe using your name doesn’t require registration, but put ‘Jewellery Designer’ after it, and it becomes a business name, and will cost a fee. It’s so hard to know what your business will look like in 6, 12 months time. I suppose one just has to hope the name will still fit.

I bounce a round a bit with this question Jess, but I would love it if you and your posse would have a go at tackling it.

X Karen

I LOVE this question, and its one that I often wonder about, too.

{photo of Jess by Paul Harris of see saw photography}

Let’s break it down and start with the first question – where does a name come from?

Funnily enough, as often as I get asked about the genesis of the name Epheriell, I’ve never written about it before.

In my case, the word ‘Epheriell’ is one I made up over 10 years ago now. I used to use it as my online handle for many years… and when I started my jewellery business, it just seemed natural that I use it as my brand name.

So, what does it mean? Epheriell is a mash-up of the words ‘Ephemeral’ and ‘Ethereal’ – with the addition of the ‘ell’ on the word, which came from a book I was reading at the time. I believe it was one of Jostein Gaarder’s books, and it had angels in it. I noticed that all the angels’ names ended with the ‘ell’ sound, and thought it was pretty.

And so, the word Epheriell was born!

Honestly, at the time, I didn’t put a great deal of thought into using this as my business name. It just ‘fit’. I certainly didn’t consider using my name, as I was only a hobbyist at the time, playing around. In hindsight, perhaps it would have been a good move, but on the up-side, my name is now still free to represent me and all that I am and do, rather than being tied to my jewellery brand exclusively.

As for the second part – the legalities – alas, I can’t give advice on that, because every country and every state will have different laws and regulations surrounding business names, so the best thing to do would be to search online for the business regulations in your area, or talk to a lawyer or someone else who has the qualifications to tell you what you need to do.

So, where did YOUR business name come from? I’d love to hear your story in the comments!


Van Den has written 320 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.



My business name Morris Bear Designs is actually based on my childhood toy – I got Morris as present from my mum for my fifth birthday and he was my best friend (he even still sleeps on my bed!)

When it came to picking a name I wanted something cute and catchy and personal – so my sister suggested Morris Bear Designs.

My customers are always asking where I got my name and saying that it is so cute. It’s definitely memorable.

julie @ tractorgirl

well, there you go!

People often ask me why I’m tractorgirl too, some even asking me if I support a certain Ipswich, England footy club…. errr, no. Sport & me are not friends.

The simple story is that I live on a farm. The longer version is that I’m actually an urban girl, who only moved to the farm about 18 years ago. I knew nothing about farming, but soon learnt how to drive our 50yo Chamberlain 9G (we have a much shinier bright red McCormick now). Partner Phil told me to always check the oil & water before driving it (I’m pretty hopeless at remembering these basic mechanical things), so I wrote up a sign for myself, “tractorgirl says…” and then started using that as my email address while at uni. Everybody giggled when I told them, and it just kind of stuck.

Lisa Muscato

As an artist, I make jewelry under the name “rusche” which I found in an old dictionary and was defined as [old french: beehive]. My nickname has been Bee for quite some time now, so it rung true to me. Fast forward 9 years later, and I’ve opened up a brick and mortar handmade shop in Chicago, IL called Paperish Mess. I chose this name because my art has always consisted of using discarded or vintage book pages. In one of the discarded books I had found (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn), I found the phrase “paperish mess.” It stuck because when using book pages in my own art I always have little paperish messes around me. I thought it was a beautiful representation of myself and the new business. So now, when you google Paperish Mess, the shop comes up, but a couple pages back you can find a little excerpt from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. That fact makes me pretty happy. 🙂


My business name Zillpa came from my great aunt. Her name was Zilpah and I thought it was such an interesting and different name – I just decided to change up the spelling a little. Upon further research into the family tree I discovered that every first born daughter has been named Zilpah as far as I can go back! It only stopped in my dad’s generation as there weren’t any girls born. I love my business name as I feel like I’m representing my family’s history… now if I was to have a daughter would I call her Zilpah?? 🙂

Linda B

I have 2 names because I didn’t read things when I signed up (embarrassed). So LindaB142 (7 for the days of creation was my user ID and of course I ordered a ton of business cards and labels.

In the State of IL, it’s my name, Linda B dba, I bought the domain name for my Website. I’m working on it slowly, so any feedback is welcome.

As I’m in the suburbs of Chicago, I’ll have to look up Lisa’s shop for a spring adventure.


