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Tips for naming your handmade business

You started out with your heart set on the PERFECT name for your fledgling handmade business, but then a quick google search reveals it was the perfect name for someone else’s business first.  Next thing you know you’re hitting roadblocks on every name you like and adding names that make your supportive friends look at you like you’re crazy, to your “names to check” list, in the hope that one of them will be ok!

Oh how I know that pain ….. At one desperate stage my handmade business Ainslee Fox, was going to be called “No Snow” and One Thimble was almost “Mill Road”!  

I’m pretty sure naming your business is a bit like childbirth, you get amnesia as to how much it sucks when its done and your new name is set in stone … or at least ink on your business cards!  But Mr Fox (my husband) is in the midst of coming up with a name for his handmade business, so I’m revisiting the naming dramas by proxy.  Rather than wasting all the stellar naming advice I’m giving him I thought I should write it down in case it could be of help to you!  

Naming your handmade business

Please note I'm not a business expert these are simply my opinions based on my experiences. 
If you've got any other naming tips please let me know and I'll add them to this post!

My naming “rules”

1. Make it short and sweet.
2. Make it easy to spell.
3. Make it easy to pronounce or sound out phonetically.
4. Make sure written it doesn’t look like something rude.  If your name has a few words see how they look mooshed together like an url … are any unintended words revealed?
5. Make sure it’s not already being used by someone else.  This also goes for non-business use too.  If you choose a common phrase you may find that you’ll struggle to come up in search engines as the other more common mentions of the phrase would come up first.
6.  Make sure it doesn’t mean something different in different languages (check google translate).
7. “Made up” words are good.  But still check them – we discovered words we “made up” were actual words when doing this for Mr Fox.
8. Run your name past some people who fit your “ideal customer” profile as well as people of different ages and demographics.  Your name may have pop culture connotations you weren’t aware of.

* Extra Tip from Sharon : Don’t use a name that limits your business too much in the future. For example, my engineering business is called VSA Project Services, not VSA Engineering. I didn’t want to limit it to just engineering, but also construction/project management and contract administration. I am now doing asset management reporting which is totally different again, but the business name still encompasses that. Another example would be including the word Baby in your clothing business name when you may want to branch out into other demographics down the track.


Tips for thinking of names

1. Make a big list of all the names you like.  Try doing this “stream of consciousness” style ie set a timer for 5 minutes and write down everything you think of – don’t edit as you go write everything down whether it’s good or not.
2. Think of your product and your “ideal customer” what sorts of words, sounds would appeal to them.  If you’re aiming to make pretty, girly baby clothes to sell to new Mum’s, then grungy or dark words are probably out!  You want your ideal customer to feel good saying the name of your business when they tell their friends about you!
3. Write down words that have meaning to you (example: nicnames, colours and words you like, places you’ve been, mispronounced words from your childhood, your favourite words).
4. Carry a notebook around for a few days and write down everything you think of.  Even if the words you write down are not good names they might send your thinking off on a tangent that will help you come up with a good name.
5. Chat to friends and family and see what they think about your product and see if any names come up for you while they’re talking.
6. Hire someone to name your handmade business.  There’s lots of experts who can help with this (and a large range of price points).
7. Try the Business Name Generators mentioned in this Blog Post over at Craft Maker Pro HERE.


Places to “check” if your name is in use

1. Google your chosen name and also alternative spelling or spelling errors of your name to check that they aren’t in use.
2. Check social media platforms for the availability of your name and also check alternative spelling or spelling errors of your name to check that you aren’t in use (example: ainslee, ainsley, ainslie).
3. Check availability of the domain name for your chosen business (example: .com, .com.au, .net etc).
4. Check selling platforms for other businesses using your chosen name or close alternatives (example: etsy, made it, ebay etc).
5. Check business name availability from the appropriate government agency (example: in Australia that’s ASIC -> HERE Choose “Check Name Availability” in the drop down box in the top right corner ).
6. Check trademarks – local and international. (example: in Australia that’s IP Australia -> HERE and ATMOSS -> HERE ).  It’s really important to understand that you can register a business name, but if that name breeches someone’s trademark you can still be legally required to stop using that name, even though you have registered that name.  Trademarks “trump” Business Name Registration.  You might be in breech of trademark even if your name is partially different to a trademarked name if that different part is a synonym of the trademarked name.  Trademarks are complicated and expensive.  To be very sure that you aren’t breaching anyone’s trademark you would need to hire a lawyer.

My advice to Mr Fox is to do his best with checking for trademarks.  If he finds out down the track that he’s infringing on a trademark he will need to change his name &/or seek legal advice.


