Pip & Cherry

Top 5 tips on naming a new business

Rebecca Walker

I often get asked how I came up with the name Pip and Cherry.

Very simply I named my company after the twins. Well the nicknames we gave them when I was pregnant.

I was five weeks along when I found out I was pregnant. All the pregnancy books reliably told me that my bubba was the size of a Pip so that’s what we affectionately started calling it.

For a few weeks we basked in our good luck and lovely news. Then at 9 weeks I went for a further scan, and was given the crazy and unexpected news that we were actually expecting twins. The words "so there is two in there," are the best ones I have ever heard.

At this point the babies had grown to the size of cherries, so we started to call the second baby Cherry. It was so sweet and simple and stuck throughout the pregnancy 

When I was brainstorming company names, I suddenly thought, "Pip and Cherry," that's it. It seemed the perfect name for my little company and a lovely tribute to my beautiful babies. 

It's not always that easy though,  so here are a few things to keep in mind when your thinking about naming your company.

Top 5 tips for naming a new business

A name your company can grow into.

Before I decided on Pip and Cherry. I sat doodling name ideas and I kept coming back to same type of name “The cloth book company."

In my head, it was simple, clear and would be easy to find in a search.

For a new company starting out, I felt like it was sensible to state to everyone what I was making.

But something was niggling at me. I realised that if I choose a name which was that specific, if I ever decided to diversify my product line (which I now have) my company's name would jar with them. 

If your completely committed to only doing one specific thing. Then go ahead and choose a descriptive name. If you think at some point you might want to expand your business, a generic name is going to be your best bet.

Is it being used already?

This ones pretty key, legally you need to check to see the name isn't too similar to any other company name out there.

Check here to look on the government website to see that an existing Trademark isn't already registered. 

Then you need to check if a website already exists with your name (simply search for it in google) and also if the name is available on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and twitter (or any other Social Network you think you might use.)

Being consistent means your customers will instantly know how to find you regardless of the social channel they are using or where they are searching for you.

Name doesn’t mean anything rude

This an obvious one, but mention your name to a few friends and family. Check that it doesn’t have any unexpected associations or meanings that you hadn't thought about. You don't want to spend money on business cards, only for someone to turn around and say "Well that means 'so and so" in French."

How it’s sits with your brand identity.

As soon as you start brainstorming for your business, the idea of creating a consistent “brand identity” should be at the forefront of your mind. Whether you are product or service based, you are making something for a client (not just for you) and everything you do or create should be made with this in mind. 

At this stage start to think about who your typical client might be (it can be a vague idea.)

What words, moods and emotions are you trying to conjure up for them when they see your brand name. 

Are you appealing to grown woman and want your brand to appear sophisticated and chic? Or are you trying to create something for teenagers and want your name to be bold and exciting. 

At first this can feel difficult and if it does - show your products to some friends and see who they think your target audience is and go from there.

Is it easy to spell

I know some people like having a name that's a bit mysterious or interesting (and if that feeds into your brand identity go for it.) Just bear in mind that your going to be saying and using these words a lot. 

You want your customer to remember your name easily and be able to find you online without having to guess at how to spell your name. So make it easier for them by choosing something simple and words that are spelt how they sound. 

I always love to hear about how other companies came up with their brand names? Did you find the decision difficult? Are there any other tips you found useful in the past and thing I've missed?



 

5 Tips for taking great photos of children

Rebecca Walker

At my current count, I have 20,806 photographs on my I-phone, i'm not a massive selfie taker and I don't have an addiction to breakfast flat-lays.

These are ALL photos of my kids.

If i'm being really honest they are mostly bad photos of my kids.

If you’re anything like me, even though you have a huge amount of photos sat on your phone, they aren't exactly of the highest quality; blurry, badly lit, bodies cropped out. 

Sure those newborn pictures are easy enough, you lie them down on their back and dangle something noisy above the head, and magically you've managed to capture a beautiful smiling memory.

But as they get older it all gets a bit more tricky.

So I have enlisted the help of the lovely Alison Burrows, from AJ Burrows Photography to do a little take over on the blog today and help us mums out, by giving us her top tips for capturing some beautiful photos of your children.

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I first met Alison, when I was hunting for someone to take some photos for my website. She's based in Hertford and is a massive supporter of small businesses. She not only takes great photos (all of the photos on this post are by her) but she also gives out a lot of amazing and insightful advice about your brand. If you've followed me on instagram for a while, all of the professional and beautiful shots of my products and family were taken by her.

This is what Alison had to say:

Although it’s great fun, capturing images of little people, it can sometimes be a struggle to get photographs of your own children.

I always find that kids will be more compliant for anyone other than mum or dad, so my biggest recommendation is that if you’re on a day out with friends get one of them to take the snap of your kids, they’re bound to be more cooperative for a different adult.

However if that’s not an option then below are five quick tips to help you capture a great snap of your little people.

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1 – Get down to their level

The perspective of photographs is so important. So crouch down or lie down and really get onto your child’s height. Then shoot at eye level, it avoids odd distortion and you can sneak up on them that way too.

2 – No more CHEESE

Please please stop asking your child to smile for the camera!! It creates horrible fake smiles. If you are desperate for a camera aware happy face then, call their names and pull out a funny face or noise to get a genuine reaction. Bursting into song is always a great way to grab their attention and get a smile, but you need to do it with gusto for real impact.

