Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Naming an Online Business: How Inventive Can You Get?

Felted Bracelet with Lace Edge Settings
“Zazzy’s not a real word.”  I may have heard that once or twice.  Well, I say, “Is so!”  After all, Sheldon Cooper used the word on an episode of The Big Bang Theory, and he’s really smart, right?  Plus, I googled it and found this definition of "zazzy" on urbandictionary.com:  "a basic cross between ‘zany,’ ‘pizzazz’ and ‘snazzy’ to create an adjective suggesting that something is too great to be confined to one word.”  Hey, I like that – what can I say?  And it really didn’t hurt that the “Zazzy Substitution” episode of Big Bang was about cats; I like anything to do with cats.  ;-)
My zazzy Siberian cat, Mishka

Okay, so maybe zazzy’s not a “real” word, but I think it’s catchy.  The fact is -- it’s just not that easy to find a unique business name in the age of ebay and etsy and a million blogs and other websites.  So cut me some slack, people.  Naming an online business is just not what it used to be.  Ten years ago, when I had my first website, I easily got my first choice for my business name.  Not this time!  I was determined to choose a name that on one else was using on the internet in any way.  But I didn’t get my first choice or my second choice – or even my third choice. I had to think even further outside the box, and I learned some new, albeit made-up, words. 

Zazzy Peacock Felted Necklace
           One of the words I really wanted to use was “funky.” The urban dictionary says it means something that is different or strange but cool (so far, so good), with a secondary meaning of having a foul odor.  Uh oh.  I dug a little deeper (well, only Wikipedia deep) and found a very fascinating connection between these two meanings having to do with funk music.  The gist of it – this is my vague understanding based on reading Wikipedia – is that jazz musicians (and artists, let’s say) radiate a positive energy and earthiness in creating and working through their artistic process.  This made me like the word even more, but alas, it was not meant to be.  Some lucky artist is using the name “Funky Peacock” on etsy.  I’m still using the word to describe my art though.  I do think my work is different but cool, and I’d really like to think it exudes a creative energy and earthiness too.

            By the way, I also briefly considered using the word, “zen,” but quickly realized that I am way too much of a stress case to pull that one off.  I mean, really, what do I know from zen?  I do yoga, but I’m nowhere close to zen.   Recently, I used the word “cockamamie” on facebook, and a friend challenged that word too.  Hmm ... Cockamame Peacock  -- there’s a name I didn’t consider.  I bet no one’s using that one!

            So tell me, did you have a hard time finding a unique name for your business?  Do you have any favorite made-up words you’d like to share? 

My First Foray into the World of Blogging

This is my first blog post, so I think it’s only right that I should introduce myself. I’m Jill Newman, and I’m lucky enough to spend every day painting, felting, designing and generally being creative.  I am a lawyer-turned-artist, the proud mom of two amazing teen-ish boys (15 and 11), and married more than 16 years to the love of my life.  I have enjoyed many creative endeavors over the years, but ever since I discovered the joy of needle felting, I can’t seem to stop making things out of wool.  I also enjoy painting and creating upcycled mixed media artwork.  So I started Zazzy Peacock Studios, and I’m opening a shop on etsy (any day now!).

When I first decided to start a new business selling handmade things, I read Mary Chapin’s incredibly helpful book, The Handmade Marketplaceand found out I needed a blog.  Who knew? I really never thought I’d be writing a blog, but now that I am, I realize what an incredible outlet this is for self-expression.  I can see how writing could be an extension of my art and help me grow as a more open and creative person.  And let’s face it -- I’m full of opinions and unsolicited advice.   Over the years, I’ve tackled many cool DIY projects and had the amazing experience of doing a major (I’m talking should-have-been-a-teardown) renovation of our home – all of which taught me many lessons that I feel the need to pass along.  And I’m always having new ideas for projects that I would love to share.

So once a week (or so), you can expect to hear from me about something (hopefully) interesting – maybe how to needle felt, how to refurbish a vintage chandelier, ideas for decorating your walls with dynamic three-dimensional art and artifacts, or the pitfalls to avoid during a remodel.  And of course, I’ll be sharing my work, what inspires me, and the trials, tribulations and joys of creating and selling art.  I hope I will inspire you to explore a new creative endeavor and to share your work and ideas too. 

Me with my family doing Abbey Road in front of our house
Thanks for reading this.  I really appreciate it.  I hope you’ll check back in with me next week.  In the meantime, what’s your creative outlet?  I’d love to hear from you.

All Zazzy Peacock Studios designs and images shown are  © Jill Newman 2012.  All rights are reserved.