Thursday, June 13, 2013

What's in a name?

Jewelbox's original name was Bethel House.

In the abstract, I like the name Bethel but sadly it carries both personal and commercial negatives.

When I was a six or seven year old kid, the son of a family friend drowned in Bethel creek and to this day I can recall with perfect clarity the pain that wracked his family, our family and the neighborhood. Personally, my association with the name Bethel is a little sad to say the least.

A quick Google search of "Bethel House" explains the commercial negative.
Go ahead and give it a try. I'll wait.

Back so soon? Quite a few Bethel House entries huh? And nearly all are shelters dedicated to homeless or displaced families or women who have suffered abuse or addiction. Noble causes all and it didn't seem appropriate to have "chic vacation rental home on idyllic Bahamian paradise" nestled in among them.
And imagine THIS conversation:
Me: "You want to stay at a great place for your vacation? Come to Bethel House! I don't have a card but just Google it and you'll get all the info you need."
Them: They never respond because they Googled "Bethel House" and are deeply offended that I seem to have suggested they need rehab, a shower or have a horrible relationship.

Fortunately, I'm married to a branding genius so enlisted Rich and our friend Natasha Shephard (who has crowned myriad homes and boats with names so perfect, you can't imagine them every having been called anything else) to make the magic happen.

Within 24 hours both had lists with near perfect names but when each suggested "jewel box" it sealed the deal. The house is on King Street, just off the corner of Crown Street and I'm a jewelry designer. What could be a more perfect name!!?!
I admit that it's a no brainer but at the time I was crushed that they wouldn't let me name it "Sweetwood."
Sweetwood, as I'm sure you know, is the common name for a local Bahamian plant with bark that's used for incense and tummy issues. And the house is made out of Abaco pine, which is nearly extinct! So having a house that's made entirely of it is pretty sweet! Get it!?!
They didn't get it either. Which is fine because the more time I spent with Bethel House/Jewel Box, the more I am certain that "JewelBox" is the name it was born to have!

 But mark my words...one day, one of our houses will be named "Sweetwood." It will probably be made of limestone and the name won't make a lick of sense to anyone but me.