Origins of a Name

I’ve never been very good at coming up with creative and innovative names for things.  Back in the day when I developed school programs, I thought coming up with the name was the hardest part.  While one of my colleagues developed “Levers and Pulleys and Gears, Oh My!”, I came up with “Bears”. 

A number of years ago, I came across a list of the top 10 most popular names for cats.  Sigh…  my cat’s names were both on it…

When I decided to begin selling my jewelry, I realized I would be faced with the dreaded task of coming up with a name once again.

This month, the Starving Artists Team’s blog carnival topic is:  “Tell us the story behind your business name.”

I really struggled to come up with a name for my jewelry business.  I came up with and discarded several names.  I wanted something that spoke to what I was creating and that would represent me. 

Eventually, I settled on a name and opened up my shop on icraft.ca.  Relief, the dreaded task was over…  After a few months, I started to not be in love with the name I chose.  And about 8 months after I opened my icraft shop I decided to open my etsy shop.  Surprise!  My name was one letter too long to be able to use as a user name on etsy.  I really wanted my user name to match my business name and there was no way that I could shorten the name I had that would still make sense.  So, what to do?  

I thought about it for a few days, and realized that I already had a better name, one that felt more comfortable.  Here on my blog, I was using Northern Girl.  I had been using that for a few months by the time I decided to open up my etsy shop, and it felt good.  So, Northern Girl Jewelry was born. 

Why Northern Girl?  I grew up in Northern Ontario and returned to Northern Ontario as an adult.  I loved living in Northern Ontario.  I felt closer to the outside world, had the opportunity to go hiking, camping and exploring so easily.  The landscape of Northern Ontario is something that I love and that calls to me.  It’s wild and wonderful and always has something a little unexpected.  The pace of life there was pretty appealing too.  It’s just a bit slower, with less traffic, less commuting, less stores and more time to focus on the important stuff.  I’m not trying to imply that life in Northern Ontario is idyllic – it’s not, there is a serious economic crisis happening in many communities – but I learnt to value different things when I was living there.

So my business name is more about me than about my product.  But I think that who I am and where I am from influences what I create.  I grew up in a mining community where a love of rocks and minerals was not an unusual thing.  I like to use interesting stones in my work, stones that have character, that resemble landscapes, that tell a story.  And the pieces I design can be worn in many settings.  They can go to work or out for an evening.  But they are not super fancy pieces that get reserved for extra special events only.  There aren’t that many fancy events in my life, so I don’t create for those.   

So all in all, I think the name works.  It’s jewelry brought to you from a girl whose heart is still in Northern Ontario.  What do you think, does it fit?

To learn the stories of the business name of other SATeam members, please follow the links below.

Galadryl Designs

O’Refined

Island Girl

Bead Sophisticate

Paintin By Faith

The FamiLee Jewels

J3 Jewelry

Bead Sire

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10 thoughts on “Origins of a Name

  1. A lot of us do struggle with our business names. To many of us it feels like such an important and momentous decision, since we will be directly linked to our business, that we want just the right name, and that pressure can put us in analysis paralysis. Happened to me. I think your name does fit just right. Thank you for sharing your story!

  2. Where are you in Northern ON I was an exploration geologist in my former life.. Saskatchewan Mining industry! Some of the pictures in your labradorite (my favorite stone) blog are wonderful!

    • Lynne, I grew up in Sudbury but have lived in many other places, including SSM, Marathon and spent some time in Thunder Bay. I know the section of the Trans-Canada Hwy from Ottawa to Thunder Bay very, very well. 😉

  3. I too have a hard time coming up with names. I like that your name is about who you are, because I agree that really shapes the work that you do.

  4. Pingback: How did I pick my business name? February Blog Carnival « Bead Sophisticate

  5. Yep. I think it fits perfectly, well chosen. Is your blog header picture from a place in Northern Ontario by any chance? It makes me want to pack my bag and go there 🙂

    • Yes, my blog header is a photo of one of my many favorite places in Northern Ontario. It’s of Hattie Cove in Pukaskwa National Park.

  6. I definitely like Northern Girl better and couldn’t imagine you as anything else, great post – I really enjoyed reading about how your name came about.

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