I sew and I translate. What do I call my business(es)?
April 2, 2013 2:33 PM   Subscribe

So I finally want to get a name / logo / site for my little side business(es). I do (German-English) translation, localisation and copywriting on the one hand, and I sew colourful accessories on the other. Unfortunately I can't even get past the "what do I call this thing?" hurdle. Can I even have just one name?

So I'd like to have one site/name for both, but they seem almost antithetical - for translation I have to be reliable, accurate and so on, whereas my sewing is whimsical, cute and a bit out there (if you want an idea of the stuff I make, check out my Tumblr which is linked from my profile). The only "common denominator" I've found is that they're both "tailor-made". Kinda. Pen, thread, needle, craft, words... I'm so stuck! Any ideas welcome!

Or is it just a very bad idea to mix two completely unrelated businesses? What speaks for/against it? The idea was to use subdomains, words.name.com and sew.name.com or whatever. I realise it may be a lost cause, but the more domains I have to maintain (I'd like to have a blog), the less likely it is they'll be updated. Plus business cards become more cluttered. Coherence is good. Right? I don't know anymore.

PS. I'd love to be little-rainbow... something or other. Not very translatey unfortunately. Oh, and I want to avoid using my name for various reasons.
posted by ClarissaWAM to Writing & Language (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Why not something like "reliable creativity" but in German? Copywriting definitely requires creativity, and your craft clients would expect you to be reliable. So both qualities are important for both kinds of work.

Google translate says: Zuverlässigen Schaffenskraft.
posted by headnsouth at 2:40 PM on April 2, 2013

I think a combined business name for two such different businesses is a bad idea.

I can see your combined domain idea if name.com were your name.

The business names could be Your Name Sews and Your Name Translates.
posted by ottereroticist at 2:41 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Patch. (As in: "Patch me through!")
posted by feral_goldfish at 2:43 PM on April 2, 2013

Best answer: You may want to rethink the combination. If I were hiring a translator for an important project, I'd skip over one that had a business that combined translation and something I'd expect to find on Etsy. If I were buying a sewn item, I don't think I'd care, or I'd find it charming. But, the combination could really damage your reputation as a professional translator as most translator sites (I'm guessing) don't have a hobby craft business tacked-on. The combination may make it seem as though you're not serious or successful as a translator.
posted by quince at 2:43 PM on April 2, 2013 [15 favorites]

I also think this will be damaging to your translation business, but you know your clients better than I do! However (and you've thought of this, I"m sure) something that depends on puns needs to work in German and English, right? Or at least be cognates? I'm thinking, what if I'm a German customer, needing translation work done? I need to be able to make sense of your business name. If it's a pun, maybe it doesn't work because my English is not good enough to get the joke (thus my need for you).
posted by Houstonian at 2:50 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Quince makes a convincing argument. Separate it is. That was quick! (If painful. *sniff*)

Thanks guys!
posted by ClarissaWAM at 2:50 PM on April 2, 2013

If it makes you feel better, you could totally put front and center your ability to serve sewing customers in multiple languages!

(I agree that keeping the businesses separate is the right thing to do. I'm just trying to find a silver lining, you seem so disappointed ;)
posted by Kololo at 3:06 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Two separate websites etc. May be a separate personal website with links to both
(I do several different things with different online identities, locations etc... it's not too bad once you get in the swing of things)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:07 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

This sounds like a combination that would make a cute blog- but not a professional website. I think you ar probably over thinking the personal attributes thing by trying to work out how th fit together- plenty of creative people have a less creative business side. They tend not to try to promote them as some kind of package. If you were promoting yourself as a person/expressing/exploring that combination- fine, interesting, etc,
posted by jojobobo at 7:16 PM on April 2, 2013

I also agree that having separate stores is good. I work in eCommerce, and many of our clients have multiple stores to separate their business lines (i.e. someone buying pet products is going to be turned off if the same store sells guns and ammo!).
posted by radioamy at 7:52 PM on April 2, 2013

Quince makes a convincing argument that you don't want to have links leading from words.name.com to sew.name.com.

That doesn't mean they can't share a name, if that would indeed make your life simpler.

(May I also suggest: "lockstitch". If your translation clients ask why, just say it's a metaphor. Even serious successful translators are allowed to have hobbies, and sewing is yours.)
posted by feral_goldfish at 7:55 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for your additional comments. I'll have two separate domains. Well, I'll register my "words" domain for now since that's the more important one anyway. I'll see if and how I cross-link later (I already have a personal domain/blog... but this is to my "online identity", which I definitely want to separate from my translating one... tho not necessarily from my sewing one. So maybe this two domains thing has upsides as well).
posted by ClarissaWAM at 2:52 AM on April 3, 2013

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