Choosing a shop name is the first step to building a strong brand. Your Etsy shop name can help shoppers immediately recognize your business as well as communicate the style of your shop or what you sell, says Wynne Renz, a copywriter at Etsy who's also worked with brands to name new products and businesses. Read on for tips on brainstorming and choosing a name that will fit your business now and into the future.
Brainstorming Your Etsy Shop Name
You can find inspiration for your shop name all around you. Look at other businesses, on Etsy and elsewhere, and identify what you like or don’t like about their names. How do they make you feel? Are they easy to remember? Business names can fall into many categories, but looking at these popular types is a good starting point:
- Suggestive descriptive names
You can think of these names like a formula: a word or phrase that expresses the vibe or feeling you want your brand to evoke added to descriptive words that make it clear what you sell. A few examples on Etsy: Urban Cheesecraft, Waterstone Succulents, Delirium Decor, Morning Ritual Jewelry.
Choose suggestive words that reflect your style. If your items are elegant, use words that have that feeling. If your items are quirky or clever, think of words that have that vibe. Let your own unique point of view as an artist or curator shine through in everything about your shop, especially your name!
One benefit of these kinds of names is that shoppers can quickly understand what you sell. If you are selling a very specific product or supply, putting those words or phrases in your shop name might help your shop appear in searches for those terms on Etsy and the web. One potential disadvantage to this kind of name: if your products change, this kind of name could be more difficult to adapt. For example, if you call your shop Beautiful Bed Linens, the name won’t make much sense if you later decide to sell tea towels and kitchen accessories.
- Abstract names
These kinds of names let you really flex your creative muscle to create a word or phrase that will identify your shop. They can be uncommon words — Wynne finds inspiration by looking at the names of plants and animals, foreign language words and musical instruments — or you can coin a new word for your shop name by combining two words together. An interesting word or phrase that is meaningful to you can add a bit of history and a point of interest to your shop’s story. A major advantage of abstract names is that they will likely be totally unique to your business, making them easier for customers to search online. Some examples on Etsy: Avrocomy, Artemer, Littionary.
- Your name
Using your own name as your shop name is also an option, and it gives you some flexibility to grow your product line. Eponymous shops will always be unique to you and are general enough to allow you to explore different kinds of products and aesthetics as your shop grows. One downside is that shoppers can’t quickly determine what you sell. If your name isn't available, try adding "Studio," "Co," "Inc," "Workshop" or another word. Some examples on Etsy: Lisa Rupp Design, Amelie Mancini, Maryanne Moodie.
Keep in mind: Your shop name is different from your Etsy username, and you shouldn’t think of it like a username or nickname. “Think about your Etsy shop name in the context of your whole business,” Wynne says. “Make it something you’d be comfortable printing on a business card.”
If you’re stumped when trying to brainstorm words or phrases that could become part of your Etsy shop name, Wynne recommends making a list of the attributes you want your business to be associated with. Maybe you want your brand to feel family-friendly, colorful and trendy. Think about words that are associated with these attributes and start making a list. Look up the words on your list in a thesaurus to get even more ideas to add to your list. “Spend 70 percent of your time exploring and 30 percent of your time editing down your options,” Wynne recommends. “You’ll need a lot of options to pick from in order to avoid cliches and dig down to the really original ideas.” A list of backup options will also come in handy if the shop name you settle on is unavailable.
Put Your Etsy Shop Name to the Test
Once you have some names you’re excited about, it’s time to do a little research. Checking off the things on this list before you commit to a shop name can save you headaches later.
- Check Etsy first
Just Googling or searching on Etsy for a shop name is not enough. To find out whether your desired name is available on Etsy, you have to type it in during the shop creation process and click “Check Availability.”
It can be frustrating to discover that the name you want to use is not available, and you might be wondering why you can’t use a name when you can see that there are no open shops using that name. Shop names on Etsy are entirely unique, so once a name has been used — either as a shop name or username — it can’t be used again. Etsy does this to prevent confusion and to protect the privacy of you and your customers.
If you’re coming to Etsy with an established name, think about how you can make variations on the name to remain consistent. Try adding words like “Studio,” or “Design” or using a shortened version of your existing business name.
- Google it
Search for your intended name on Google. Searching to see what’s already out there can help you determine if other businesses or websites are already using your name. The more unique the name, the easier it will be for your business to become associated with it. Avoid using generic names or terms that will be more difficult to tie to your brand.
- Get some feedback
Ask friends or family who are in your target market what they think about your name. Etsy Teams can be a great place to get advice and feedback as well. Ask others what kind of brand they think a business with this name would have or what they would sell.
- Know the law
Some words and names are trademarked, so do your homework first to avoid a possible conflict later. For instance, in the US, you can search the database of trademarked names on the United States Patent and Trademark Office's website. Outside of the US, check with your local trademark authority. Consider consulting an attorney if you need specialized advice in this area.
- Get social
Using the same name everywhere — your Etsy shop name, in your cover photo and shop icon, on your blog and on any social media sites you use (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) makes it easier for buyers to find your shop. Check to see if the names you’ve come up with are available on all the major social channels before committing to a name.
- Think globally
On Etsy, your shop will reach people around the world. Before committing to a name, do a little research to see how the words translate in other languages or what negative connotations they might have. Wynne recommends searching on Bing, which searches globally, instead of on Google, which knows your location, to get a more global view.
Make Your Etsy Shop Name Memorable
A good shop name should be easy for people to understand and remember. These tips will help you choose a memorable name:
- Spelling counts
Pick an Etsy shop name that is easy to pronounce and spell. The former helps shoppers remember your name, the latter makes it easy to find you again. Your Etsy shop name cannot be longer than 20 characters and can’t contain spaces or punctuation.
- Take the shop name memory test
Sit down with a piece of paper and pen and ask yourself: “What shops do I know the name of on Etsy?” It doesn’t have to be your favorite shop or any reason other than the fact that you remembered the name. This is key. After you have your list of remembered names, take a look at them. Why are they so memorable? After asking yourself these questions, learn from what these shop owners have done to create your own memorable name.
- Capitalize multiple words
Once you have decided on a name for your shop, take advantage of capital letters to make the appearance of your shop name more legible. If you have more than one word in your shop name, create visual separation by making the first letters of each word capital letters instead of lowercase. For example, “HouseOfBalticLinen” is easier to read than “houseofbalticlinen.”
For more tips on creating a memorable shop, read 5 Steps to Stand Out from the Competition.
Done is Better Than Perfect
Hopefully, these tips help you brainstorm a name for your shop that’s uniquely yours, but if you’re feeling stuck or not totally happy with your name, remember that it is possible to change it later. You can change your shop name as many times as you like before you open your shop for business. After you’ve opened your shop, you can instantly change your name one time. If you need to change it again in the future, submit a request to Etsy Support.
How did you choose your shop name? Share your tips in the comments below.
Updated on May 10, 2016. Additional reporting by Danielle Maveal.