Monday, February 13, 2012

What's In A Name!

Many of you remember when I was getting ready to open my shop I wanted a new name! Most of you encouraged me to keep what I already had, Time Worn Interiors. I love the name Time Worn Interiors cause I think it describes what I do. But I knew that the people in my little town wouldn't get it! Thats why I wanted something French so it would evoke some mystery and they would want to come in and see what it was about.

Mind you the shop is doing well, not burning any bridges but it is paying it's way and I'm replacing inventory as it goes out the door. Although this week has been a great!

But I've noticed people look at the window where the name is, read it, then turn and walk away! I wasn't sure what this was about. This weekend I had a shop owner tell me that people say they visit all the shops downtown except the Interior Design shop? I don't think my business name implies Interior Design at all.

I did have one woman come in the shop the other day and she said, "none of this stuff is for sale is it, your just an Interior Designer"? Everything in the shop has a price on it! I guess because the shop is decorated and not piles of stuff on shelves that people think it's just there for looks!  I don't think of myself as an Interior Designer at all, I'm just  able to make a pile of junk look good!

In this business you always try to figure out what will attract customers and when you think you have it figured out, you find out not everyone thinks like you do! Hahahaha! Hopefully no one else out there has that burden any way, cause I'm a little nuts!

When we are at shows, my customers always say that my business name fits my merchandise perfectly. But move that business to a small town and it opens up a whole other can of worms!

Just saying! Because I'm sorta confused, not trying to be mean, just trying to understand!

35 comments:

Kimberly Jones said...

I am so surprised by this! I would never have thought that the name Time Worn Interiors would cause any confusion! It's so hard to predict what people are going to think though. Very frustrating! But your shop is so amazing that I'm sure word will spread. I think you have the best shop in Glendale, and that your store would be a little jewel in any city anywhere! Best wishes for your future success!

miabellavintage said...

I would take that as the highest form of compliments. To be thought of as an interior designer is a major clue that whatever you hold in your store and how you display it is awesome.

Maybe you will have to spell it out to the people that are clueless....I don't know. It is beautiful in your store and it looks like a work of art.

Alice said...

Living in a small town myself, I can understand how people can be confused. They take one word out of context and a thought forms in their head-and that's all the further they go. Maybe you need a tag line under you name that better explains what you sell. And since the public has already formed an opinion, maybe you can educate them by writing an article to be put in the paper, hosting an open house to get them in the shop etc. You've probably thought about things like this, but I thought I'd throw them out there anyway.

Good luck, and don't be shy about telling everyone you meet all about your shop!

Gracie's Cottage said...

Wow, I wouldn't have thought that either. I'm sure if I walked by I'd be flying in the door to get a better look!
Maybe you need to add a tthen the window "vintage objects to adorn your home" or something like that?

Jan

Kim @ La Belle Époque said...

Actually, this doesn't surprise me. Being from a small town in eastern Kentucky, I've seen this kind of thing before. People often get intimidated by the word "interiors" and its association to professional design. I hope I get to visit your shop someday (our mutual friend is Shawn Stucker from European Antique Market)!

Sandi said...

It is just crazy how something that works in one place won't work in another. I love the name!!
Blessings~

Sue said...

When I say this, I really don't want to offend people. But being in retail myself for about 20 years, I have discovered that some of our wonderful people that wander in our door, aren't always the "quickest", you know? Before I opened Country Roads, I had a small store called "Battered Barn". It was primarily old primitives. Not a day would go by that someone would stick their head in the door and say, "Battered Barn, sure looks battered"! I love the name of your business, hope you don't change it!

Take care, Sue

Tammy of {Tattered and Timeless} said...

Okay well we know it isn't true. You need to get them inside to see it is a store. So here is an idea. Get two beautiful windows or frames and hook them together at the top with hinges to make a beautiful sandwich board. Replace the glass with some wood covered in chalkboard paint. Use that as an upscale sandwich board out front. Write on both sides something catchy but clear like: A place you can shop for items like all the designers do but at much better prices. Something to let them know you are a store- that is as upscale as a showroom but for the comman woman.
tammy

Rich Spen said...

