Business names have meaning, honor others

vbridges@newsobserver.comJanuary 20, 2014 

Shop Talk reporter Virginia Bridges asked owners to share how they came up with their small business’ name. Find more online at

• “I was looking for a name that said something about how I work in addition to what I do. I had several ideas and just started Googling to see what associations or images came up,” said Alison Aucoin, owner of Two Birds One Stone Development, a Durham company that provides grant writing and fundraising consulting services. “When I found the image that eventually became my logo ... it just clicked, and I knew I’d found the right name.”

• “We wanted (the name) to seem personal and represent someone’s name without being our own,” said Corey Mason, landscape architect and president of Clyde Oak, a landscape company specializing in garden renovations. “Clyde is my wife’s great-grandfather’s name. He was a North Carolina tobacco farmer in Greensboro, a man that knew the land. Oak was more obvious because we are based in Raleigh.”

• “Since many of our products are designed in Europe and are new in the U.S. market, we named ourselves ‘neuveau niveau’ which translated from French means ‘new levels,’ ” said Ray Malouf, CEO of nüvonivo, a Raleigh children’s clothing store. “To make it easier to pronounce, we condensed the name to nüvonivo (new-voh-nee-voh) and added the umlaut for branding.”

• “Galatea was a statue sculpted by Pygmalion as the ideal woman,” said Cheryl Fraser, owner of Galatea Boutique, a women’s clothing and accessories store in Raleigh. “... Audrey Hepburn plays the part of Galatea in ‘My Fair Lady’ and she is our style icon, so the name is even more appropriate for our boutique where every woman is the ideal woman.”

• “Our store grew out of a previous business and we borrowed part of that name and embellished it a bit to create our new name,” said Cynthia Deis, owner of Ornamentea, a Raleigh store that sells beads and fine craft supplies. “... The name was created out of lots of fun dialog with everyone who worked in the business at the time.”

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