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Topic: Branding

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Three Different Business Names

Posted by apronsaprons on 25 Points
I am a dressmaker/designer and business owner of 6 1/2 years. We specialize in custom clothing construction, and tailoring/alterations for men,women and children.
My clientele has grown from word of mouth to,some advertising and networking with local business owner's.
I have a growning equestrian clientele requiring our services.
I work in an area that has a large horse community. I have been asked to custom make horseriding apparel and accessories for the English and Western Horseshow participants.
I would like to expand my business into providing a broader range of custom sewing. I have accepted the offer to custom design and sew equestrian clothing, I've always had an interest in . My current business name is in the processof being trademarked, it has it's own logo and labels. I'm not sure if the custom tailoring business name fits with the equestrian side.
And if it does,how do I make it combine the two.

I have a fabulous business name selected for the equestrian side if it's necessary to add.
I need advice as to what direction to go in.

I also have another dilemma, I design and make custom aprons, I have a large collections of different style. The aprons have a separate business name, logo and label. I would like to sell them online and possibly from my store without distracting my customer's from what it is they came to have tailored/altered,etc.

I have two separate business names for each product/service. I'm planning to add a third for the equestrian business if necessary. I need advice on how to merge the three businesses into three separate entities andmake it work successfully.
Please help us put these ideas and ventures into perspective. We know what we want to accomplish, we need expert advice on how to make it work.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,



  • Posted on Accepted
    "I need advice on how to merge the three businesses into three separate entities and make it work successfully." I suggest you reread that first sentence to see if you can make sense out of it because I'm having a problem with what you wrote. How does one "merge" three businesses "into three separate entities"?

    My suggestion is to make the aprons available as impulse items through both your present and equestrian businesses. It doesn't sound worthy of a separate effort, at least not at this time.

    And I would not attempt to merge the other two. Keep your present and new equestrian businesses separate since they have very little in common - target markets or end products - other than your common ownership.

  • Posted by mgoodman on Accepted
    You have three different target audiences, each with different needs and seeking different benefits. There is no reason to merge them. Run them as three separate businesses. The fact that they all involve sewing is YOUR problem/secret. Your customers don't need to worry about that, nor should they even think about it. ("Do I really want the people who sew equestrian apparel to make aprons for my restaurant?")

    This is a great example of where the efficiency is strictly on the operations end of the business. There's no need to bring it into the marketing planning or implementation process. In fact, it will only confuse folks and make the marketing job that much more difficult.
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Accepted
    Unless you think that everyone who buys an apron would also buy custom equestrian clothing and a custom dress, keep your businesses separate. Each business would have a different audience, with a different message, and different imagery. Your can create a single umbrella name (Aprons Unlimited, a division of Sew-and-Sew, etc), but it may not be something that's truly a strong branding benefit.
  • Posted by apronsaprons on Author
    Thank you, for your suggestions.I will take your advice and keep each business separate.

    Best regards,
  • Posted by apronsaprons on Author
    I am a dressmaker/designer specializing in custom clothing/design,custom tailoring/ alterations made for them. We perform all kinds of custom sewing tailoring and some repairs. I, on occasion will perform custom drapery work for a client, I keep it to a minimum. It's not a project I enjoy. I plan to faze out this area of sewing soon. We are still testing the market to see what is working and what isn't , so far the custom tailoring/ alterations and some custom design work is rather steady and growing .

    We haven't limited our custom sewing to one area of sewing meaning, suits, dresses, dress shirts, slacks. I have customer's asking if I would be willing to custom design and make Horseshow clothes, both English and Western apparel. I live and work in a rather large community.
    I'm asking and getting customer's, friend's colleagues and anyone that comes into my store how do they feel about it, they think it's a great idea, because no one around here on within 100miles custom making equestrian clothes. These customer's are requesting these services in my custom clothing store.
    I thought the business should have two separate business names and now I'm not so sure.
    The name of my business is Sew At Seams, Custom Designed Clothing. I started the business 6 1/2 . I'm still wondering why before I take on another name for the equestrian business.
    Can some one tell me why the name current business name would not be fitting to add custom designed equestrian clothes to Sew At Seams. I could change the tagline. I thought before I make add another name to separate the two, if I tell you the name of my business of operation maybe it would clarify my reason for having some doubts.. I feel we would be providing a very similar custom sewing garment work, only one customer is requesting a custom tailored suit made to measure and the other is requesting to have a custom English Horseshow apparel made, consisting of a showcoat, vest and riding pants, and or a customer requesting a custom western suit for a horseshow,. I and my assistant believe it's all relevant. Custom made clothing.

