Category Archive

What’s In a Name? Part II

shooting videos - drifter and the gypsy blog
Earlier this week, I outlined a few of my tips for choosing a dynamic name for your business. I couldn’t fit all my tips in one post, so I’m back here today with Part II (as well as a personal story about my own blog name).

6. Consider the letterforms.

This tip comes from more of a graphic design standpoint, but consider the letterforms that make up your name. Can they easily be turned into a logo? The Fedex and Amazon.com logos are great examples of logos that have clever hidden meanings. (More logo inspiration here.)

7. Don’t overthink it.

I don’t think I can emphasize this enough. I am a professional over-thinker who sweats the small stuff. That’s just my nature and I think that a lot of creative entrepreneurs are wired the same way as I am. Last quarter at SCAD, I had a project for my Graphic Design class where I had to name and brand a mock business. When my professor read my brand brief, his first reaction was I got WAY too conceptual in my choice of name and it was bound to sail right over people’s oblivious heads. All the hours, days, WEEKS I spent agonizing over a name for a company that wasn’t even REAL was all for naught. Sure, a name is important. But by the end of the day, you CAN make most names work for your business with successful branding. There are a lot of companies whose names don’t make sense but we’re so used to them that we don’t question the logic of the name. For example, have you ever stopped and wondered what hulu means? What about zynga?

8. Choose a name that stands the test of time.

Don’t use a name/word that’s trendy or ‘in’ at the moment. Ask yourself if the word will be just as popular 5-10 years down the road. For example, the word ‘hustle’ is popular right now. But what happens if in 10 years ‘hustle’ is equivalent to groovy? When in doubt, go with something that’s timeless.

And now for my story: People often ask me where I get ‘Drifter & the Gypsy’ from. I started this blog in 2008, when I was 14 and had just started high school. As with most teenagers of that age, I felt a bit lost and unsure of where true passion lay. I felt like a drifter. I wanted another word that would make an alliteration. That led me to come up with ‘gypsy.’ bada bing bada boom. Originally my blog was The Drifter and the Gypsy, but I felt like the first ‘The’ made the name too long, so two years ago (when I switched blogging platforms), I simplified the name to Drifter & the Gypsy. If I had to start alllll over, I’d probably pick a shorter name, but I was only 14 when I named my blog and I didn’t know I’d still be blogging all these years later. I’ve gone through much self-hate over the name Drifter & the Gypsy. (Yes that’s right: For a while I didn’t even like my OWN blog name). But over the past few months, people have told me how much they love the name Drifter & the Gypsy, which really surprised me (in a good way, of course). Case in point? I am my own worst critic. We are all are own worst critics. So let’s not be too hard on ourselves, m’kay?

Just remember, you can’t name yourself, but you CAN name your business. So make it a good one (to avoid having to rename your business!), but don’t stress out about it toooo much. There are very successful companies that break some of these rules, so don’t think you have to follow everything to a T. Just pick a name and let good branding do the rest.

If you have a blog/personal business, did you have a lot of trouble coming up with a name? Or perhaps you have a funny story of how your name came about? I shared my story, now it’s time for you to share yours!

Did you miss the first part of this series? Click here to read Part I.

Photograph by Katrina

What’s In a Name? Part I

shooting videos - drifter and the gypsy blog
What’s the first thing you do when you meet someone? Ask their name. A name is one of the most important things about you. Oddly enough, it is very rare for a person to name himself/herself. In most cases, your parents or a close relative picks out your name (so let’s just hope they had good taste when picking names).

However, there ARE some things in life YOU get to name: pets, cars (if you’re the car-naming type of person) and your business. As a creative entrepreneur, your business is an extension of your being, so it’s important to pick a name that resonates with you and your audience.

Here are my tips for picking out a business name (Part I):

1. Choose something that is unique to you.

This goes without saying, but choose something that isn’t generic and will generate a million Google search results. An excellent example is my friend Jen of Honey Kennedy. ‘Honey Kennedy’ was her grandmother’s nickname when she was growing up in New York. Jen’s grandmother’s style inspired her, so naming her blog Honey Kennedy has special meaning to her, while still remaining catchy.

