From Etsy to Brick and Mortar: a Fabric Shop Transformed

Kristen Suzuki was ready for a completely new business name and identity after operating her fabric shop on Etsy for nearly a year. With countless stashes of beautiful fabrics piling up in her home, she knew it was time to set up shop as a brick and mortar. The only problem? She wasn’t in love with her current name, Stitch or Stash.

“It’s a kitschy name, but I’m looking for something a little more sophisticated,” she told us, adding that she wanted a name that was both modern and rustic.

Hanging store sign: Circa15 - from Etsy to brick and mortar

Kristen envisioned her brick and mortar in Kirkland, WA, as much more than a fabric store—she wanted it to be a space where sewing enthusiasts could take workshops, find community, and be inspired.

“I want to create a social environment that allows people to share and foster their creativity.”

She needed a name that captured this.

As I prepared to brainstorm names for Kristen, she shared a Pinterest page with me full of images of shops, interiors, and fabrics that encompassed the style and feel she was going for. It reminded me of woodsy, rainy days, and of what would happen if Anthropologie were a fabric shop; right away, I could tell Kristen’s new shop would be a fabric lover’s dream: not just a place where you go to pick a fabric, but a place meant for discovery and inspiration.

Kristen mentioned she really liked names with a ___ & ___ structure, and since she’s in the Pacific Northwest, she wanted to explore names that alluded to the weather.

Some of the first names I came up with included concepts like Needle & Mist, Pin Cushion Studio, and Raindrop Stitches. Kristen liked the names that evoked rainy days, but also wondered if we could go a little edgier. Of course, this was music to my ears. What writer doesn’t love going edgier?

Modern Fabriculture came to mind. But so did this idea of creation. Kristen’s new shop was definitely about fabric, but it was also mainly about artistry. It made me think of timeless art pieces, how their dates of origin are usually preceded by one word: Circa.

And so, Circa 15 Fabric Studio was born: An abstract name that signals beginnings, creations, and timelessness. The 15 represents the year when Kristen opened her studio, a year exactly after her Etsy shop opened. Because it has a story and significance behind it, the number will always feel relevant, no matter how much time passes.

Retail space before: Circa15 - from Etsy to brick and mortar

The retail space in Kirkland, WA, before Kristen moved in

Retail space after: Circa15 - from Etsy to brick and mortar

Circa 15 today!

Class in progress: Circa15 - from Etsy to brick and mortar

Circa 15 with a class in progress

Now that Kristen had a name, she needed a logo that would bring her new identity to life visually. Our designer Meg got to work right away on branding concepts with a modern yet rustic feel. With these kinds of identities, she told Kristen:

“… it’s really important to bring in warmth and texture while presenting a highly clean and minimal overall concept.” Because of this, Meg presented Kristen with concepts that were not too ornate or complicated. Instead, they were warm, inviting, and had a breath of life. The concepts were not overly feminine, but they did bring in some light, ethereal qualities.

Right away, Kristen gravitated toward three specific logo concepts—all had design elements that worked together as a whole. After some minor tweaks based on Kristen’s feedback, Meg came up with a Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary for Circa 15. The primary is ideal for situations when it can be viewed larger, such as signage and printed items, while the secondary is recommended for the website and/or packaging. Finally, the tertiary brand mark works well as a stamp or watermark, or for use as a social media avatar.

circa-15-brand-guide

Logo and hang tags: Circa15 - from Etsy to brick and mortar

Hang tag: Circa15 - from Etsy to brick and mortar

We asked Kristen for feedback about her project with us and she said:

When starting a business, your name and logo are two of the most important things; it’s the way people identify you. You better be sure of both, because you are going to be stuck with them forever. I knew I didn’t have the creativity or marketing background to effectively come up with a name and logo. After researching companies, I knew immediately my style meshed well with Aeolidia. From day one, everything went very smooth. They kept me on a schedule, and didn’t allow me to be the procrastinator I usually am. Fortunately for me, both ladies I worked with just “got me”. I felt the back and forth of ideas was productive. They were receptive to my feedback, and made adjustments accordingly. The whole process was so easy. Circa 15 Fabric Studio is the perfect name for my shop, and my logo is amazing! I’m so happy I was able to collaborate with Aeolidia.

Love how it all came together to move from Etsy to brick and mortar store? Contact us about branding or rebranding your business to get it ready for something special.

About the Author

I was so happy to finally find the copywriter of our dreams, and Natalia continues to impress me with every one of her projects. She has been telling stories for years, for clients like FedEx, Reader’s Digest, and, of course, smaller, mom-and-pop (wife-and-husband, artist-and-entrepreneur) shops that are doing big things. Beautiful sentences make her want to hug them, though she's been known to read any and all printed words, from a dropped grocery list on the sidewalk to the back of an empty cereal box. Natalia's first novel, Chasing the Sun, was published in 2014.

View more articles written by Natalia >

2 comments
  1. Just…wow. Love the dream come true story. Love the branding. Someday…

    But until then, how do you make three logos, plus another for social media, work exactly? What logo specifics and ideas belong with what biz function? Info, or a blog post about why we all need to have more than one logo for our branding would be enormously helpful to folks Ike me, who are currently in the logo creation stage. Thanks!!!

    • Hello Stacy,

      You don’t necessarily need more than one version of your logo, but it often comes in handy. For instance, you usually need a stacked or square version that will work well in social media avatars, or in small places like tags on products. The full version might not look its best shrunk down tiny in a return address label, so a simpler version may be required. You often need a short and wide banner style version of a logo to allow it to work on a shop awning or across the top of your Twitter page. Some brands use an illustrated icon with and separately from the text logo. Lots of different ways to go, and as long as you keep things cohesive and recognizable, you can feel free to be creative!

      Great idea for a post – we’re thinking about that!

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