    And as for the name of my current business, my old and new customer's love the name I gave the business, with a logo and trademark they comment all the time on the name., This name I do not want to change. Perhaps a new tagline. I didn't add a tagline when I had the name trademarked. I added it later. I can change it easily. If you believe I should separate the two,please suggest a few business names for the Custom Equestrian Horseshow Apparel and a tagline.

    I'll take all suggestions you pass along. I plan to have a website(s) designed in the near future.

    Thank you,



    's

    I ;ve gotten great feed back. .


  • Posted by mgoodman on Moderator
    When you present your business to prospective customers, you want to be as specific to their needs as you can be. Do you think your equestrian apparel customers care that you make aprons or custom dress clothing?

    You will be able to promote each business better if you pretend (for marketing purposes) that it's the only business you have. You'll promise more precise benefits for each. You'll use the words and ideas that are most relevant to each market. You'll promote in the places that each one is likely to visit/see/hear. And each audience will feel you truly understand its needs.

    Just to exaggerate the point: If you baked great chocolate chip cookies too, would you promote it under the same business name? Of course not. The only difference between this absurd example and the situation you face is that the basic skill (sewing) is common to all of them, while baking is a different skill. Your customers are not buying your skill. They're buying the benefit(s) you deliver because you have that skill.

    Position yourself as the place to go for the BENEFIT, not the skill that enables it.
  • Posted by apronsaprons on Author
    Hello,

    I have found out from experience exactly what you stated to be true.
    It's all beginning to make good marketing sense. I fully understand why it is so important if it is to work to keep each businesses separate.
    My custom clothing, tailoring and alterations business is the services my customer are requesting, not the aprons or accessories hanging around my shop. They comment,but they haven't purchased on yet. They come for these reasons, custom clothing, tailoring or alterations.

    Since starting the custom clothing business in 2006, we have serviced well over twenty five hundred clients as of date,some repeat customers and some new. So it all makes perfect sense.
    The information you have provided us is invaluable.

    Thank you, and everyone for helping us put the business name separation and marketing strategy into perpective.

    Patricia
  • Posted by sandi.sprint on Accepted
    Stitch & Tack

    Come on Back...
    We have your pattern

    Good Luck Patricia
  • Posted by apronsaprons on Author
    Hi,
    Stitch & Tack? Come on back, you have a pattern? Please explain, the title stitch and tack doesn't say exactly what services we provide, if that what you mean.


    All the best,
    Patricia
  • Posted by apronsaprons on Author
    Hi Sandi.Sprint,

    Stitch & Tack , covers saddlery, repairs, bridles, horse supplies, etc. Is isn't what we specialize in. Besides, we've already settled on a business name for the equestrian side. We are now in the process hiring a webdesigner and copywriter.

    Thanks,

    Patricia

  • Posted by Moriarty on Accepted
    I think she means "tack" as in a tacking line that you use to set up a seam before sewing it on the machine.

    Good luck - and don't forget to tap into all those happy customers for recommendations and ideas on what to say on your site. M xxxxxx
  • Posted by apronsaprons on Author
    Hi, M
    Thanks, for explaining. As for tacking in clothing construction, we use the bartack stitching machine for tacking.
    We use it on occasion when making designer jeans, etc. Very limited use( one purpose). Some of my customer's use these terms "can you just tack it for me" or "just tack it". I understand what they mean,it just isn;t that simple. I sometimes want to say to them, "if that's all it needs you can do that at home.

    Thanks, M, I will make sure my customer's have input,it seems they always do. As long as they are on the a similar page as I am.

    Some customer's think we can do it all from, boatcovers, sails, reupholstery, home decor. And in the beginning we did most of it, except boatcovers and sails. We found we had to narrow it down to the services we were offering. I still on occasion take on custom drapery work, depending.

    I even took a few courses from a local business owner that make sails for boats for two months last summer.It was very interesting learning, decided I'd leave this to the experts that grew up in the sailmaking knowing about boats inside and out and how to reinstall a sail. They had just completed the new sail for "The Yankee Clipper" ship that was docked in the Boston Harbor last summer during the tall ship reggatta. Very impressive work.
    Does anyone know how much a custom sail for a sail boat cost?( Yankee Clipper). I'll let you guess.

    I tried upholstery,working with another business colleague who does high-end furniture only. He thought I could do it, because I sewed. I knew I could if I wanted to, again it takes more than just sewing. #1, you must have very strong hands, and know a piece of furniture inside and out.#2. Enjoy what you are doing,etc.
    The strange thing is the the upholsterer of fine furniture could upholster any piece of furniture brought to him, and custom sew the new cushion covers with zipper's, etc, but he could never make a garment, I thought it was odd at first,but no, it's his specialization and providing what his customer's wants and needs.

    It was the same with the guys that sewed the sails together, they knew nothing beyond the straight stitch, and zigzag machines, for sailmaking, but then they didn't need to. They found their niche many years ago.