2. Choose something that is easy for people to remember.

As much as you want to choose a name that is unique, you don’t want to make it so abstract and obscure people are going to ask you how to spell it. If your business is a person’s name, use the generic spelling of the person (i.e. Olivia instead of Alivia), unless the business is your own name; then I would advise you to use the true spelling of your name, even if it isn’t generic.

3. Make it short and sweet.

This goes in line with tip #2. Avoid making your name overly long and complex. People have very short attention spans and if your business name is more than 3-4 words, people won’t remember any more than the first part. The caveat is you don’t want to make your name so short it’s not unique or memorable.

4. Choose something that is easy to pronounce.

There is nothing more embarrassing to a customer than if they have to ask you how to pronounce the name of your business (i.e. if it’s in another language). Sometimes they won’t ask, which is worse because they’ll never find out. If your name is too hard to pronounce, people will avoid talking about your business–unless they are so absolutely in love with your product or service they need to sing praises to the hills–just for the reason they don’t want to pronounce the name wrong. And then you’ll have missed out on a perfect opportunity for free advertising via word of mouth. People love names that roll off the tongue easily. Rhymes are fun. So are alliterations.

5. Choose a name that sounds like your business.

When you name your business, you want that name to describe what you’re offering. At the same time, you don’t want to it to be so obvious that the name entirely gives it away (i.e. ‘Sarah’s Cupcakes’). Instead, you want to suggest what your business does through the words you choose. How does your name make people feel? Is it true to what you sell or what service you provide? For example, ‘All That Glitters’ might sound fitting for the name of a party business, but it wouldn’t sound fitting for the name of a personal chef (unless the personal chef caters for parties or something).

I learned these tips through years of observation, so I hope this gives you insight on choosing a good name for your business. Are you starting up your own blog or business? Do you know someone who is? Feel free to use these tips for yourself or share these tips with them!

Stay tuned for Part II (as well as a story about my OWN blog name) coming at ya on Thursday.

Photograph by Katrina

West Coast Craft 2014

west coast craft 2014 - drifter and the gypsy blog
So far on the Drifter & the Gypsy Reader Survey—a huge thank you to those who have filled it out; it’s immensely helpful for me to determine what you like most/least about the blog—a lot of you guys have said you’d like to see more lifestyle shots & day trips. Since cameras phones and Instagram have really taken over, I’ve left my real camera at home more times than I’d like to admit. BUT I can definitely change that. So here ya go!

west coast craft 2014 - drifter and the gypsy blog
This past weekend was West Coast Craft 2014. It was the second year of WCC, but I missed it last year, so this was my first time going. Craft shows are one of my favorite things to go to in the world. They’re such a great place to get inspired.

With that being said, craft shows can be either totally awesome or bleh and West Coast Craft was extremely well-done. So good. The aesthetic was right on with that relaxed West Coast vibe. There were so many stylish people (both vendors and buyers alike!). I just wish I dressed nicer, but I was really tired that day and felt like being comfy, so jeans and a tee shirt it was. Oh well. Next year.

west coast craft 2014 - drifter and the gypsy blog
The craft fair took place at Fort Mason in the Marina District of San Francisco. The neighborhood is one of my favorites in the city.

west coast craft 2014 - drifter and the gypsy blog
Twenty Two Hours

west coast craft 2014 - drifter and the gypsy blog
Tanya Aguiniga

I saw a lot of familiar faces—and people I recognized from social media—at the craft fair. It’s really a close-knit community here. It feels like family. I love it.

west coast craft 2014 - drifter and the gypsy blog
Carrie of Half Hitch Goods was there with her rolling shoppe.
west coast craft 2014 - drifter and the gypsy blog
west coast craft 2014 - drifter and the gypsy blog
west coast craft 2014 - drifter and the gypsy blog
Faye Kendall Fiber Art and Design

west coast craft 2014 - drifter and the gypsy blog
Nobl Goods

west coast craft 2014 - drifter and the gypsy blog
west coast craft 2014 - drifter and the gypsy blog
I have the biggest crush on these leather bags by xobruno.

