JUKI Small Business Seminar: Choosing Your Business Name

Choosing the right brand name can be the stepping stone to a successful business. A brand name that is memorable and catchy can give you an advantage when it’s time to market your business. When potential customers hear your brand name, you want them to remember you and think about your small business, setting you up for long-term success.

When you’re starting your business, we know how hectic it can be to think of a name on top of what you’re selling, who, and how. So follow along as we show you some tips and tricks to choosing your business name that will help you stand out from your competitors.

Best Shop Name Generators

Sometimes we need a little help or inspiration picking our company name. While it may feel like all the excellent store names have been taken, there are still many options out there!

Using a name generator is helpful for two reasons. First, it can help you come up with your business on the spot and create the perfect representation you need. Or two, it will give you ideas that you can later on work with and make your name. Below are some generators you can visit to help you create your business name.

How to choose the perfect shop name

As a small business having the correct name is crucial to your success in the e-commerce world. Having the right name can bring attention and new shoppers to your site and showcase your individuality to customers. Remember, choosing the right name will lead to success in branding and awareness on search engine sites. Below are some tips to keep in mind when choosing your name:

  • Creating a short and simple name is the right choice for a few reasons. For example, you’ll have less mispronunciation from customers, it will fit in your marketing campaigns, whether it’s physical business cards or social media posts, and it’s memorable.
  • Finding the right name can be challenging, especially with companies popping up daily. However, don’t let this discourage you! It’s a big world with many niches in the market and finding the right name for your business and niche only pushes you to be creative.

If you’re having trouble creating a name, follow the steps below.

  1. Keep it Short and Simple.

Combine different words that relate to your industry, and keep them short. Try to aim for words that rhyme or that alternate.

Tweak an existing word or create one of your own! Many companies like Skype and Häagen-Dazs began as gibberish and are now household names. Don’t be afraid to be different and have fun when creating.

Be personal. Create a company name that relates to you on a meaningful field like an old nickname, family pet name, or other nicknames that resonate with you. These quirky names can be the perfect title for your business and create that personal touch many customers love.

2. Dare to be Different

Research your competitors and see what popular names are out there in your industry or niche. Then, be different and avoid familiar rhymes, gimmicks, or phrases. This way, when it’s time for someone to look up a company in your niche, your individuality will show. Do the same when thinking of your slogan or mascot if you choose to have one, as each difference will help you stand out even more.

3. Is it Available?

Keep in mind to research your ideas before sticking to one. By heading to your favorite search engine and researching your company name ideas, you can see what companies out there might have the domain already attached to their business, pushing you to either tweak yours or choose another from your list. You want your domain to represent your brand and make an excellent first impression.

If you’re choosing to sell on an online shop platform like Amazon or Etsy, review what shop names are out there already. This will help you succeed by confirming that your name is not lost in the pool of shop hosts and also help you edit your shop name to avoid confusing future customers between your shop and others.

4. Finding your Inspiration

If you’re having trouble finding a name so far, think of themes that you can focus on for your business and work from there. Trends, nostalgia, fandoms, and even other languages can be inspiration when thinking of your shop name.

Think of what’s around you in day-to-day life that can be used as a catalyst for your creativity! Follow along with conversations, pay attention to your day-to-day sayings and jokes, your hobbies. All these things can give inspiration if you look close enough, helping you personalize your shop and create a name that represents your brand and yourself.

Why the Name Matters

Finding the right name for your brand goes beyond just putting a few words together. While this might seem like a difficult task at first, it can also be an enlightening and fun experience describing yourself and your company in a few or even one word. Put the time and effort into this as you would everything else in your shop, for a shop is only as strong as its name! Your name is how customers recognize you, so make sure it’s a name you are proud of. Remember that word of mouth is free, and you don’t want to miss out on that.

What advice would you give to those deciding on their company name? Let us know down below!

JUKI Spotlight: Designing with Kiana Bonollo!

In this month’s spotlight, we are introducing Kiana Bonollo! Fashion designer, YouTuber, and TikToker, Kiana has grown in popularity in the last couple of years due to her videos showcasing apparel projects and behind-the-scene how-tos for new sewists. Follow along today as we talk to Kiana about her journey in sewing and how she grew to the 400k audience she has now!

Photo Credit: Kiana Bonollo

From a young age, Kiana always had a curiosity for sewing. Her earliest memory was borrowing her mother’s sewing machine and altering her clothes while creating skirts from scratch! Later on, she would take her first sewing class, a week-long course on sewing basics, where she began with making pillowcases like so many of us do. Following her interest, she went on to take apparel classes in high school, finding she had a true talent for the hobby and diving into the journey. She began learning how to create patterns and learning complex skills she hadn’t tried before. College would be no different; continuing her studies in the fashion design industry, she has continued to grow her skills and talent, creating new patterns and projects for her audience and shop.

Using fashion as a form of expression, Kiana loved that fashion design allowed you to imagine anything you wanted and create it. Like so many of us, she struggled with inspiration in the past but finds that her favorite work to design are those pieces that she knows she will wear and show off in the real world! Focusing on projects that bring her happiness, her patterns range from loungewear to evening wear, a versatile selection that her followers love. 

