I was utterly new to the world of formal entrepreneurship when I first started my floral design business back in 2011. At first I was primarily focused on figuring out all the legalities with running a business. While the business name was important, I initially didn’t give it that much thought. I actually came up with my first business name relatively easily and quickly. It was a name that I thought was perfect: Designs Abloom.
After spending about six months formally as Designs Abloom (registering with the Secretary of State, getting set up with the Colorado Department of Revenue, printing business cards, etc.) I started having doubts about my chosen name. My mom would get confused and sometimes refer to my business as “Flowers Abloom”. I reasoned that if my own mother couldn’t remember the name of my business then how could I expect anyone else, who wouldn’t care half as much, to remember correctly? I decided that Designs Abloom, the name I had once thought was great, was actually so vanilla (vanilla – not bad, but nothing special or unique). To me, the most successful businesses had a company name that was either witty, cool, or sophisticated…or all three, and especially memorable. Hence, naming a business something silly or lame or vanilla was a precursor to utter failure. Naming my floral design business, therefore, was not something to be taken lightly.
What followed was two years of re-naming agony. For the first multiple weeks I brainstormed all the possible floral design names I could come up with. I had decided that using my name would be best (after-all, there was another Florist in town who had started her business a few years back and was more successful than me. And that Florist had named her business after herself). So I came up with a list of potential business names:
Holly Ann Floral
Holly Ann Floral Design
Holly Ann Flowers
Holly Kerr Floral
Holly Kerr Floral Design
Holly Kerr Flowers
Holly Floral Design
Holly’s Floral Celebrations
Holly Ann Floral Unfold
Holly’s Floral Radiance
Holly Flowers Designed
Holly Ann Designs Abloom
Holly Kerr Designs Abloom
All of my friends were included in the voting of these business names, which involved several rounds of emails: Pick your top three names. Which of these top three names do you like the best? Are you sure this name seems good?
While this was going on I happened to stumble upon another Florist whose business name involved a color + name of a flower, which I really liked. And another, though smaller, round of possible business names was generated:
Green Feather Floral Design
Silver Locket Floral Design
Crimson Locket Floral Design
After lots of indecision I briefly decided on Polka Dot Blossoms for my new business name, the idea coming from one of my brides who wanted polka dot ribbon for her bouquet wrap. I thought the polka dots were kind of cute. And my plan was to wear a polka dotted scarf to every floral consultation. Who could forget a Florist in polka dots?? Now that was memorable.
Not too long afterwards I then came to the conclusion that the best part of a wedding was the bouquet toss, and so I registered my business as Toss Floral Design. That name lasted for more than a year before I was informed of all the not-so-pleasant meanings of the word “toss”. A new business was needed.
In early 2013 I was sitting in my car on my lunch break fretting about what the heck I was going to call my floral design business. I literally felt like I was back at square one with any ambitions to build a successful floral design business. How was I going to do anything if I couldn’t even decide on a business name?? In typical Holly fashion I was looking online to other Florists for inspiration when a testimonials page caught my attention. The page was titled, “Love Letters.” In that moment my business became Love Letters Floral Design and stayed that way until the end of 2018.
One would think after all the time, attention, investment, and effort, that name Love Letters Floral Design would be forever. But with the move to Washington and having to start my business over, I decided to re-brand and settled on Holly Yee Floral Architecture. You can read more about this decision in a previous BLOG POST and learn the BACK STORY of why I chose the term “architecture”.
All the name changes and the aesthetic design changes that my business has gone through is *almost* amusing. This business journey has been quite the long and winding ride, you could say! I have learned that while the business name does carry some weight, ultimately, it’s just a small amount of weight. What’s more important is your craft, your customer service, your relationships, and your mindset. Take it from me – don’t let the agony of choosing a business name hold you back for too long. On the other hand, maybe it’s the slow and winding road that you need to take to get you to the place where you really need to be. You can be your own judge on that one.