    Oh, and sailmaking , once the sails are put together, it takes alot lot of muscle to fold,unfold, take them to the site(boat) and install it.

    My customer's are very important to my businesses and yes their opinions does matter, we must stay within our specializations.

    All the best,
    Patricia

    .

  • Posted by Moriarty on Member
    Wow! What a wonderful thread.

    Now ... horse blankets, deck covers and sails ... and a canvas cover for a 61 foot railway carriage. The boat covers and sails I did at home, but only in the summer (otherwise I couldn't have the French windows open to allow the material enough room. The deck cover was 5m and my living room 4,2).

    Having done that little lot, I too have some real respect for those who really can do it well.

    Sail for a clipper ... $25000. Weight 500lb?

    There's a lot to sewing that most people never imagine. Have a great time, you have some special friends. M xxxx
  • Posted by apronsaprons on Author
    Hi M,
    The cost for the $35,000. the weight of the sail once completed 400lbs. They used a fabric called Dacron very lightweight for ships and sail boats it all depends. Sailmaker's work year round here, cleaning the sales, repairs, upholstery, custom work etc.

    The floor serves as the table, the machines are inserted in a cutout space and lowered into floor the operator steps down into the space, takes a seat at the machine and begins sail making.

    Thank you and everyone for all of your advice and encouragement. Once my website is up a running,
    I will email, everyone to get their points of view as well... anyway. French windows as in France?

    All the best,

    Patricia

    ,





    How you did it hanging out of a french window and in such a small space is very creative.





  • Posted by Moriarty on Member
    French windows are sort-of glazed doors - on the ground floor thankfully, no sky walking. The sewing machine was on the floor, Claire had the control, Tom pulled the end and I looked after getting the seams straight. Down the middle was the worst.

    Made one last summer for my little dinghy - only my living room is a little larger and I'm better at it now! Getting the thing folded is the trickiest bit.

    My, I wasn't far off given I know nothing about the price of sails ;-) Now the sewing machine makes me think - the gentleman "takes a seat". Hmmm ... that sounds like my Brian drilling a 20mm (3/4in) hole. Sounds easy ... until you know that the hole had to be 25m long. Part of his job was to lower three tons of steel into the machine using the overhead cranes, and he could position the thing within a millimeter (1/16in). Show me a guy with a skill and I'm putty. Mind you, I get my money's worth, they are always the kind of guys who tell all to anyone showing the slightest interest. Wonderful folk.



  • Posted by apronsaprons on Author
    Okay, french doors opening on the ground leading to the patio So, you had a sewing machine on the floor in your flat( apt.) with a 5ft. x4.5 approx as opposed to 3500sq. ft. or more.

    Claire's job was to step on the control while Tom pulled and you watch to make sure the seams was straight and then when you got to middle of the sail it was worse. Sounds as if the blind was leading the blind, "no pun intended" . Hope it was worth it. Did the dinghy cover fit the dinghy? What's Brian up to still drilling. Has anyone ever heard of planning ahead?

    Some things are best left to the professionals. As for using a crane....hmmm , not in your cramped space I hope. Please don't make me laugh anymore. It's unimaginable.

    Thanks, for the information I'll pass it on.

    Patricia

    .
  • Posted by Moriarty on Member
    "Blind leading the blind" - well we weren't blind drunk, that's for sure. There are things that needed doing and got done somehow. It fitted and still covers Claire's boat near Edinburgh. As to big sails - doing a boat cover tells me just how much skill is needed for a big one - and one that needs to hold in a Force 7 too.

    Planning, now I have heard of such things. I found fate took a hand in too many of my plans, so gave up on them and just threw a few dice. That's how I wound up in a village that nobody has ever heard of even German Railways (bahn.de) denies that it exists, so I have to buy my railway tickets at the station and not online. Thank goodness for railway stations with ticket offices.

    Oh, and Brian plays Jazz which is why we get on. We're both crazy.
  • Posted by apronsaprons on Author
    I certainly hope not, operating a sewing machine while under the influence, can be quite pulley and with a blurred vision can cause accidents. I'm glad the dinghy cover fits. You pulled off an arduous task as a team.
    Fate, destiny...and to give up is not an option. if it's something you truly want. The dice seems to have landed you where you are in what did you imply "out in the boondocks", are there any other people around, do you have a car, horse, mule or what means of transportation to get to the train station. I know from what you've said the dinghy is in Edinburg, so you don't have to row to the station, so what up with that, doesn't sound to put together to me, Funny. You are doing the right thing, don't plan, sometime things do not always go as we plan. Perhaps taking one step at a time would be more fitting in your long walk to railroad station.

    Sounds like you really wanted to "GET LOST" ,it's kind of crazy, I agree. Maybe it time stake your claim and hang a flag out. Someone will find you when necessary.

