Sunday, August 19, 2007

I'm the decider

Elis and Maggie will probably want to kill me if they read this, but I STILL haven't decided on a store name yet. Pathetic, right? I'm working from a huge list of potentials and every day my new favorite pops to the top. I keep coming back to the same few, but I worry that I'll hate the name after being open for a year. I know how I am with things like this...having the wrong name will drive me insane. I need to make the right decision. After all, this will be the name I promote, the name I use to refer to myself in the business world, the name I say every time I answer the shop phone, etc.

I actually asked the man at the SBA NY what the process is to change a business name and it was one of those questions I regretted asking immediately after the words escaped my lips. Basically I need to pick one and make it last. There's an awful lot of legal mumbo jumbo involved, but more importantly you lose name recognition with your customers, and that's nothing I would ever do intentionally to myself.

I've had plenty of suggestions from all kinds of people. Someone at work made up her mind that the store should be named "Artsy Fartsy" and proceeded to tell everyone that's what the actual name is. I know, right?

The truth is, I feel like I want to include birds in the name. For the longest time I was convinced that I was going to call it, "The Little Sparrow". Then my mom was asking me a question on the phone one day about how I'm coming along with planning "Little Birds" (meaning the shop). It was one of those moments where things seemed right and I fell in love with that name instead. But then it dawned on me that I've always had this idea of owning a store and calling it "The Sky and The Sea", touching on the two worlds of ocean and air and all the creatures who live there. I've loved that name for years and years and it only seems right that I go with this might be destiny calling. I have a strong idea of what the logo should look like. Maggie has been working on some ideas for me and we both agreed on one particular image. I won't post it yet until it's done and I have her permission to start using it, but trust me, it's cute. Think yin-yang only with a horizontal split, and a bird and fish instead of the curvy yin-yang parts.

I was completely convinced that I had my shop name chosen. I would go out and start having little things like rubber stamps and custom printed shopping bags made up now while I wait for the time when the big things start to happen. Lots of people love the name, even though I worry that it's too long. But doubt has crept into my mind once again and I feel like I'm making the wrong choice. These three, "Little Birds", "The Little Sparrow" and "The Sky and The Sea" are the three that have stuck with me the longest so I won't bore you with the list of the other 20,000 names I've pondered. I think I need to stop listening to other people about this. Maybe that's why I've changed my mind so many times.

The things I am 100% certain about are the little details of what the shop will look like. I think I'm a visual person overall because it seems like paint colors and decor are the first things I consider and decide on way before I move into any new environment. I want the walls to be covered in a pea soup green...not too yellow and not too brown, but definitely not too green. Does that make sense? I want black accents everywhere with of pops of bright red wherever I can fit them. Oh, and yes, those are tin ceilings. Off white, you think?

I think I want the cash wrap to go on the back wall of the store and I think I might hire Kathy to paper that wall in a really graphic wallpaper. I'm thinking a damask or something. The gallery/classroom walls should be a lighter color, I think. I hate the idea of white, but I do really love the pale grey color I used in my home office recently. Maybe I'll go with that. Besides, we Saint Rose art students are all too familiar with that "institution grey" we were forced to love in the school gallery and I want to stay far, far away from it.

I have to talk with Mr. Hedley about the flooring before I even consider signing a lease. The last business to exist in there was a shoe store and they had mirrors glued all over the walls. It looks like the demo crew just smashed the mirrors off of the walls, leaving behind shards and blobs of old glue in its place. The flooring is completely torn up. He promised that I could pick my own flooring out, as long as it's not too crazy expensive. I'm thinking either black or charcoal grey, and I'm not too picky about what it's made of. Bamboo or cork would kick ass, and it's eco-friendly, too, but telling a 75 year old man that you want cork flooring might blow his mind. He seemed so puzzled when he asked if I wanted carpet and I refused. I hate carpet. I want nothing to do with it. Especially not in my shop where I guarantee you someone will spill wine on it right at my opening and I'll have to live with a big nasty stain in the middle of my floor forever. Very professional. You think I'm anal about choosing a name? You should see how I am with things like stains. Can you say OCD?
Ugh, so many things to think about. I'm more excited about this than anything else in my entire life! I want everyone to be as excited about it as I am, but I can't help but feel that most people either don't care or they think I'm totally insane and doubt that I can make it work. I'm the kind of person who will work harder just to prove to you that I CAN make it work, but it hurts to think that people are so negative about something that makes me so ecstatic. Sandy shed some light on these feelings I'm having about the poo-poo'ers and it helped me out a little. She told me that anyone who might act negatively around me because of this business plan of mine, is behaving that way because they're jealous. I personally don't think anyone should feel jealous and if they are they should just open up their own business instead of dragging me down. God knows we can use less WalMart and more of the little guys. But she explained that most people have dreams of their own of going into business for themselves, or just taking the plunge by quitting their jobs and following their hearts to do what they truly want to do. Unfortunately most people don't have the balls to do so, and that's why they're jealous. It really meant a lot to me when she said that. It makes sense. And whether or not it's true is not important to me. I don't care what other people think I should do with my life. I've spent my entire life so far doing things for other people and I never think of myself. It's about time I did something for me, and screw you if you choose to stand in my way.

This message brought to you by Tony Robbins. Heh!

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