It’s just a name…wrong, it’s more than that.
When you create a business and you spend years of your life putting your heart and soul into it to build a reputable and recognisable brand the last thing you imagine is having it all stripped away from you. I built my business so that I could try to find some balance, I wanted to create a life where I could be present for my children but at the same time provide for them all the things they needed plus a few ‘extras’. In the beginning I worked ridiculous hours, I was up till the middle of the night, and beyond, making my dream a reality, creating something that me and my kids could be proud of. But now I’m faced with a crippling fear that it has all been for nothing.
Forced to give up my name.
A short while ago I received a very official letter from some very official and powerful solicitors. I was told, yes TOLD not asked, to change my business name or I would be taken to court. Needless to say, that got my attention straight the way, I wanted to believe that it was some kind of cruel joke or prank, but I wasn’t that lucky.
This really was a letter being sent to me on behalf of a very popular and well known fashion and lifestyle magazine instructing me to give up all reference to ‘Vogue’ in my business name and branding. I think you would probably agree that our two businesses are worlds apart, not just in reach and audience, but also in products and services but that doesn’t seem to matter in this case.
I had two options – sit and cry over it or get on with things, make the changes that I needed to and then inform all of my wonderful customers (you) of the impending changes. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been easy and there is still a lot to do but I knew that sitting around and feeling angry and frustrated would get me nowhere.
What is in a name…
In Vogue Design was originally founded in 2018, I started out selling jewellery and other accessories but I knew there was something more that I wanted to do and I soon began making personalised items and gifts. Choosing my business name was one that I took seriously as I wanted it to represent my brand but also be something that I could grow with. I asked friends and family for their input and ideas and In Vogue came up time and time again – it literally means In Trend - so seemed to be the perfect fit.
It never occurred to me that one day I would be contacted with a demand that I should change my business name because it may tarnish the reputation of a global magazine brand. The other company in question is originally an American magazine, though there is also a UK version, and is focussed on fashion and lifestyle. How my business is deemed to be the same or even similar I don’t know but attempting to argue it would have been pointless.
The heart-breaking thing is that they get to decide which businesses they approach and demand name changes from and when I looked on Companies House there were 1000’s of businesses registered with Vogue as part of the name, have they spun some kind of wheel to see who to target?
Was I really that unlucky? Honestly that’s not a question I’m going to get an answer to so isn’t one that I will dwell on.
Moving on with grit and determination.
I love my business because I love helping you to make special moments even more special with bespoke products created especially for your loved ones, so this is not a challenge that I am going to back down from. I’m already in the process of changing EVERYTHING, I’m moving over to a new website domain, my branding is having a massive update, and of course I have a whole new business name. What I want you to know though is that nothing changes in regard to the passion I have for bringing you the best bespoke products possible, the trust and faith you have put in me over the years has allowed me to create a business that I love and that will all continue under the new brand.
I have gone through all of the emotions – anger, disappointment, frustration, shock, disbelief – and I have felt unbelievably stressed by the whole process. It’s not just my business name and a website, it’s all of my social media, my bank accounts, my sellers account on Amazon, my reputation, my relationships with my suppliers and customers, my own health and personal relationships, it has all been affected. There have been many sleepless nights and I’m sure there will be more to come.
I have never been a quitter though and that is not about to change so now I want to introduce you to my new business. All the same amazing products, the same exceptional customer service, the same drive to be and give the best but now under the banner of Ekantika Designs Ltd. Whilst I had no plan to change my business name before this it is a beautiful name and says so much about me and the business. The word Ekantika means singly focused and here I am with the single focus of continuing to build a business and a brand that I can always be proud of.
I’ll continue to keep you updated with any further changes.