Time worn treasures?

A Wild Thing said...

Nine times outta 10, these are the people who won't buy anything anyway, it's a case of small town mentality, not to be mean either, but living in a small town myself and struggling to find what they like, when the same stuff sells great everywhere else. But my secret has always been luring them in the door with fragrance, a yummy food fragrance will even drag a man in off the street and it doesn't associate you with an interior decorating store...those that get it are usually not interested in fragrances, they want the junk! So you satisfy the curiosity of both.

I do like the idea of the sandwich sign, I had one that displayed the scent of the day...of course you'll still have the ones that come in and ask if you're a bakery...ARGH!!!

Luvya sista!!!

s

Divine Theatre said...

I guess the term "Interiors" implies that you are an interior designer. Many people are intimidated by that. Like the others mentioned, a tagline might help. Also, call the local paper and invite them in, perhaps offer a drawing of some sort?

Best of Luck to one of my favorite bloggers!

xoxo
Andie

Glenda/MidSouth said...

I can see that happening in a small town. Like someone else said - maybe a small sign/tag line under your name.

red.neck chic said...

*sigh*
I hear you... and I wish I had some words of wisdom for you!!! What if you had a tag line? Something to stick under your business name?

I love your shop - and I haven't even been there yet! (note the "yet" part, m'kay?)

And hello... LOVE that they think you are an interior designer! Heck girl - when you get bored I'm waiting for you to come decorate my house!!!

xoxoxo
robelyn
(I've got my thinking cap on...)

Honey at 2805 said...

I think you need a tagline printed on the door or in the window that says something maybe like "Uniques and Antiques for Your Home", and then use it in whatever advertising you do too.

Jan@southernjunkin' said...

Growing up in a small town I can understand! I have no additional words of wisdom but I do agree a 'tag line' may be needed! Also have you thought about an open house party?

NanaDiana said...

It is amazing, isn't it, what we think others think and what they REALLY think? It is sometimes hard to overcome initial images, too. xo Diana

Mr. Douglas said...

Hi Theresa, I've been in retail for 26 years and you're right.....the name of a business can turn the customer on or off. To them, "Interiors" means interior design. Go figure! I agree with the comments of adding signage on your glass front. Maybe "Vintage For the Home" Also setting one of your fabulous vingnettes outside your shoppe will surely draw them in. Use that fabulous imagination of yours....the unique and unusual will draw curiosity!! Best of luck!

Miss Gracie's House said...

I can see why customers would be confused IF they didn't already know you and what you do...is there something you could add on to clarify? Oh, I see that's already been suggested:)...soon the word will be out and then you'll be really busy!
Rene

colleen said...

guess you need to spell it out. specializing in vintage junk, treasures and antiques. i think a large chalk board that way you could change it out until you got the right message. good luck ;)

oldgreymare said...

Kinda like Tammy's idea : D ..but seriously have these people never left this town? Are they unable to identify with a quality shop...Jeez girl...it's got my head shaking <3
xx
z

Jackie said...

Put a chalkboard sign outside with a catchy saying ("THIS IS A STORE FOLKS, AND IT'S ALL FOR SALE") with a giant arrow, lol! Put some signs in the windows that say something that tells people it's a retail shop too. You know how restaurants have a menu in the window or on the door? Maybe do something like that too...with prices listed. If they don't get it, you've got to tell them. I sat here for 2 years before I got some regular customers. It takes time to work up a customer base. Is there a local newspaper you can submit some photos and a story to? I'll write the story if you want!

ImSoVintage said...

I like the idea of a tag line. Some people just have to have things spelled out to them in concrete terms :)

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

I love your name and I would not change it! You just need to do a little creative promotion and advertising - a tag line, a sandwich board, business cards everywhere (in other popular businesses), an adverised open house with food (the food is important, even if it's just cookies!), some special promotions and events (like a ladies night out), etc... Hang in there! They just need to discover you. After that word of mouth becomes your best advertising.

The Kramer Angle said...