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3 - Go Natural

In line with the, no cheese policy. Try to sneak up on your little ones while they are playing their game or really engrossed in something. Natural moments can create really beautiful images.

4 – Lighting

Nothing fancy about this, just take a look at where the light is coming from. Sun straight into the eyes isn’t a great look and sun behind can lead to a very dark subject. If you’re photographing into the sun with your iphone you will find that the subject is very dark, that’s because the phone is exposing for the whole image, if you tap on the darkest spot of the image then the exposure will change to brighten up those shadows. However if possible try to find some shade, you’ll get a much better image.

5 – Patience and fun

Last but by no means least, be patient!! Unless you have a camera-loving supermodel on your hands, your little one, like mine, will probably be fed up with having a camera pointed at them. So be patient and try to think about the 4 points above. Most of all make it fun for them, give them a task to do and photograph the results, or more importantly the laughter the tasks create.

Here are some of my favourites:

Who can laugh the loudest

Who can jump the highest

Roar like a lion

Hop like a bunny

You get the idea!!

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So what do you guys think? Useful tips? I love the tip about getting down to their level, that’s something I wouldn't have thought about doing - but clearly makes a big difference in these photos.

Lets see if we can use these tips during the summer holiday to create some beautiful pictures.

We would love to see your successes so tag us on Instagram and make sure you head over to Alisons website to see what else she has been working on https://www.ajburrowsphotography.co.uk

Podcasts for small businesses

Rebecca Walker

One of my favourite things to do when I’m sewing at the moment is to pop in my headphones and get lost in a podcast. If i'm being honest i'm pretty new to this world (I would have always considered myself more of a book girl) but I have become such a convert and have found them really invaluable whilst I'm busy doing something else. They have become the saving grace during my weekly M25 battles to visit my parents.

I'm a big fan of the LOL offerings - Belinda Blinks, anyone? But one genre I also really love is the small business - I guess for a better word 'advice' podcasts. 

These are my current fave picks -  

 The Small and Mighty Podcast

Sams podcast has been running for two seasons, and I’ve been smashing my way though them during the last few weeks. I'm virtually binge listening to them, they are helping me survive the M25 drive to my parents.

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She interviews small business owners and experts who discuss their journey into business ownership. I love the complete and utter mix of people she has on her show, ranging from lovely gift shop owners nestled in the Yorkshire hills to lux Italian brands selling worldwide - she is equally excited about all of their stories and the lessons they can teach her listener. 

Why I love it - It just really reinforces the fact that success comes in so many different forms and that there isn't one route to getting there.

 

Hashtag Authentic

If your using Instagram as a platform for your business - then you need to give Sara a listen.  

Each podcast covers a specific way of boosting your business and she gives you specific, measurable and actionable tips on how to boost your social media profile. (This is one where you might want to free up your hands so you can jot down notes!) She has an incredible habit of staying ahead of the insta game and really knows where you should be ploughing you energies.

I love the consistency of her voice and her consistent belief that at the end of the day it’s all about creating beautiful content and putting your audience first. If you take a look at her feed - she is also incredible at putting this into action.

Why I love it - She is always genuinely so engaged and excited when talking to her guests - she really gets to the root of what they are trying to convey and is a joy to listen to.

Ted talks

Where to begin with Ted Talks - experts in their fields, sharing their thoughts, passion and ideas with the world on a stage. There are so many different talks to choose from on such an unbelievable range of topics. Sometimes I just like to listen randomly to different talks and often find myself having an 'ah hah' moment when i'm listening to a talk which is completely unrelated to this little world of 'creative businesses.'

Why I love it - You never know what your going to find yourself listening to - have a scroll through and see what you can find or just choose at random.

 

Have I missed out your favourite business podcasts? Let me know below if i'm missing out on some gems and ill add them to my listening list.

Making the most of some pretty scraps

Rebecca Walker

This week I decided to tackle tidying up my fabric stash, my plan was to have a serious cull and get rid of any pieces that weren’t large enough to be used for name books (or more importantly weren’t fiting into my over flowing fabric box!)  

As soon as I started looking properly at all the small scraps and off cuts of beautiful fabric I just knew I couldn’t do it. These pieces of fabric have so much amazing history and are so special that the thought of throwing any of it away unnecessarily left me feeling a bit sad. 

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After some serious pondering and playing around I realised that by chance I had a small piece of every colour of the rainbow. What luck! 

I had an unusually free day ahead of me so decided to make something a little bit different.

Each letter is carefully cut out by me and then attached to a piece of cotton. My cutting is pretty neat (I’ve had a lot of practice) but each letter is always slightly different, which is one of my favourite things about this type of repeated word. Each small imperfection adds to the overall handmade quality of the piece and makes it that bit more special. 

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I debated sewing the fabric together but eventually decided that as the letters were so small it would just end up looking messy so instead heat bonded each letter individually to the fabric backing. 

I absolutely loved the entire process and I’m pleased as punch with the result. So much so that i've decided to turn into an A4 print available to buy in my shop. 

The original is off to the framers and is going up in the twins nursery as soon as it gets back. I’ve still got a few more scraps and a head bursting full of ideas so I’m hoping to work on some more pieces over the next few months. 

I’m thinking a heart piece would be very sweet!  

Feel free to comment or pin any of my pictures. 

If you feel like you need a bit of RAINBOW LOVE on your wall, these prints are currently available to buy in my shop.

Beks xx

P.S. Also keep an eye out, I’ve only got so much space on my walls so the next original piece of textile art is going to be up for sale.