What to do next

1. “Get” the name on all the social media platforms you can think of.  Even if you don’t intend to use all of those platforms up front.
2. Register the domain name for your intended business name.  In Australia you’ll need to have the business registration for that name first in order to register the .com.au of that name – (I imagine that there’d be similar rules in other countries) but you don’t need to have registered your business name to get .com domains.  Consider registering variations of your domain names (eg. onethimble.com and also onethimblemagazine.com etc).  You don’t need to get a website right away but if you have the names “saved” they’ll be there when you want them.  Having variations of your domain keeps your options open.
3. Open a store using your name on the shop platforms you imagine you’ll use.
4. Register your business name.
5. Consider trademarking your name (but many people don’t do this until they are more established).


Oh and in the end remember that names grow on you.  Don’t use not having the perfect name as a form of procrastination.  I distinctly remember having second thoughts about Ainslee Fox and wondering if I should change it a few months in.  After a while when your customers think of your business they’ll think about all the things your business means to them rather than the words set in ink on your business card. 

There’s lots more that will determine the success or failure of your business than the name … “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” – William Shakespeare from Romeo & Juliet

 

 

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#PDFlove for One Thimble

{ PDFLove } I’m so so so excited that One Thimble is one of the featured designers for this weeks ‪#‎PDFLove‬ Promotion in the PDF Pattern Sales and Promotion group.

This weeks competition kicks off at 11pm QLD time on Wednesday 16th September and runs through till 11pm QLD time Thursday 17th September.

To go in the (random) draw to win patterns from this weeks featured designers all you need to do is post a photo of something you’ve made with a pattern by one of this weeks designers in the PDF Pattern Sales and Promotion group, say what pattern you’ve used (& for One Thimble patterns which issue it was from) and use the hashtag #PDFLove.

You can only post one photo but you can definitely make a collage if you have a few creations you want to share.

So if you’ve got some PDFLove for One Thimble I’d love you to join in this week!


Here’s a BIG List of One Thimble Patterns that you could share:

One Thimble Issue 8 and included PDF Sewing Patterns

One Thimble Issue 8

Amber Swing Dress – 1 Puddle Lane
Cosmos Skirt – Sew Maris Designs
Cosmos Purse – Sew Maris Designs
Jackalope Tee – Momma Quail Patterns
Fat Red Bird Fedora – Fat Red Bird Designs
Coco Flower Crown – Molly and Mama
Desert Fox Softie – Felt with Love Designs
Cactus Hoops – Hugs are Fun
Swing Set Skort – Sew McCool
Butterfly Blouse – Sew McCool
Little Collector Backpack – Swoodson Says
Oasis Quilt – Sew Today, Clean Tomorrow


 

One Thimble Issue 7 and Included PDF Sewing Patterns

One Thimble Issue 7

Jukebox Duet – Flosstyle Patterns
Prince Hoodie – Tigerlily Patterns
Princess Hoodie – Tigerlily Patterns
Everest Pants – Gracious Threads
Bedtime Buddies – Threading Rainbows
Tahlia Skirt – Little Moo Designs
Amenity Top – Addie K Designs
Lil’Red Capelet and Furry Friends Hoods – The Toffee Tree
Down the Rabbit Hole Applique – Ric Rac & Retro
Alyss Party Dress – Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns


 

Issue 6 Included PDF Patterns collage

One Thimble Issue 6

Hannah Dress – Bobkin
Penny Dress – Bubby and Me
Blossom Skirt – Eliana & Thea
Outta Time Tote – Dog under my desk
Gatsby Flat Cap – Apple and Fig
Woodland Creatures Finger Puppets – Felt with Love Designs
Archie Shirt – Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns
Fairywood Cottage & Woodfairy Applique – Obbie Dobbie
One Cardigan – Serger Pepper
Multi Apron – Sew n Sow


 

One Thimble Issue 5 - included PDF patterns

One Thimble Issue 5

Pencil Pencil Case – Horris & Deedle
Art Caddy – Damaya Designs
Bunting 3 ways – KC Creates
Ralphie Reindeer Softie – Stitched by Crystal
Rustic Reindeer Garland – Mother Grimm
Sneak Peek Sweet Treat Stocking – Flosstyle Patterns
Bonfire Jacket – Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns
Bells Beach Dress – Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns
Festival Skirt – Make it Perfect Patterns
Moku Skort – Tadah Patterns
Helios Dress – Golden Rippy
Scrappies Pants – Threading Rainbows
Tropical Applique Pack – Molly & Mama
Sweet Grace Ruffled Headbands – Snickerdoodle Stew
Make a splash backpack – Hunting for Ladybugs


