Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What's In a Name?

Shakespeare pondered it.  New parents labor (no pun intended) over it.  Retailers know it's crucial to establishing their shop's persona.  A name is not something to be taken lightly.  While any name, in theory, will get the job done, one aspires to finding the best name.  In the case of a baby, they'll carry that name their whole life.  A business or retail shop probably won't have a run nearly that long, but one can always hope.

When we decided to open a shop in Maine, I knew I didn't want to use the name of my previous shop in Pennsylvania.  Although Grandiflora was similar in feel to LUCKY HILL, the shop was rooted in a flowers....literally.  The hallmark of the store was a cut flower offering complete with French market pails.  When I sold the shop in 2004, in my mind, the name conveyed with the sale.

So where did the name LUCKY HILL come from?  Most people assume it is because we're located on a hill and hope the business venture is lucky.  No and no.  Not even close.  It goes all the way back to when I was growing up in Chester County, Pennsylvania.  I had fallen in love with a little town called Marshallton and I always said that was where I wanted to live when I grew up.  But as time progressed, it was no longer just Marshallton, I had narrowed it down to one road in Marshallton.  Lucky Hill Road.

When you mention wanting to live on Lucky Hill Road to people who know the area, they assume the property you most covet is Lucky Hill Farm.  Lucky Hill Farm was comprised of a beautiful farmhouse and utterly magnificent barn set back from the road and nestled in a valley between rolling Chester County hills.  That was not the property I longed for.  I was smitten with a sweet stone house, surrounded by green, and enclosed by a simple wooden fence.  To this day, it pulls at my heart when I see it.  It speaks to me and always will.

But back to reality and the name game....we played with all sort of names when we were concepting the Maine shop.  We had lists and lists of words; cottage, rose, lilac, white, shore, beach, hill, names of places, family names, etc.  I knew I wanted something happy, upbeat, and not linked to anything specific.  I wanted it to be wide ranging enough so it didn't pigeonhole us.  After many combin- ations of words, written, spoken, recited as one would answer the phone, we decided on a name.  Done deal.  And then a few days later I told Dan that wasn't the right name.  The name would be LUCKY HILL.  It spoke to me the way that stone house spoke to me and it made me smile when I said it.  So in the end, it simply came down to a young girl's dream and a smile.  That was how LUCKY HILL came to be LUCKY HILL.  And it was the right name.