What's in a name?
I've had many people comment on the names of our products, so I thought I'd give a little more background as to how I name our bars of soap. I've also heard from soapmakers who have a really hard time naming their products, and thought my process might help.
Everyone seems familiar with Shakespeare's assertion that "That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." And yet, names are powerful in their ability to evoke a memory or an idea. So names are important, especially for products.
When I first started making soap; it was a hobby- truly a way to use up all that goat milk that I had while making something functional and healthy for my family. (I'm a big fan of multi-tasking). It got really tiresome when I would ask for "the blue soap" or "the one that smells like berries and has a red stripe." So even as a hobby, I realized the importance of naming my soaps.
I started out naming soaps after places that were important to us. The very first soap I made repeatedly was "Jersey Shore." It's design and signature scent have barely changed from 10 years ago- it's that good. My husband grew up in New Jersey and his vacations were largely going to "the shore." So he basically reminisced in the shower about his childhood vacations- good times.
Thus began my idea to honor past places and people that are/were important to us. Examples would be:
"Aix"- the place in Southern France where I spent a semester seeping in the culture, cuisine and all things lavender.
"Michael"- both my grandfather and father's names. Honoring who they were: one as a firefighter, the other as a hobbyist woodworker and lover of all things pyrotechnic.
Any farmer will tell you that while naming is fun, it is difficult if you don't have a theme. We had 25 goat kids born last spring(Yeah quarantine!). We were busy. But as we had a theme for our goat kids’ names- it made this farmer's wife's life so much easier. It is important to be able to tell the difference between each goat kid and which mama they belong to- it can be the difference between life and death. It also helps to know which goats were born which year.
Product-wise, we have three main categories: Places, People and "Occupations." I realize the last one is kind of odd, but our specialty soaps are formulated for some specific purposes, so labeling them for their potential made sense. Although I'm not sure "Hippie" is an occupation, but I've definitely been labeled that a time or two:)