 

One Thimble issue 4 - included PDF sewing patterns

One Thimble Issue 4

Firefly Dress – Boo! Designs
Snow Queen Applique – Ric Rac & Retro
Mem Rose Skirt – Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns
Honey Gum Dress – Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns
Sunny Daytripper Bag – Stitched by Crystal
Busy Block – Little Moo Designs
Rainy Days Quilt – Horris & Deedle
Traveller Tee – Gracious Threads
Urbanite Pants – Rabbit Rabbit Creations
Kids Creations: Easy Softie Patterns – Jody’s Crafty Creations


 

One Thimble Issue 3 - Included PDF Sewing Patterns

One Thimble Issue 3

Sansa Bolero – Bobkin Designs
Kitchen Scrap Buster – Horris & Deedle
Bow Trim Dress – Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns
Half-Pipe Pants – Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns
Stardust Dress – Ellie Inspired
Snow boarder Applique – Mr Fox
Fakie Baby Pants – Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns
BT Tunic – Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns
Daisychain Dress – Make it Perfect
Thermie Cover – Pattern Emporium


 

Issue 2 and included PDF

One Thimble Issue 2

Posey Party Dress – Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns
Gypsy Shrug – Tadah Patterns
Steam Train Applique – Mr Fox
Itty Bitty Harems – Pattern Emporium
Duchess Frilly Vest – Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns
Ranger Shorts – Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns
Time Traveller Vest – Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns
Twist Shift – Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns
Sweet Charlotte Quilt – Fabric Direct.com.au


Issue 1 and included PDF's

One Thimble Issue 1

Bow Peep Party Dress – Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns
Bow Peep Dolly Dress – Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns
Little Ladies Bag – Bobkin
Kinder Shorts – Hey There Threads
Mirage Skirt – Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns
Roman Helmet Applique – Mr Fox
Starflower Accessory – Oh Baby


 

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Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies

Earlier in the year I was approached by Carol from Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies to review their Ironing Board Cover.

I was given a free ironing board cover and underlay as part of my review – but my opinions in this blog post are my own.

I’d been looking for a solid colour ironing board cover as my previous brightly coloured/patterned one made taking pattern step photos on it impossible.  I jumped at the chance to review this product when I saw that their ironing board covers came in a solid colour range.  I’m sure you won’t be surprised to know I chose “my favourite yellow”.  It makes me feel happy whenever I spot that burst of sunshine in my sewing room!

Package from Carol

I was so impressed by Carol’s passion for her product and genuine interest in ensuring that her customers are 100% satisfied.

I had been using a thick padded ironing board surface and for the last little while, I’d just been putting new ironing board covers on top of the old, when I replaced them.  Have you ever done that?  In the end I had a “Princess and the Pea” style stack of ironing board covers on my ironing board.  I hadn’t realised how many there were, until I took them off to try this one out.  This ironing board cover is not padded but Carol sent an underlay for me to use with the ironing board cover.

I’ve got to admit, given my obsession with thick ironing board covers, I was a bit dubious when it arrived as to how it would go and worried that my initial preference for a thick ironing surface would stand in the way of me liking this ironing board cover.  Luckily after using this ironing board cover/underlay combo I’m back to preferring a firm ironing surface, especially after sewing the Oasis Quilt on it.

My old “Princess and the pea” ironing board stack, had a tendency to move from side to side as I ironed.  If I’d been trying to iron the large amounts of fabric involved in making the quilt on it I’m sure the whole stack would’ve lurched completely off the ironing board!  Which brings me to another feature of this ironing board cover.  It has a nifty cord arrangement which will help keep your ironing board cover exactly where it’s meant to be!

ironing board cover flag-attachment detail

I think after using this new ironing board cover/underlay for a while (and wondering why I had totally changed my preference) that my desire for a padded ironing board cover probably came from using cheap underlays that I could feel the metal holes in the ironing board through.  Rather than looking for a better ironing board cover/underlay I just kept buying cheapies and stacking them up!

So if you’re in the market for a new ironing board cover/underlay I’d highly recommend looking at Carol’s Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover.

Fitz Like A Glove tm

Please note that this is an affiliate link.  This means that if you purchase from them I will receive a commission – though I’d recommend them anyway.  Carol’s product and customer service is second to none!

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How you can get more from your Bonfire Jacket Pattern

If you’ve got the Bonfire Jacket PDF Sewing Pattern in your Pattern Stash you’re going to LOVE the blog posts in this round-up.