Great post, Jess! I’ve been curious about how Epheriell came about. Makes perfect sense! I love hearing how people choose their names. I chose Gutsy Girl because I wanted a strong name that would intrigue those that came across it. I’m not entirely sure if I’ve achieved my aim! I also thought about the image I wanted to put out into the world and as a mother to a little girl, I wanted her perception of what her Mumma was diving into in following her creative dreams, to be a positive one. I infuse a little bit of gutsy in what I create – whether it be in my choice of words or quotes I use in my paintings, the way I paint or the properties of the gemstones I select.


I too always wondered where “Epheriell” came from. I took almost a month to come up with Charmed By Wine. My goal was to find something that was wine related and eluded to my wine charms, but a LOT of what seemed natural was already taken. After writing down combination after combination and consulting a thesaurus and husband for new word combinations — Charmed By Wine came to me. I loved it! It represented my brand, represented ME and my love of food, wine, and preference for ‘charm’ in household items….. and best of all, it was open ended enough so that if I ever wanted to stray from wine charms – I could.

I think that was the toughest part — coming up with a shop/business name that would be able to grow with me.


I had opened Mama’s Girl Market on ETSY last July. It all started when my mom decided to take a break from resale shops. So with her being out of the shop, the house quickly filled with her resale collectibles. ( I think she may have forgot that she was taking a break. She keeps shopping for reselling) Since I already had an ETSY shop, we decided to open one for her fun resale collectibles. So she’s the Mama and I’m the Girl. That’s the short story of how Mama’s Girl Market started.


As many others, I started as my blog first, before my Etsy shop, and wanted something to describe the cute and quirky crafty style I have. Since most of my crafty skills were originally passed down from my Mum, I decided on one of the many childhood nicknames she used for me – Candykins. I sometimes regret the ‘crafts’ in my business name, but it does distinguish it from others using the Candykins handle online.


Heroine Jewelry : well, to start, my jewelry is for women who really do it all, and who blow me away. They don’t have the time or brain space to fuss with tangled chains or matching, just need to look presentable.

However, when I started my biz, I had a more fanciful idea, about making jewelry for gals who survived college and now needed something profesh to wear with a suit. It was going to be inspired by heroines like Wonder Woman and Joan of Arc. But that wasn’t right, it turned out.

And yeah, I get some people who think it’s related to drugs. I’m working on witty comebacks for now.


I love reading everyone’s story 🙂

mine kind of came about by accident – I had been using ‘flyt’ (a creature out of a book I was reading) & needed a longer name for something, so I added ‘jewel’. Then when I was starting my etsy shop & trying to find a name my sisters suggested just using ‘jewelflyt’. It seemed to fit (I make jewellery) & here I am 🙂


It took me many months to come up with my business name, Little Deer Creations. I wanted to somehow incorporate my own name and identity into my business name, without using just my name itself and also wanted something which was available online for domain registration, facebook pages etc. With an unusual name like Dyani you would think that would be easy, but surprisingly, many of the variations I came up with were already taken!
The name Dyani is Native American, and in the Cherokee language, means “little deer”. As soon as I thought of using that, it just seemed to fit. I am passionate about creating eco friendly products and the image of the little deer seemed to conjure up these ideas of something beautiful and natural and treading lightly on the earth, so it felt right for me. I like that it is fairly general too, and can be applied to any kind of product I make, which is very handy since my product range has changed considerably since I first started!
Two years on, I am still proud of my business brand, although not so sure about the “creations” on the end now. But the Little Deer is certainly here to stay!


It’s always really interesting hearing how people have come up with their business names. I came up with the business name Escape Jewellery for a few different reasons. While making and creating jewellery I find I can escape from the rush of everyday life and concentrate on something I really enjoy. It also is a goal. Escaping from my job and being able to build my business to the point of it being my primary source of income. Last but not least, Some of the focal beads and findings I use are from exotic places like Nepal and Thailand. I like the idea of being able to escape and travel to these places and hope people wearing my jewellery would get the same sense of this. My jewellery is classic and simple but with a hint of far away places.

Kell Rowe

I love that you just made your business name up Jess, and I love reading the stories.

In college we had to set up a website to recommend us and the common consensus from our brainstorming (despite it going against the industry norm) was to not use our own names. I think this was influenced by a lot of things but one was if our businesses grew in the future or if we wanted to sell a business we could still identify as ourselves. It would also make staff feel more included rather than working for someone elses’ business.