I'm in the same boat as you are! My shop, within a shop, is called The Kramer Angle, but as I plan to open my open retail location I'd like to keep my name but know that no one will understand what it means, so I've added a tag line:

The Kramer Angle
Unique. Vintage. Home.

We'll see if it works - someday!

So, definitely consider a tag line - but I love your name!

Gail

The Kramer Angle said...

I'm in the same boat as you are, although your shop name would intrigue me enough to stop in!

I love my shop (within a shop) name - The Kramer Angle because it's my take on home decor so I added Unique. Vintage. Home. as a tag line just to try to help define what The Kramer Angle is.

So, I definitely agree with the add a tag line suggestions you're getting. That said, I do love your shop's name and completely understand why you'd want to keep it.

Gail

A Cottage Muse said...

I love the name but maybe the word Interiors is throwing people off. I agree with Robelyn, maybe a tag line would help! I'm sure word of mouth will soon enough as well!

decorator to the stars said...

I KNOW EXCTILY WHAT YOU'RE GOING THROUGH. YOU NEED A TAG LINE AFTER THE NAME LIKE: "ACCENTS FOR YOUR COMFY HOME" THAT'LL SET THEM STRAIGHT :) IF NOT SEND THEM TO ME LOL

Alice and Jay said...

So glad to hear the show was a success and your business is off to a good start. It has taken us 5 years to get our small town folks to notice us and we still have a long way to go. I really confuse them with our name AND our tag line. Nobody knows what the heck we are! We will miss you in Texas this Spring. My Dad is not well so we will be spending as much time around home as we can. Smiles and hugs to you both!

Rebecca said...

After 20 years, I think I have heard it all and I do have some stories to tell... the general public needs a helping hand most of the time. My shop name was Simply Posh and the tag was for Vintage Living. It seemed to work. Because I was in a touristy location, I liked the fact that the name kept them guessing and they would come into the shop without preconceived ideas of what it was.
Sometimes just the different size of font might work... Time Worn in large eye catching and interiors smaller... When I first opened my shop before the larger store I called it Studio Posh... everyone thought it was a hair salon - so I changed it to Simply Posh. Sometimes you just have to be creative.
Otherwise how are you Girl... you were on my mind the other day and I was going to call... still might :)
Have a wonderful V day!
Love ya
RE

Anonymous said...

Wow I never would have thought of that one. It is amazing how we think we're all on the same page and later find out we're not even in the same book. We have a darling little bookshop in town. One day a woman came in and said she drives by all the time but never stopped because she thought it was a USED book store. I remember thinking it was odd that she wouldn't enter a used book store. I guess she wouldn't enter a library than either. Whatever you call it I wish your shop was close to me!

Kathy

Anne Lorys - Fiona and Twig said...

TOT, there's no figuring people out, sometimes. When I had my booth in my podunk town, nobody here got it either. I was the only one doing baby doll heads, they all thought I was nuts!

If I were in your town, I'd be your bst customer!

XO,
Anne

Whispering Pine Cottage said...

Don't ever change your name, its perfect! I have a small store in a medium size town with a small town attitude, People look in the window and keep going & I know they probably wouldnt buy anything even if they came in, you have to please yourself! Once glance at your shop and I know I would love everything! Great shop! Angie

June said...

Isn't it funny how people look at things so differently. If I was walking around town and I saw a store like yours, I would want to go right in and see for myself, whether it was a design shop or a retail shop. When my daughter had her store, I would go help her sometimes on the weekend. I always laughed when someone would see a dresser or a coffee table and ask...do you have this in red, when it was black, as if it was a mass produced piece and not a rescued piece and one of a kind : )
I love your name!!!!!!!!!!!
Sending hugs....

LizlovesVintage said...

I love that name but, I can see that happening in my small town too. I have an idea. Can you affix another sign and put it in the window. Example: Antiques or Vintage?
Maybe, that would work.
Good luck Tot! Business is always a work in progress. We can only learn from it. Hey, if I lived closer you bet I'd be there with bells on babe!!!
xxx Liz

Anonymous said...

What if it said "Time Worn Treasures"?.........

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