    Good Luck,
    Patricia
  • Posted by Moriarty on Member
    When I lived in Utrecht I visited the local library by boat ... because the main street is divided by a canal that runs right through the city. It's actually called the Oudegracht (The Old Canal/Cutting).

    I have to admit that where I live does feel like the boondocks, it's only 45mins from Amsterdam. If I need shopping on Sundays (which is rare) I go there. We have this uneasy tradition of closing shops on Sundays ... and Mondays (instead of closing on Saturday). Which means you have to know which bakeries are open so you can buy bread and that sort of thing.

    Doing the right thing, doing the wrong thing, who cares as long as you are enjoying life? Since I escaped the drudgery of a marriage that was all "this is my job, this is yours and we only share my income on that basis"* I am having the time of my life. It doesn't matter if I make mistakes any more - the amount I need is incredibly small, and with Brian's input is now smaller. It will be smaller still when we are together as getting a small farm (smallholding) is on the books. Home grown food has many advantages - one of which is that my children are addicted to their greens.

    (*spare me! how many couples are trapped in that today??)

    As to business, I have clients, I just don't advertise here - anyway, it isn't allowed. It's just for fun and to warm up my imaginative skills when I lose concentration on what I'm writing.
  • Posted by apronsaprons on Author
    Hi,
    Oh, so you lived in Utrecht, the dutch province,4th largest city of the Netherlands. The Oudergracht,
    reminds me of the Cape Cod Canall. You are not far from shopping etc. It's easy to become acustom to. And Amsterdam, the cultural centre, a beautiful place to live, I've heard so much about it. Marriage is not what it use to be. It's no wonder many couples choose not to marry.
    I am at a stage in my life where I am free to express me and who I am.
    I worked in the so called corporate world for 30yrs, One company I worked for 28yrs. I took an early retirement package 7yrs ago and started a small custom tailoring business on a piece of property I own, located in a commercial/resident area of Wareham, Ma. considered the gateway to capecod..15mins. away.
    I've been sewing for over 40yrs It is one of my passions. I'm not as old as it may sound. Since not having to work for a company any longer and the commute everyday, I find I am living on less than before and I'm actually enjoying the savings. What I spent on gasoline(petro), wear and tear on my vehicle, clothing, lunch etc. My life have becoming less complicated, simply because I'm doing what I enjoy most, whatever it is.
    Now, onto farming/growing vegetables, especially greens. As a child my grandmother always had a vegetable garden, one of the things she grew faithfully was greens. The names are: collard greens mustard greens, kale, turnip greens and other vegetables. The greens was a staple in my family.
    We had them so often as a child did not appreciate them as much as I do now. They are so popular today then ever before. Excellent. Growing your own source of vegetables is a very rewarding hobby.

    In March, of this year if I'm not busy with sewing I will begin propogation in my greenhouse. The winters in New England can be long and cold, so to get a head start, I start the seedlings indoors.
    It's fun , rewarding and the vegetables taste.. oh so good. "Good food for the Soul".

    Are you a writer of books? And how many points have you accumulated so far talking about living free and happiness?

    Good luck with your provisions,
    Patricia

  • Posted by Moriarty on Member
    Sewing ... or sowing!

    Marriage? I was married at 21 straight out of uni, and divorced by 46. I'm now partnered up for the rest of whatever we have to enjoy. I like it, when it is good. Only, European men - they are a little one sided. They tend not to listen - my measure for a man is now how well they listen. If they don't listen, it's tatty-bye. As with my ex, you can put up with so much.

    I did "write" a book for my kids. I don't exert myself with publishers, one of my friends is an author (quite popular) and goes through hell any time she does anything she isn't known for. Her last book is really good - apart from the last chapter - and the critics mauled it because it wasn't in her "style". She wrote it, dork. It will be in her style, right? I'm glad I don't have to beg crumbs from guys like that any more!

    Points? There are things in this world that have value. Compost is one of them. A good relationship is another. Points don't come anywhere close to those. Nor do dollars.

    M xxx

  • Posted by apronsaprons on Author
    Hi M,

    I want to thank you, from the the bottom of my heart I. want you to also know you are not alone in your journey. Live is good as long as you believe in you. Reach for the Stars.

    If you are still around, I'll be in touch. I hope to meet- up in Amsterdam on my way enroute Paris, France, for fabric shopping, possibly late spring.

    P.S. Life goes on, believe what I say, I've been where you are. It's been three years, 1/23/2013 anniversary date since my husband passed away unexpectacly after 20years. We have a son and a grandchild and I cannot look back. Life is not perfect and god never said it would be a bed of roses.

    I'm doing okay, and loving what I do.

    Love and Hope,
    Patricia

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