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How to Choose a Business Name

How to Choose a Business Name | Spruce Rd. #business #branding #blogging

How to Choose a Business Name | Spruce Rd. #business #branding #blogging

The other day, I received an inquiry from another designer asking how I decided to go with a studio name, rather than my personal name. If you are either thinking of starting a business, or pondering rebranding, this post is for you!

Here is the inquiry I received:

“Hi!I’ve just transitioned to doing freelance fulltime. I love all the resources you have to offer. I was wondering, how did you decide to give yourself a studio name rather than just go by your name? I am going back and forth between the two. Since it’s just me I could just use my name. The services I plan to offer are: branding, editorial illustration, custom illustration and maybe some other items but that’s mostly it. Any suggestions? Thanks!”

As an entrepreneur, I have been there! Deciding on a name can be such a daunting task. You feel like this is the first impression your audience/clients have of your business, and you want it to be reflected accurately. Here are a few tips on deciding between the two.

When to use your name

  • You have a name that is unique enough to be memorable, yet easy to spell + pronounce
  • You are your business, no one else is involved or potentially will ever be involved
  • You don’t plan to expand
  • You’ve already built a reputation/audience under your name
  • You are an artist, or in a profession where using your name is common

When you should use a different name

  • Your name is hard to pronounce! – My last name is Starcevich, so I knew I needed to avoid including it in my business name
  • You have plans to expand your business in the future, beyond yourself
  • You collaborate with others
  • You have products for sale
  • You are open to either selling your business, partnering with someone else, or allowing another person to take over while you are on leave (vacation, maternity leave, etc.)

Tips for how to decide on a name

Make lists!

I am such a list maker, so I kept a note in Evernote with words that I felt fit my brand. Everything from adjectives, concepts, and various names for “design studio.” Eventually you can mix and match to develop what feels like the right fit.

Utilize a thesaurus

I am not a creative writer, by any means! I hit up the thesaurus for a few ideas. Find a concept you like, and search the thesaurus for variations of that concept. It might trigger other ideas as well!

Check for domains

It is so hard these days to find a business name that is truly unique. Search online to see if your domain is available. I originally was thinking about “Spruce Design Studio”, however when I checked online there were SO many studios with that name. Adding the “Road” in there, helped customize my name enough for SEO and domain. The domain search will also help you be more creative with your business name.

Why I went with a studio name

I really struggled finding a name that just fit with my brand. I resisted using my personal name, Jamie Starcevich, for my business because well… my last name is a bit of a mouthful! I have no doubt that people would misspell and pronounce it wrong often. More than that, I wanted a business name that could grow with me. I have BIG goals for Spruce Rd, that are beyond just me! It might be only me for a while, however I didn’t want to limit my business to just me once I am ready to expand.

I wanted a name that reflected my vision: fun, personable (not corporate), friendly and feminine. These are the types of clients I want to attract as well. I love branding that has a concept behind it, and a story to tell. Call it the analytical side of my brain, but I just find so much more depth with branding is connected to stories! Briefly, here is the reasoning behind Spruce Road:


Neat, smart, stylish, dapper. To freshen up appearances.


The journey from the old to the new.

The idea behind the name Spruce Rd. is that when collaborating with businesses, we journey together to develop a solution that freshens up, or establishes, your visual identity.

Deciding between your personal name, and a studio name, really just depends on your business goals, and if you see yourself expanding in the future. If not, that is totally okay, and it might be more fitting to use your name! What do you guys think? Did you go through a similar process for your business or blog?


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  1. Meher Kaur

    Love the meaning behind your name 🙂

  2. Kyleigh Warnke

    These are great tips!

  3. Ashley Armstrong

    I know this post is a little older but I found it sooooo helpful! I am in the beginning stages of starting my transition to fulltime freelancing and deciding between my own name or a studio name was so difficult. I have a very common name so I felt like it didn’t stand out enough on it’s own. But I also didn’t want to seem like I was trying to put on this front of “I’m a huge design studio” by using a name when people would only be working with me for now.
    This post really solidified my decision to use another name! I just need to make sure I’m upfront that I’m a one-woman-show!

  4. Nakia Jones

    I haven’t launched my blog yet (still adding the finishing touches) but this article really helped in the naming process. I only recently came up with The Bloom Theory. I always wanted a studio name because my goal is to one day grow into more than just me but I had been using my full name because I just wanted to start and not let the name hold me back. This article along with a few others really helped me figure out a name I loved.

  5. Monica

    Well, now you’re making me regretting that I went with my full name. 😀 I’ve had struggles chosing what to do and finally decided that my name is the safe option. At least for now. I mean, I can always expand with a studio name, right?

    1. Jamie

      Ha! No regrets! You can definitely always expand to a studio and change your name then – as long as you are clear with an announcement to your audience!

  6. Monica Galvan

    Such a great topic! It’s one of those you could go back and forth on for many reasons. I started out with my name so for photography and design I stick with that. However, I’m starting something new and that I did create a special name for. It all depends on your purpose and your goals. Another thing about using your name is being comfortable with putting more of “you” in your brand, are you going to be ok with sharing that? It’s something to think about.

    1. Jamie

      Great points Monica! If you go with your personal name, you definitely need to be willing to put yourself out there as an extension of your brand.

  7. KErcia

    hmmm, Jamie, you have given me a lot to think about 🙂 When I started out I went with my name because it’s unique and I love that it incorporates my aunt Jane’s name – she’s the one who named me. On the other hand Kercia (pronounded ker-sha) is usually mispronounced as ker-see-a. Also, I’ve never really thought about how a personal name effects a growing business and having a shop. As always – thanks for a great thought-invoking post, Jamie! 🙂

    1. Jamie

      I love your name, Kercia! And I always said it in my head the proper pronunciation – if that makes you feel better 🙂 You could always have a shop with a different name, if you want. Or something similar like Kercia Outpost? Just a few thoughts!

      1. kercia

        aawww, yes, that totally makes my day! 🙂 And I love your thoughts and input! Thanks, girlie!!

  8. Kayli Schattner

    Great tips in here! I think naming is one of the top things I struggle with in my business…whether it be my website, products or otherwise. I’ll have to bookmark this! x

    1. Jamie

      Agreed! Naming is very hard, and so so personal! PS: Love your site 🙂

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