I mentioned in my book haul post last week that I opened an Etsy shop in January. I’ve been considering opening a shop for nearly a year, humming and hawing over what I could sell. Once I finally decided on the earrings I’d discovered and started making, I spent over two months trying to figure out a name.
Almost right away, I had a name. And then I started really thinking about the shop long-term, knowing that once I pick a name, I wouldn’t be able to ever rename my shop. (At least, not easily.) I realized that the name I had selected, wasn’t quite right. It made perfect sense for this specific product. But it would have been weird to expand my product base into anything else and try to sell it under that shop name. And I knew that I want to, eventually, expand my product base. So, I got back to work and spent weeks more brainstorming and stressing, trying to figure out the perfect name.
I chose to name my shop Noveletta Avenue.
How did I come up with that name? What does it mean?
How I came up with my Etsy shop name
First, I did a lot of research. I looked up Etsy shops that I admired, that sold similar stock, that had a cool vibe, that were bookish, that sold jewelry, that had pretty logos, that had weird logos, that had classy logos.
I started to figure out the kinds of shop names I liked. The ones that made me smile, that stuck in my head.
Next, I googled “naming an Etsy shop” and “how to pick an Etsy shop name”. And I read blog posts, and tutorials, and the Etsy Seller Handbook.
All this reading gave me lots of ideas. But nothing was sticky. Nothing was a clear winner. Every idea was half-formed and made of misty whispers flitting about in the corners of my brain.
So I did what I often do. I pulled out my little polka-dotted notebook from my purse and started making lists. I brainstormed random words that were related to books, reading, jewelry, buttons, cloth. I made a list of words I liked the sound of. I made a list of feelings and ideas I want my shop to convey and inspire.
I put all my lists side by side, circled the most appealing words, and paired them up in every combination possible.
Then, I went to Etsy and started searching for shops with the names on my list. Some of them were already taken. Most of them were. But finally, after much soul searching and lamentations (you should see my text convos with @kimcreatorCA), I found the name.
What does my Esty shop name mean?
What words and feelings were on my list? Things like feminine, joyful, bookish, comfortable, dreamy, useful, hip but not too hipster, simple.
Noveletta Avenue is made of two parts. Noveletta and Avenue. Why put those together? What does noveletta mean, anyway?
A novelette is “a short novel that is often about romantic relationships and is usually not very serious” (Cambridge Dictionary). Described as longer than a short story but shorter than a novella, novelettes are typically light and romantic, basically happy reads. I love that idea of stories that bring joy.
Another definition of novelette is as a disparaging term for sentimental stories, trite stories. I like this too. Using this word is a way of taking back something that we’ve been told isn’t worth our time. As women, many of us have experienced pressure to give up silly notions like romance. We’ve been told that reading romantic fiction is only for the weak, the silly, the old maids who can’t find a real man. That we read shorter stories is because we can’t handle a full-length, weighty novel. This is stupid, really. If a story brings us joy, makes us giggle or forget the worries of work and life for a few hours, why shouldn’t we read it? Let’s take back the romance novels (and novellas and novelettes!), whether we prefer the steamy ones or the sweet, sentimental ones! Let’s redefine novelette to be stories that fill us with warmth, with a lust for reading, and with the desire to spread kindness.
Along with the romantic, happy nature of the word novelette, I like the parallel of being something small, like the earrings that I make.
And for some reason, I just love the sound of the -etta. As a way to make the shop a little more feminine and roll of my tongue a little easier, I added -etta to the end. Something about the sound just makes me smile.
At first, I wanted a one name shop. Noveletta. Boom. Done.
But…it was taken. Not in use, but claimed by another Etsy user.
And I felt like I was back to square one.
I started brainstorming again. Looking up other shops. Reading tutorials over and over. I liked names with an & in the middle. This & That. Oak & Ivy. Page & Pen. But noveletta was too long to pair with something like that and I really wanted to use it. So I thought of other ways to make it stand out. Add “co”, add “shop”, add “gifts”. I didn’t like any of them. I got very upset (again, you should see my text messages to @kimcreatorCA).
I sat in my car on a long drive and stared out at snow covered fields adding any and every word I could think of to noveletta. Before it, after it. Ideas started flowing again. Nothing worked. And then…avenue!
An avenue is a street. It is a way of approaching something, of getting somewhere. It has movement to it, and yet, it stays in the same place. It sounds both classic and modern.
And there you have it. Noveletta Avenue. My Etsy shop. A shop of bookish earrings, inspired by wonderful reads and intriguing characters. A shop that celebrates the joy of reading, the pleasure of reading something that makes you smile and laugh, and the excitement of moving forward in life while also staying rooted in the stories you have read.
Care for some new earrings?