Bonfire Jacket Roundup post

Don’t forget to Pin this post so you’ll be able to easily find it, next time you’re sewing a Bonfire Jacket and want to mix things up!


how to add a zip to your bonfire jacket thumbnail You can find the blog post to show you how to add a zip to your Bonfire Jacket HERE.

 

 

 

 


how to add a hood to your bonfire jacket thumbnail You can find the blog post to show you how to add a hood to your Bonfire Jacket HERE.

 

 

 

 


How to add a welt pocket thumbnail You can find the blog post to show you how to add a welt pocket to your Bonfire Jacket HERE.

 

 

 

 


web Bonfire stand alone cover   One Thimble Issue 5 Cover You can find the Stand Alone Pattern for the Bonfire Jacket HERE.

You can find Issue 5 which contains this pattern HERE.

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How to Make a Potted Succulent

Hi, it’s Lauren here from Molly and Mama ! Would you like to learn how to create a potted succulent or cactus? This is a great pattern hack for the Coco Flower Crown PDF pattern found in the current issue of One Thimble Sewing E-Zine (issue 8). The Coco Flower Crown pattern by Molly and Mama contains all the pattern pieces needed to create five felt flowers and seven types of succulents. Choose one of the pattern templates to create a succulent and read the rest here!


Potted Succulent Pattern Hack

YOU WILL NEED

– a copy of the Coco Flower Crown pattern. You can purchase this as a stand alone pattern. Alternatively, you can purchase Issue 8 of the One Thimble magazine and this pattern is included!

– green 100% wool felt for Succulent 1 –  28cm (11″) x 3cm (1.25″)

– 15cm (6″) brown 100% wool felt circle for the base

– polyester filling / stuffing / hobby fill or similar

– pot or container to place your plant into – pictured pot is 5.5cm (2.25″) tall and 6cm (2.5″) across

– needle and thread to match your felt colours

– small sharp scissors for cutting felt

– erasable marker (optional)

– circle template (optional)

– craft glue (optional)

 

MAKE THE SUCCULENT

Choose a succulent to sew from the selection available in your Coco Flower Crown pattern. As you can see, there are lots of options to choose from! Even the flower patterns make great succulents. Just change the colours!

Succulents and Cacti from Molly and Mama

For this project, Succulent 1 was the perfect pattern for me! Use the methods described in the pattern to cut out, and stitch, your felt succulent.

Succulent by Molly and Mama

ADD THE FELT BASE

Trace a circle shape onto the felt with a water erasable marker. Use a pre-printed circle template or a round shape like a dinner plate or side plate as a guide. The size of your circle will depend on the size of the ‘pot’ you are putting it in. My circle was 15cm (6″) across.

Fold your felt circle in half and in half again to find the centre point.

Find Circle Centre - Molly and Mama

Thread your needle with a doubled over strand of green or brown sewing cotton (or a colour to match your felt). Bring the needle up through the centre of your felt circle to mark the point.

Place your succulent in the centre of the felt circle and use small stitches to securely attach the succulent to the felt base. You shouldn’t see the stitches from the front. When you’ve finished, secure your stitches and trim off the excess cotton.

Stitch on the Succulent - Molly and Mama

Thread your needle with a long doubled over strand of brown sewing cotton (so it’s long enough to reach around the circumference of the circle). Stitch a running stitch the whole way around the brown felt, about 1cm in from the outside edge. Gather the stitching as you go, by pulling the thread.

Leave an opening large enough to add polyester stuffing or fill. Add just enough so that the brown felt holds it’s shape. You don’t want it too firmly stuffed though, as the brown felt has to neatly and easily fit into your succulent’s pot. Once you’ve added sufficient filling, pull the thread taut and seal the opening of the gathered felt with some extra stitches. Your little plant should be ready to be ‘potted up’ (see the image bottom right).

Gather the Base - Molly and Mama

Gently pop your succulent into your pot. To ensure it can’t be removed, feel free to glue it in place with some craft glue. Now you have an everlasting plant that will brighten up any space! And it could even be used as a pin cushion!

Pot your Succulent - Molly and Mama

I love that the Coco Flower Crown pattern is so versatile and can be used for other projects too!  If you’d like to see a whole bunch of pretty accessories made with the same pattern, head over HERE.

Happy stitching, Lauren x


This post was written for One Thimble by Lauren Wright from Molly and Mama.

Want to know more about Molly and Mama? Feeling the urge to get creative but not sure where to start? Lauren from Molly and Mama  (http://www.MollyandMama.com.au) has a passion for encouraging beginners on their creative journey. Her patterns and tutorials are perfect for all sewing levels, lots of fun to make, and great to get the creative juices flowing! See more in the store.

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