THE NOBLE PAPERIE: LESSONS LEARNED
With our new website launching , I thought I might share a little bit about The Noble Paperie, the rebrand, our new name, and a couple of important lessons I learned along the way. Feel free to read through and let us know what you think of the new site!
When I initially started this business, it wasn’t a business. I was fresh out of college, and being “business savvy” definitely wasn’t on the forefront of my mind. I had a ton of design and artwork that I wanted to share with the world, and no where to show it. So what’s a girl to do? Start a blog, seemed to be the obvious answer. I at least had enough sense not to name it the ‘Kate Elwell Blog’. Though, this was probably attributed more to the fact that I didn’t really know how the internet worked or how to purchase a domain name (okay let’s be honest, I probably couldn’t afford it either), not that I actually had enough sense to not name the blog after myself anyway.
So I went on blogger and spent a whole five minutes picking, what I thought, was a good name for myself: Design Velocipede. I really thought the name was creative and unique, and would be something fun for a blog to be named…and clearly, I didn’t think of anything past that.
Lesson number one: Don’t sell yourself short.
I went to great art schools, high school, as well as college, and was lucky to study under and be mentored by some truly exceptional artists and professionals. Why I didn’t think more in depth to what I wanted this blog to become, or about growing my art into a full-fledged business, is something that just didn’t cross my mind. If someone had prompted me with these questions when I first picked a name, I might have put a bit more thought and time into the blog as a whole, instead of my short sighted ‘I-just-want-to-post-stuff-on-the-internets’ thought process. But! Hindsight is always 20/20, and I definitely learned some invaluable lessons from this naming process...or lack thereof.
So Design Velocipede became a blog… which slowly blossomed into a business. I designed a wedding invitation for a friend and posted it. Then another friend saw it, wanted me to design theirs, and so on, and so on, I don’t need to tell you how the internet works. And before I knew it, I was actually conducting a business through my tiny-non-thought-out-blog.
Now fast forward a couple of years. I got everything off the ground for the business: I got a DBA, set up a bank account, etc.; basically, I put in all of the work to make the business official. And business started picking up, little by little. Then, a colleague came to me one day with the words, “oh my sister wanted to order invitations from you, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember the name of your business.”
Oh no. This was bad. And, to be honest, it’s not the first time I had ever heard that feedback about my business name.
Lesson number two: Your actual business name is pretty important.
Okay, so that lesson seems really obvious. But, it wasn’t obvious to me when I first started my business! I thought I had enough brand equity in my original blog name, that I didn’t think it was worth changing. And that ‘final’ comment about my business name prompted me to open up the conversation of “should I change my business name?” Along with that, came the much bigger endeavor of “what do I want this business to become?” (Much more explaining on that one in the future) From here, I actually took a step back and really spent some time thinking about the overall Big Picture for the business.
Lesson number three: The Big Picture you have for your company can tell you a whole lot about your business.
As promised, a blog post on this will come in the future, but I think it’s an important lesson I learned, even if again it seems fairly obvious. This extra thought process and planning led me to choose a new name and create a business plan, which really helped to finalize where I wanted the business to go and what I want it to [eventually] become. And when I first started on this journey, I didn’t take any of this into account! I just walked blindly in the path of starting a business and with my good friend hindsight, I’ve realized how important it is to plan and think (and get other people’s opinions and insight) about your business.
Now for the new name: The Noble Paperie. It definitely took a fair amount of pondering and prayer, a lot of brainstorming, and some really, really bad ideas (which I won’t share) before I came up with this name. I’m a creative individual, and this may not be necessary for every business, but I really wanted my business name to mean something specifically to me.
When I was young, I was raised by a village. My family life was complicated and I was blessed enough to have some very impactful individuals mentor (and parent) me throughout my adolescence. One of those people was my first coach, Steve Kuptz. He has always been a second father to me, and has provided countless occasions of guidance for my life. When I was twelve, he was coaching our team through our final tournament of the year, and before one of the championship games he prayed for us using the following verse:
That verse continually pops up in my life, many times when I need to hear it the most, and once I came across it again during brainstorming, it just felt right to use it as a cornerstone for the business. So that is where The Noble Paperie name was born.
And this is what the Noble Paperie has become: a business focused on crafting uniquely beautiful paper products that invoke personal feelings and emotions for our clients. From your wedding invitation suites, to birth announcements, business cards and signs – if it involves paper, we can create it, and we promise it will be something you love. This is just the start. There is so much more to come for The Noble Paperie (A shop! More blogging about our future! Press spots… and more!), so keep checking back with us to see what’s new and where this business is headed. We are excited and hope you are too. In the meantime, have a look around our new and improved site. Hope you love it as much as we do.