west coast craft 2014 - drifter and the gypsy blog
Jessica Wertz Ceramics (the photography on her website is so pretty).

west coast craft 2014 - drifter and the gypsy blog
Other Brother Co

west coast craft 2014 - drifter and the gypsy blog
Atelier Dion‘s rainbow mug display was so clever!

west coast craft 2014 - drifter and the gypsy blog
Jen E Ceramics. I really loved all of the ceramics at this craft fair.

west coast craft 2014 - drifter and the gypsy blog
Did any of my fellow San Franciscans attend West Coast Craft? You can read more about the craft fair here and see the full roster of vendors here.

A survey

a survey - drifter and the gypsy blog
Hello friends and happy Thursday! I’m popping in to ask you to take 5-7 minutes of your time to complete the Drifter & the Gypsy Reader Survey so I can get your feedback on what you think of the blog in its current state.

You can answer anonymously or leave your contact info; whatever you prefer. If you have any further comments, questions, suggestions, concerns, etc. feel free to email me at hello@drifterandthegypsy.com as well!

Thanks in advance; I really appreciate your input in making the blog an enjoyable place for you to rest your eyes!

click here to go to the survey.

photograph from drifter & the gypsy instagram

Do you keep a capture journal?

do you keep a capture journal - drifter and the gypsy blog
I recently listened to a Creative Live class in which the instructor talked about keeping what he called a ‘capture journal.’ It kind of struck me. Even as a child, I’ve always had some sort of journal to scribble down notes, to-dos and all other fleeting thoughts that traveled into my stream of consciousness.

I keep my journal next to my bed for when ideas come to me in the middle of the night (which they quite often do). I’ve got piles and piles of journals; records of the musings of my mind.

I never stopped to think that others might do the same as me, which is why the whole concept of a ‘capture journal’ caught my attention. A capture journal is a place to record thoughts, goals, lists and really anything else that comes to your mind. It doesn’t really serve just one purpose… it’s just a place to write down whatever you want whenever you want, all in one convenient place.

I suppose a lot of other creative people have active brains, full of ideas, hopes, dreams, desires, aspirations and inspirations, just waiting to be recorded before they are lost outside the boundaries of memory.

Tell me friends, do you keep a capture journal?

photograph from my instagram

Weekend.

weekend. - drifter and the gypsy blog
weekend. - drifter and the gypsy blog
Happy Friday people! This week went by super fast. I’ve been busy working on a big project for school, which (thank goodness) is almost done and shooting an outfit for a campaign that will go live on the blog on Monday (which I still have to write, heh). I’m really happy it’s the weekend and things are winding down now.

How amazing are these photographs by Chloe Aftel? New favorites of mine. I love how the film grain in the upper lefthand corner of the second photograph looks like fairy dust. Magic.

PS. Thanks for your kind words about my Warby Parker images & video. I really had fun putting the shoot together and hope to make more videos soon!

Take it easy now. xx – Micaela

Less pressure, more love.

less pressure, more love. - drifter and the gypsy blog
I know it may not seem like it because I keep things lighthearted here on the blog, but I put a lot of pressure on myself. A LOT. I felt a climax of that pressure develop over the summer. Since I had time off from school, I immediately became absorbed with Drifter & the Gypsy. Constantly taking pictures, posting at least 5 times a week, brainstorming ideas for posts, reaching out to companies, writing emails, networking, planning photo shoots, etc. My mind was always ON and I was burning out. I’d beat myself up if pictures I took weren’t up to my standards or if a post on Instagram didn’t get a lot of likes. Not good or healthy at all. I was genuinely scared about starting school again in September because I didn’t know how I’d ever keep up with my schoolwork if I felt like I was running just to stay in place on my school break. (more…)

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