Naming your company is always a process.
There are so many questions to consider.
Do you name it after yourself? Do you name it after a common element in your business? Do you make up a name?
After researching the pros and cons of each of these scenarios, I decided to develop a name for my company that truly reflected my company philosophy.
Here is my story on naming my company.
Pros & Cons of naming your company
Naming your Company after Yourself
When I decided to start my own company, I knew one of the first things I would need is a company name.
My first thought was to name it after myself.
This is a popular choice for Interior Designers, and I had gone down that path in the past.
My first business was for my Kitchen Design practice and it was called Jan Rutgers Design Inc.
That name served me well in the early years since it helped my clients specifically identify me as the lead designer of the firm.
As that business grew though, it became difficult to bring on other designers to lead projects since the name on the business card was Jan Rutgers.
I thought long and hard about naming the new online business after myself since my name did have “brand recognition” in the Kitchen Industry.
I considered naming the company “Rutgers School of Design” and even purchased that domain name.
After sitting with that name for a while though, I began to have second thoughts.
I have plans to expand the business by bringing on additional instructors and felt my personal name could limit that.
Also, there is a University named Rutgers, which could cause legal issues down the road with an online school called Rutgers School of Design.
Hence, Rutgers School of Design did not make the cut!
Naming your Company after what you Do
Another popular approach to naming a business is to name it after what you do.
I had also tried that in the past.
I was co-owner of a business called CMK Solutions.
It was a to-the-trade designer showroom that sold Custom Millwork & Kitchen Solutions.
CMK Solutions fit and said what we did but it wasn’t very personal.
Many online business that teach something tend to take this approach and add the words Academy, University, Institute or School to the end of the industry word.
Kitchen Design Academy, Kitchen Design University, Kitchen Design Institute and Kitchen Design School all come to mind with this approach.
While these names were a literal interpretation of the business I was launching, they were not very creative.
Since my business is in a creative industry the name needed to go beyond this standard approach.
My thought was that I needed to come up with a name that spoke to the industry I was addressing while also portraying the philosophy of my business.
Naming your Company after a Made-Up Name
If you have ever had to register a new company name, you will quickly find out that almost every “real” name or word has been used for a business name.
Even if the name you are considering is not used within your industry, you can have issues down the road with copywrite infringement from other industries.
A good quick test of any proposed company name is to check the availability of the domain name.
You will need a website, so a good start is securing that domain name.
You will want the .com of your new company name asap!
The cons of a made up name can be spelling.
People can get confused by a different spelling of a word, but if you can back up the name with a good story, it can help make the name stick.
And who knows, maybe one day your made up name becomes a common word!
Why the name Vestabul?
With my focus now to come up with a made up name that spoke to my philosophy I started doing my research.
Where could I come up with a name that spoke to me?
One night, while sitting with friends and family the whole idea of naming the new company came up.
After countless random names being thrown out someone suggested looking at ancient history.
My sister-in-law happened to have a book on Roman & Greek mythology and I started flipping through it.
I couldn’t believe it when I came across the Roman Goddess Vesta.
Vesta was the goddess of the hearth, the home, and domestic life in the Roman religion.
The hearth fire in the home of the ancient Romans was not only essential for cooking food and heating water, but also served as a gathering place for the family.
Vesta was thought to literally “keep the home fires burning” from the most modest apartment to the grandest villa.
I had been challenging Vesta my entire career!
The connection to the kitchen and this Roman Goddess could not have been stronger.
The modern kitchen evolved from the cooking hearth of the past and the connection of Vesta as the goddess who presided over this important area resonated with me.
Images of Vesta often showed her with a donkey.
This association was gleaned from her connection with baking, which was of course done at the hearth. Donkeys were the animals that pulled the millstone to grind wheat for the bread.
She also held flowers and sometimes a kettle, representations of home life.
I personally love to bake and always have fresh flowers in my home!
I had found the starting point for building my company name through Vesta!
During some additional research I discovered that the Latin word for “hearth” is FOCUS which in English is used to designate a center or activity of interest.
Again a great connection to the kitchen and focus is needed to launch and run a business.
As stated above, it would be difficult to register Vesta as a company name so I needed to think about how I could incorporate that word into a new word.
By writing it out on a paper and playing around with letters, I ended up writing down the word Vestibule.
Some definitions of vestibule include:
- a passage, hall, or room between the outer door and the interior of a building
- a sheltered entrance
- a course that offers access (as to something new)
To me the word vestibule evoked the entrance to the home where all the spaces of the home radiated from.
The reference to a course that offers access also came into play.
As I continued to write down word combinations the word Vestabul emerged.
A quick check on the availability of the domain name and VESTABUL was born.
For me, naming my company VESTABUL encompasses the passion I have for home design.
Every time I see the company name in print I think about the roman goddess Vesta and the importance of the kitchen as the center of the home.
I also see that the VESTABUL name brings in the word vestibule, where all are welcomed.
For me this is the perfect name for my company.
It gives me flexibility, allowing VESTABUL to be the parent company to my online school, VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN; my one-to-one mentoring and coaching, VESTABUL COACHING; and my private design business, VESTABUL DESIGN.
You now also know why I have called my blog VESTA.
I’m glad I spent the time to research this and I am very happy with the results.
I’d love to hear how you came up with your company name.
Please comment below.
If you would like to receive the VESTA blog in your inbox each week please subscribe here:
Jan Rutgers has been designing kitchens and products for over 25 years and is a recipient of Kitchen & Bath Design News’ Top Innovators in 2020 for the Kitchen & Bath Industry. She has designed more than 1000 kitchens learning valuable skills with each one! Her experience in Kitchen Design, Millwork Manufacturing and Product Development has led her to create VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN where she educates and mentors people passionate about the Kitchen Design Industry.