From Ideal to Real - Part 5: The Name Game
As I was sewing my prototypes, I brainstormed with my family and close friends about what to name this business. I knew I wanted a heron logo, but I needed a name that was memorable, meaningful, easily spelled and Googled, and sounded professional. I would have loved to use "Axel" but as cool as it is, it's not very feminine. I couldn't envision people saying "oh this is my Axel bag!"
The first name I settled on was "City Heron Bag Co." But it didn't feel overly memorable and then a few days later, I heard someone call "City Liquors", "Shitty Liquors."
City Heron Bag Co: Nixed
Then I looked into "Boothbay Bag Company." We had an incredible wedding in Boothbay Harbor, Maine and it felt meaningful. I liked the alliteration, there were no other companies in the category using "Boothbay" in the name, and it felt strong and memorable. But then I met with a trademark lawyer and learned that towns don't all jump on board with using their name if the product isn't made there. As it turned out, just a few months ago, another company was turned down for trying to use "Boothbay" in the name since the product was made in NJ.
Boothbay Bag Company: Nixed
Back to the drawing board.
That weekend I was at an environmental fall festival and bluebirds kept coming up. I loved the happiness vibe. As it turned out, the first prototype I did and the bag I was carrying at that moment had a blue bird on it. I looked it up on the trademark and copyright government site and found NO uses of "Blue Bird" for any related categories. SCORE! I was so gung-ho that I started this Facebook page and wrote a proud note to the trademark lawyer saying that I thought I had found my name.
And then she reality checked me.
Turns out, just a few weeks ago, BluBird was registered in a related category. While the spelling wasn't the same, the sound-alike was enough to give her caution. (She likened it to trying to apply for Gapp Apparel).
Blue Bird Bag Company: Nixed (probably)
And that is when I started crowd sourcing. I asked on my Facebook Business page, on my own Facebook page, and on random groups for ideas. I tried to formulate something with meaning, using a heron theme, a bird theme, or something with my Grandparent's and/or Great Aunt's names: Bernard/Bernie, Melitta/Litty, and Dinah. These were three people who truly made me who I am today: an entrepreneurial spirit with a bend for practical design and a fire in my belly to succeed at as many things as possible, sometimes against crazy odds. And to do it with a smile on my face and a positive outlook.
I put together a list and officially retained the Trademark Lawyer's services and put her to work to search on potential names.
I was pretty set on "Bag Company" being part of the name for a while, but it had the potential to be limiting, and I realized that just like Coach is referred to as a "Coach Bag," naming the company with "bag" wasn't necessary. People would naturally call it that if (WHEN) it catches fire.
My top contender was "Litty Bird." My grandparents meant a lot to me (full story at the bottom of this page), and I liked the whimsical way "Litty Bird" sounded, while still being unique, easy to remember, and hopefully something not too popular so I could get it.
I was thrilled when Litty Bird came up as a strong mark, with little risk of being confused with other names. The trademark lawyer advised I stay away from "Designs" to keep it more open, so I did.
And I was full steam ahead on Litty Bird, Inc.