What’s in a name?

I’ve spent the last few months debating whether to start a business focused on offering animal lovers a choice of pastel pet portraits and photographic portraits. The business idea is a possible alternative to full-time work or a side hustle that could supplement part-time employment whilst building up a client base. The latter certainly sounds more sensible.

Either way, one decision I have to make is to decide on a business name. Do I use my full name, a variation of my name, expand on the use ofย  Two Black Dogs or even come up with something completely different? Two Black Dogs is my handle on Twitter and Instagram as well as being the title of this blog so I would need to have separate social media accounts regardless of what I decide. In researching existing businesses that focus on either pet photography or pet portraits there appears to be a mix of businesses using the artist’s name and those with names that reflect the genre of their art.

My reason for considering the expansion of the use of Two Black Dogs is the same reason for starting this blog, my black dogs Maxi and Bundy. Their antics, those big, brown eyes and my obsession with them inspired me to do pastel pet portraits, and being a crazy dog mum who volunteers in a shelter gave me a focus for my photography. Whilst the name is meaningful to me I realise it may not be meaningful to potential clients, which is often the argument for not using an individual’s name. It is all doing my head in and that is without even starting the business…what hope do I have?

Pastel illustration of Maxi the dog
Princess Maxi immortalised in pastel




13 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. restlessjo November 16, 2018 / 6:10 pm

    It sounds like an excellent idea to me, Sam, and you’ll be doing something you love for at least part of the time. How about Sam’s Two Black Dogs? Personalises it a little more. Just a random thought. Good luck with it ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Two Black Dogs November 16, 2018 / 8:57 pm

      Thanks Jo! I’m considering all options at the moment and probably experiencing some analysis paralysis ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Debra Kolkka November 16, 2018 / 6:17 pm

    I like the name, and you already have a profile with that.

    • Two Black Dogs November 16, 2018 / 8:59 pm

      Thank you, me too! Have been trying to come up with other names but without success.

  3. colinandray November 16, 2018 / 8:34 pm

    There is something to be said for a business name which makes it clear what your business is, but then you already have a following of twoblackdoggies. The question then becomes – What impact will my current Followers have on my proposed business venture? I would suspect they may help you get started, but will have minimal impact from a long term business perspective. My suggestion would be to think very carefully about a new name, and open up new social media accounts to promote it. Maybe maintain existing accounts for promotional purposes for the short term. “Two Black Dogs Pet Portraits”?

    • Two Black Dogs November 16, 2018 / 9:03 pm

      Thank you! Can always count on you for some practical, well thought out feedback. Two Black Dogs Pet Portraits has a nice ring to it ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. ad November 17, 2018 / 10:54 pm

    Go for it ! Its a great idea and the name you have already – Two Black Dogs is so apt. It’s perfect.

    • Two Black Dogs November 19, 2018 / 12:45 pm

      Thank you! I’ve been researching the availability of business names and if I go with Two Black Dogs I’m going to have to add something because it is currently unavailable on the business name register.

      • ad December 9, 2018 / 12:30 pm

        hmmm…..Two Black Doggies ?? I’ve seen slight differences between some business names before – I think as long as they are in completely different service industries its allowed. But I’m not an expert ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Ogee December 4, 2018 / 5:13 pm

    It won’t matter what you call the business if you put out drawings like this…people will find you. Stunning.

    • Two Black Dogs December 4, 2018 / 6:00 pm

      Thank you very much ๐Ÿ™‚ I think that it helps to love your subject, she was our first dog and this was my first doggy portrait – so much love x

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