We did a lot of study with colours and their emotions. My favorite colour is purple and I wear a lot of black. I experimented with a lot of words that you’d associate with purple before settling on Blackcurrant. It was more appropriate for my portraiture style, but as I now shoot mainly flowers, I hope people think of it as quirky, memorable and tasty. I believe that because it’s not specifically referencing a flower or weddings or anything gives me more flexibility without being pigeonholed.

My original photography business was Dragonfly Imagery… which I miss due to it’s romantic connotations. But it belongs to someone else now and Blackcurrant is close to my heart.


I loved reading all these stories! 🙂 Like many others my blog came first, and I named it after a traditional soup from my country. Both as a way to be linked to my culture, since I was far away from home, and also because Callaloo Soup contains lots of different things and my blog is about quite a few different areas.


This was a great read – to have some insight behind how people choose their business names. As I developed my natural perfume line, the question as to what to call my business constantly plagued me. Nothing seemed right and I couldn’t move ahead without a name! I eventually chose to look at my heritage. I was born in Jersey, the Channel Islands and the original language of the island was Jèrriais (Jersey Norman). From Jèrriais I chose èrlithe which means “shine”. I thought this would be a great word that not only speaks of my heritage but that also represented what I was trying to do with my perfumes – let the natural ingredients shine! I was also planning to do the name explanation as a blog entry in the coming weeks, so it is good to know that readers are interested in such things. Kerry Che

LaVonda Deadwiler

Hi, I think this is a great starter!

I have a online boutique, NuInspirations Boutique. I krafted the name talking on the phone to two of the most inspiring women in my life. One individual is my sister-in-law (business woman) while the other was also an entrepreneur that was a friend of the family. So, my sister-in-law always INSPIRE me to open my own business selling woman products that I love to shop for. So I did my research and made it happen. Once I spoke with the second individual she informed me since my business is new think creative with my name.

I thought this will be different, new, and exciting so that’s where “Nu” came from. And then “Inspirations” because I am young and hope to inspire others younger/older and this was also a dream come true to me. I hope this has been inspiring for the readers who decide who to read this.

Thank You!


I dislike the fact that I was stuck with both my parents last names and I have never really used my surname except for legal stuff. My first name comes from Prince’s record label/album/song: Paisley Park. This is the name that I go by most often. Since living in the woods as a small child and having a huge love for glitter; I have been branded a faerie of a pixie and so… I am the Pixie In The Park 🙂

Holly Louen

I have had my Easy shop since 2008. I named it after taking my second trip to one of my favorite places in the world….Tuscany, Italy. Just the name TuscanRoad Designs brings back many fond memories.


I love hearing about how others chose a name for their business–it’s such a personal thing and yet has to represent you in the world at large. I have to say that I LOVE my business name, Joyful Linens! Because I make linens in cheerful combinations of patterns and colors with the express purpose of brightening up our interiors and because my name is Joy, the Joyful just seems meant to be. And linens are what I make, so the name defines the business. You’d think I came up with this name right on the spot, but actually I went through all kinds of ideas and permutations for names, checking to see if they were taken, and now I’m glad that most of them were claimed in one way or another because Joyful Linens is just perfect for me–it makes me happy just to think about it!

Terri Fisher (@SmilinCatStudio)

My business name, Smiling Cat Studio, came from observing my cat and how content she seemed when sleeping (and smiling). The first work I put in my Etsy shop was a cat linocut card and I want to be just as content in my life as a smiling cat, so the name was born! This is a great question – I love reading where everyone’s business names came from.

Gretchen Schaumann

My legal business name is ‘Mimitorias’. However, I often will use MimiTorias Designs or MimiTorias Jewelry Designs in my business.

I began designing jewelry as a business 18+ years ago. At the time I was at home with our two-year-old daughter, whose name is Emily Victoria. At that time, at age 2, Emily when asked what her name was would say, ‘I’m Mimi Toria”. So that is where the name originally came from. I also started and dedicated my business to the two most important females in my life. My Mom, whom I had lost to cancer a year prior to beginning my business, and my daughter Emily.

It may have been wiser to use my own name for name recognition, but I’ve never been a fan of it, so ‘MimiTorias’ it is. By not using the word jewelry or anything specific with the Mimi-Torias, it allows me to change and evolve my business into, if that should ever arise.

What say you?