Hello Everyone,

I am hashing over the idea of changing my business name.  Maybe some of y'all have considered this and can help me make a decision.

A little history ...

When I started my business I was making only coasters.  I took blank tumbled travertine tiles (4"x4") and applied designs to them.  I can customize them buy customizing colors, adding or deleting design elements, adding a monogram in some instances, etc.  I was doing only coasters.

Since then I have added tumbled travertine trivets (8"x8") and plaques (3"x6", subway type).  I also hand craft greeting cards that are sold in sets.

I would love to try my hand at repurposing frames and smaller household items.

My business name is Custom Coasters by Cindy.  I would like to change it to a name that is more inclusive of things I have added and possibly will add to my business.  I have some ideas of what I want to call it.  But before I jump out there and do it .....

1)  I'd like to know if this is advisable in a business that has been around just over 2 years.

2)  If I decide to do this how do I transition the name change or so I go cold turkey?

3)  How do I handle this when I apply to a show with my current name and then change my name between date of application and the actual show?

4)  What other things should I consider?


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  • My business name has evolved over the years and it hasn't hurt me one bit. 

  • Hi Cindy,

    Diane and I have done a lot of different things over the years. And we kept changing the name of the business to kinda match what we did. During the late 80s Diane became infatuated with carousels and carousel horses as amusement parks were undergoing changes from nice family places to who can scare you the most with the ride designs.

    So we started making smaller versions. She learned the painting styles of the master craftsmen who made them at the turn of the 20th century. Are you aware carousel horses have the fancy décor on only one side? It got to the point I was scouring yard sales for the old child's spring loaded rocking horses and bought correct brass poles and turned them into carousel horses. But what sells can change in an instant! And we're stuck with the name "Country Carousel".

    Name change!

    We live in a subdivision that is named Shady Pines because there's a boatload of pine trees. So we just call our company "Shady Pine Studios". We can do whatever we want under that name.

    Try it.

    • Now you have got me to thinking Chris!  A named based on you subdivision.  I am going to have to start thinking beyond what I am doing or what I can expect or envision doing down the road.  When I come up with something I'll post here at AFI.

      Oh, and no, I did not know about the design being on one side of the carousel horses.  Interesting trivia for when a lag occurs in a conversation.  LOL

      • Cynthia,

        My biz name is A Sterling Reputation. I am a silversmith, but the name gives me a lot of wiggle room!

        I've never been fond of names like "Designs by Elane" I can't even tell you why they just seem unimaginative. Giving yourself a "studio" name is a great idea. I wish I had thought of that!

      • Here's another tidbit.

        European carousels go clockwise and the horses are decorated on the left, and American carousels go counter clockwise and the horses are decorated on the right.

        We were visiting a carousel restoration/museum in CT and were talking to the craftsmen when Diane noticed a tall bucket with ostrich feathers in it. When she asked what they were used for, the man who was in charge of painting took one out and said "this is known as 'feathering' the paint".

  • If your business name sounds as if it limits what you do or doesn't even describe it then perhaps you should change it. Try to change it to a name that will always allow room for growth.

    Years ago I did a hole in the wall show (nonjuried junky show) and a vendor there had his business name as "Wood By Dave" the promotor thought he did woodwork and didn't bother to ask. Once his booth was open he actually sold sand art. He was set up right beside of the only other sand art vendor. Just out of curiosity I had to ask him about the conflicting business name (I am a wood artist). He said he formerly used to make wooden toys but had switched to sand art and just didn't want to go to the trouble of changing his business name. We both got a good laugh out of it. I walked away thinking he must not truly care much about his business.

    I know the above doesn't really describe your situation but honestly if it bothers you enough to question it now, why not go ahead and change it before years pass and maybe you've moved beyond coasters because you have evolved into other things as most artists are always doing?
  • In my opinion: Normally when you apply to a show it is under your given name not your DBA name so changing after application should not be a problem. If you have been using the business name for only two years and only at festivals I think most people looking for you will be by your given name not the DBA. At the festivals I have been in the pamphlet that shows your booth location is listed as you given name not your DBA.

    • Robert,

      I have been in arts and crafts shows like you mentioned, my name was listed. But I think some had both my name and my business name listed.  On apps I have to list a business name and I thought it had to match the name actually used day to day.  Is that not correct?

      The shows I've done have all been in Louisiana and do not generally get the big dog artists/crafters like you may see up north or on the east coast.  Not sure if that makes any difference.

      • I am currently in the process of rebranding my business and business name. I am choosing a broader title that allows wiggle room within my medium. I have settled on my new name and am in the process of researching trademarks & usage. I have worked under my old name for almost 12 years, so part of my transition will include my old name i.e. "Bla bla bla... Formerly bla bla bla" . I also plan on keeping my signature logo & booth colors during the transition. Eventually, the "formerly bla bla bla" will drop off and all that will be left is my brand new name and brand new brand!
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