When asked about how she chooses which patterns will be sold, “It’s really important to me that I take into consideration what my customers are suggesting and asking of me, so if a lot of my customers are asking for a prom dress- I’m going to make them a prom dress.”

Following her ideas and likes, she pulls from her customer’s suggestions and creates projects that align with their wants and her taste. It’s here that she’s been able to compromise on what’s highly requested and what she truly enjoys designing, creating that relationship with her customers, so many shops want to build.

Kiana describes her style as “edgy, but still tailored and chic.” However, finding it boring to stick to one aesthetic, she likes to dabble outside her comfort zone and enjoys mixing different design styles and aesthetics to create fun looks! With so many different style aesthetics and designs, she doesn’t let one style hold her in a box.

Photo Credit: Kiana Bonollo

With an audience of over 400k across platforms, it’s amazing to see what was accomplished in a couple of short years. Kiana’s page quickly gained popularity by opening her YouTube account in May 2020 due to her easy-to-follow and straightforward “how-to” videos and project compilations. When she first began her online page, she would put in 40 hours a week designing, editing, and creating, treating it as a full-time job. Feeling she needed to give herself a real chance, she dived into her work and focused on her dreams of working in social media and fashion design.

“I never imagined that my audience would grow to the size it currently is so fast, and I’m so grateful for everyone who has subscribed and liked my channel and followed me.”

For those out there who want to raise their following, Kiana advises finding your strengths and taking advantage of them! With so many talented artists and sewists in the world, it can be hard to distinguish yourself sometimes, but finding what you can offer that’s different or better from those out there will help you stand out. Kiana, for example, is known for her videos teaching sewist techniques and how to create different projects, focusing on her strengths of being a technical sewist and the joy she finds in educating others on her favorite hobby.

And a recommendation she has out there for those building their skills in sewing? Invest in a high-quality machine that you can also grow in too! Finding a sewing machine that can handle heavy-duty fabrics and stitches quickly and versatilely is perfect for those learning. They can upgrade their projects and skills without needing to upgrade their machine.

Kiana’s sewing table is always ready to work with her machines! Using the JUKI DX-2000QVP and a QVP serger, she’s prepared to create her silk gowns, cotton loungewear, and more. She loves recommending this machine to her followers who are serious about starting their journey. She states they’re great choices for intermediate and advanced sewers alike.

Photo Credit: Kiana Bonollo

Currently, her sewing table is being used for project requests and suggestions submitted by her followers. With the current pandemic closing shop for fashion shows in many cities, she’s been focusing on her customer base before planning to create another collection. Waiting for the world to feel a little safer, Kiana hopes to continue once fashion shows are back!

Besides her current wish for the runways to come back, Kiana hopes to launch a fashion design course one day and sell her fashion line. But for now, she’ll keep busy creating content for her followers and expanding her current business. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for Kiana and her fashion line!

To keep up with Kiana and her journey, click her profile below. And the next time you want to learn some fun fashion sewing tips, check out Kiana’s YouTube here!

Check out more from Kiana below!

Learn more about Kiana here!

Etsy Shop: Click here to visit!

Instagram: Click here to check out her latest projects!

Tiktok: Click here to see behind the scenes!

JUKI Small Business Seminar: Have You Found Your Niche?

Join us every last Saturday of the month for JUKI’s small business seminars designed to help you start or grow your at-home sewing, quilting, embroidery, or direct-to-garment business.

When it comes to owning your own small business, finding your niche is one of the first goals you should focus on. While you can have all the supplies in the world, and top equipment, not knowing your niche will leave you lost. Take the time to consider who you’re selling to and what kind of designs and work you’ll need to do to hit that audience base

Sometimes finding your niche can be coincidental. If you create a t-shirt for your daughter’s dance friends, and everyone loves it, you might find yourself attending dance recitals with moms and supporters wearing your shirts. Think of finding your niche as an upside pyramid. The top is wide and covers everything on earth, it’s up to you to trickle down and see what’s at the point for your market.

Who are you marketing to?

The best way to start your small business is by planning who you’re going to sell to! Having a target audience or niche will help you build ideas for designs or connections to go after that will grow your shop. Below are some examples of audiences you could market towards.

Hobby and Niche Markets

Are you obsessed with comics, cars, and more? Many groups of people enjoy having products that are different and creative, and allow them to show support for their favorite things in fun ways! Think of what groups you resonate with that you could create custom shirts for.

Car Hobby: If you find yourself having fun puns or art ideas for cars, those in the car community would enjoy having new products like t-shirts they could wear to car shows to show off their personality!

Punny Jokes: Something so many people enjoy are good puns and jokes. Creating material with fun graphics, or even quotes is a great way for people to show off who they are. Think of fun socks, printed t-shirts, or canvas bags with fun quotes.

Pop Culture References: With media constantly expanding and growing, you’re always likely to stumble upon a TV show, movie, or band that has a following. Create things in your style that fans would enjoy wearing as a form of pride and excitement in their likes.

