When you tell people you’re thinking of starting your own business, one of the first questions they usually ask is, “Have you thought of a name yet?” Coming up with a name is one of the hardest parts of starting a business. It has to perfectly encompass what you’re all about and set the tone for your entire business. Customers will most likely hear your name before even having a chance to sample your product, which makes it that much more important to come up with the absolute perfect name.
I knew I wanted the name of my business to be something meaningful to me and something simple and unpretentious like my style of baking. I knew I didn’t want to use my own name or have something cheesy and uninspired like “Krissy’s Super Awesome Fun Time Cakes” (although now that I think of it – I should totally name a product that). To help come up with names, I started thinking of all the things I love. Running, yoga, my dog Rocky, my secret shame show The Vampire Diaries, hiking, playing video games clearly designed for 15 year old boys and not 30 year old women………my stream of consciousness was taking me in a lot of weird directions, so I decided to go out for a run and clear my head.
As I was running, I thought of who inspires me the most and who I would like to honor with my business. The answer was easy – my Grandfather, who I called Opa. My Grandfather and I were very close and I always thought we had a special connection. He called me Kristiney and used to tell me I was “his favorite girl.” I wanted to somehow incorporate Opa into my business, but the name “Opa” sounded a little too Greek or German for a bakery that won’t feature either of those cuisines. For some reason I got stuck on the phrase “My Favorite Girl,” but could not figure out a way to make that work. As my crazy mind started to churn off that idea, I thought about Opa’s first name, Ernest……which led me to think of one of my all time favorite books by Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest……and then all of a sudden it hit me – The Earnest Baker!
When I got home from my run, I looked up synonyms for the word “earnest” and it came up with “heartfelt” and “sincere.” It was perfect. I cannot think of two better terms to describe my baking. The Earnest Baker encompasses everything I wanted – it holds a special meaning and connection to me, perfectly describes the type of business I’d like to create, and, most importantly, it honors my Grandfather. The picture at the start of this post is of Opa and me (and my super sweet talking Cricket doll) when I was about 6 years old. The picture below of him is one I keep on my desk. I keep it there so he can watch over and inspire me while I start this crazy adventure of mine. He’s the reason I’m doing this and I hope he would be proud.