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What's In A Name?

“Names are a way to keep people in your mind.”

― Maggie Stiefvater, Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception

Let’s face it. 

Your business name is a direct reflection of who you are and what your business is about. It needs to be thoughtful, it needs to be impactful, and it needs to be memorable. Sometimes people can’t remember my name, but they do remember “Velvet Lips” because of the impact it made on their psyche and I’m okay with that. Besides, having an old lady name just sometimes is not that memorable and in my years of life, I’ve grown to realize that it’s perfectly okay if folks don’t remember my first name. However, they know my face, they know my company name, and they know exactly what I do in my business. 

And that’s what matters.

So when you’re thinking about picking a name for your business, there are 4 things I want you to seriously consider, especially being in our industries:

  1. You want something that you can stare at forever. That’s right. I said it. FOREVER. You want a name that is yours and you want to be able to say the name over and over and over again without getting tired of hearing it. You want to be able to have it come out of people’s mouths and not cringe every time you hear it. You want that name to be your legacy in the work.

  2. You want a name that is easy to remember. The worst thing you can do for your company (okay, maybe not the worst, but you know what I mean) is have a name that is boring or not memorable. Hard to pronounce and spell can also be in this category because not everyone is a spelling bee champ and a lot of us creatives like to be profound in our spellings of words in this work. Pick words that resonate in people’s minds and if you’re not sure, ask your friends and family about how they feel how memorable the name is.

  3. Pick a name that is Meta-friendly. Yup, I said it. It’s so unfortunate that we have to think about this, but this is something that is not new. We’ve had issues with having provocative names in our industry and often get shut down because we may get clumped into sex trafficking or some other gross factor that shuns us from main society acceptance. In my conjuring up of ‘Velvet Lips’ I knew that using the words ‘clit’ or ‘vagina’ or ‘cunt’ were not going to be words that any social media or mainstream audience would like. Unfortunately, it’s the respectability politics here that keep us from being accepted, so sliding in with a name like Velvet Lips has people intrigued and unafraid to engage. So with that said, having a Meta-friendly name is worth attracting the people that you want for your business.

  4. Your name should have a story. We know that storytelling in our business is essential and it can easily start with your name. It also becomes a point of entry for media/podcast interviewers who are curious as to why you came up with the name to kick off the conversation. Whenever I’m interviewed, I always tell them the story of how I came up with Velvet Lips and why it’s significant for me. 

Did I name my business after my pussy? I sure did. 

Did I name my business after my mouth? I sure did. 

If you’ve already picked a name, great! If not, that’s perfectly okay. And if you’re thinking about re-branding, it might just be the right move if you know it’s in alignment with your vision.

Cheers to your naming sexcess! Xo, marla

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