Events and Show Markets

In a world where there is always something going on, events and shows always need some merchandise and freebies!

Charity Events: Charity events are always circulating. Many times these events include team t-shirts to set apart company teams, or for individuals who are volunteering! Connect with your local charities and see who needs a partner for event merchandise. These events are not only a great way to get your business out there, but they will allow others to see the quality of your work and bring in new connections for future events. 

Trade Shows: If you’re located in an area where tradeshows are common, look into exhibiting at these events! Many times teams will set up their shops on-site and sell their goods and creations while customers are attending. You can also look into what tradeshows are happening near you and create custom products to sell beforehand.

Sports Events: does your town have a kickball league? Look into what leagues are in your area for options on creating merchandise for their teams! Many companies, schools, and friends have their own sports leagues that require team t-shirts, tote bags, hats, and more.

Create Your Brand

For those who have a mind filled with artwork and fun style, look into creating your brand! These projects may seem big, but you get to choose how you create and sell. Many small businesses are known for having their select few designs that they focus on. We recommend starting with 3-5 designs you want to place on merchandise and going from there when creating your brand.

Once you’ve picked your niche deep dive into what’s popular in the community. Whether it be characters, quotes, styles, or more; these tips will help you create your shop and build up a profitable business. The more you know your audience, the more likely you are to create pieces that others find special and worth buying. Small niche consumers pay more as well because of the low product options available for them to choose from.

Whether you choose to market to corporate, or to your local community, finding your niche is the essence of creating a profitable and successful company. Don’t be afraid to join niches that seem popular, the same reason people go to Walmart instead of Target can be the same reason someone goes to you instead of another seller. Begin with categorizing people so that the game plan is more concrete. Research their demographics, interests, jobs, etc. Once you reach the point where it’s too narrow, go up a level until you find your sweet spot. Try to find a niche where there are enough people to market to, and then go for it!

JUKI Designer Ambassador: Adolfo Sanchez

Introducing Adolfo Sanchez, designer, and owner of the Adolfo Sanchez brand. Based in Los Angeles and focused on creating luxury designs, he founded his brand in June 2015. His fashion and style take you on a journey to a world of freedom where women dare to be strong and different. Understanding how saturated the fashion world has become, he shows people that there are still unique options available and his creations are one of them. 

Adolfo’s career started in 2006, where he began to grow his business into a brand that offers custom, ready-to-wear, accessories, bridal, and couture. His gowns are different from those commonly found in the Los Angeles area, focusing on luxury wear. Focusing on the intricacy and hand-beaded designs that need unique craftsmanship when creating his pieces, his gowns are bold and unique, perfect for those wishing to be different.

“I would have never thought that I would have ended up in this industry, but it just feels so right that I know it was meant to be,”

Getting to his current position in the fashion industry by taking risks and learning new techniques, Adolfo is constantly pushing his brand to the next level. By staying true to his passions and fighting for his final vision when creating, he’s able to present pieces he’s proud of. Thankful to his team, including seamstresses, pattern makers, and factory workers, he wouldn’t be where he is today without the support he received along the way and his motivation to create awe-inspiring pieces.

“I’m inspired by everything – people, places, music, and there is so much more to do that I sometimes wonder if I have become obsessed with this industry.”

We are so excited to have Adolfo on board. Follow along with our social media as we continue to update you on Adolfo and our other ambassadors! Learn more about Adolfo and our Ambassador team here https://jukiquilting.com/ambassadors today.

Spotlight: Meet Sherry Miller!

This month we are introducing our newest National JUKI educator, Sherry Miller, to the JUKI team!

With over 40 years of experience, Sherry began sewing around seven years old with her mother. Moving on to junior high and high school, Sherry began constructing outfits, a hobby she loved and continues to work on today. After turning 16, Sherry worked in a quilting shop and loved the experience! So much so that she would continue to stay on for the next 30 years, becoming one of their very own educators.

When asked about her favorite sewing memory, Sherry fondly looks back at when she made quilts with a Girl Scout troop for a homeless shelter. Seeing the excitement on the girl scouts’ faces as they put the squares together using a sewing machine, and tying them with yarn, was a heartwarming experience. When it came time to donate, the Girl Scouts group invited Sherry when presenting the quilt at the shelter.

While Sherry was working in the quilting shop, she began practicing her quilting techniques. Creating quilts and home decor samples at home for the store gave her confidence to write patterns and eventually teaching classes. It was here Sherry found her passion for teaching others!

“The most very favorite thing about being an educator is the joy on people’s faces when they accomplish something they thought they could never do! I like meeting new people and learning about their styles of sewing. With every person I help, I always learn something new!”

Since joining JUKI, Sherry finds the J-350 Longarm machine to be her favorite! As someone who loves working on free motion quilting and quilting with rulers, these machines have fit her needs each time. We are so excited to have Sherry Miller on board as she continues to teach our JUKI lovers new tips and tricks on their favorite machines.

Keep up to date with JUKI on https://jukiquilting.com/our-events/ and meet Sherry and our other educators at our next class!