Like Fitness, A Brand Is A Continuous Work In Progress...
As some of you will remember, the brand started as "Pokosha Clothing" in 2014, by myself (Nadine) and a business partner.
Armed with a design and development background, a childhood dream to have my own clothing line and absolutely zero business experience, Pokosha Clothing launched with three hundred units of crazy printed catsuits and no real plan for how to sell them.
My business partner and I learned the hard way that this was a really bad idea.
Because business is HARD! Like so hard.
Like don't EVER quit your day job to start a business just because you want flexible hours and more money hard. You'll be trading in a job that pays you and gives you evenings and weekends off for a job that doesn't pay you anything while you work every waking hour and most nights in your sleep.
Sure working from home in your pajamas and loving what you do has it perks, and projecting millions of sales can be pretty fun too, but failure to get funding, hidden expenses you can't afford and EVERYTHING going wrong at once can quickly put a damper on things.
There was such a time last summer when I thought I was going to have to close up shop.
My business partner wanted out - I don't blame her, times were tough - and with ownership in limbo I couldn't see a way to continue. I was broke and needed financing that I couldn't get in time. It was down to the wire and I was facing no choice but to cancel my fall production and shut down the business.
"What will you call the next one?" a friend asked me.
Feeling like my world was ending, I hadn't even considered the possibility of trying again. My friend was right though, I have wanted my own clothing line since I was little, it's not like I was going to bury that dream just because my first attempt didn't work out.
"I don't know" I replied, and that night I started to brainstorm while watching the movie Wild. I've always loved the word "wild," mostly because it's something I long to be. In the wild. Running wild. Wild & free.
My motivation to start a fitness brand has been as much about inspiring myself as it has been about inspiring other people. It's a way to create the life I want to lead. I want to be active, run races, play in the mountains, go to festivals and be inspired on a daily basis to live well, love myself, laugh loud and feel joy.
Why not choose a brand name that would inspire me to be who I want to be most? I want to be wild.
Now for obvious reasons I couldn't just call my next brand Wild, not in the day and age when every social media handle is taken and #wild_12345 isn't going to work, so I busted out a bottle of wine bottle and a thesaurus and started playing with words.
Straight away the word bewilder stood out to me. It was perfect. It had the double connotation of meaning to confuse people, like my kale pants sometimes do, and being more wild. Get it?! I am so clever! And a bit of a dork...
I searched facebook and instagram and found that bewilder was already taken on both.
Oh well, at least I was having a fun evening with my wine and thesaurus. Given that my current company seemed destined for the "most businesses fail in the first 5 years" statistic I was doing a lot better than crying in the shower.
The next time I saw my friend I told her about my night of practicing resilience.
"I love the name Bewilder, but the social media handles are already taken so it's a bad idea."
"Bewilder... or be-wild-her?" She asked me.
And there it was.
Have you ever read the book God Never Blinks? It's a super cheesy fantastic bathroom reader full of "50 lessons for life's little detours." I am not religious in any way, but it's easy to skip past those bits and focus on the moral of the stories. One of them has always stuck with me. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. I do this now as a habit and it has served me well.
I was mentally prepared for the worst, losing my business, but in the end with true grit and determination I was able to hold on and didn't need the new name.
But I LOVED the new name. The irony!
Well it turns out re-branding isn't that big of a deal, just some lawyer fees and a very long to-do list of everything you need to update (it took FOREVER!)
I've learned that choosing a business name is like getting a tattoo. You are going to have to look at it every single day, therefore you need to love it. You'll also have to explain it time and time again, so it needs to be something you can explain a billion times without losing the passion in your voice.
Most importantly it needs to inspire you to keep going, because small business is tough, but guess what readers? SO AM I.
Be wild her.
Yes, I will be.
Owner | Designer