07/15/2013 05:35 pm ET Updated Sep 14, 2013

What's In a Name?

I could write an entire twopage post on how we came up with the name Rivet & Sway, what our strategic goals were for our name, and the painstaking, frustrating and ofttimes enlightening process that we went through (ever heard of a Mindmap? Yeah, we put one of those together). And I could spend another page just highlighting the number of names that my wife (Rhonda) and I came up with on numerous road trips only to find that the URL's for ALL of these names were already taken (damn you arrogant, all-too-important, completely irrational domain squatters!) But I'll focus more on the inspiration behind the name and how we got to Rivet & Sway.

But before I dive into the meaning of Rivet & Sway, let me share my own personal feelings about naming a company. The process sucks... but it's something you absolutely have to go through. Yeah, you may have started your company, but until you actually find a name, it feels a bit faceless and meaningless. In my mind, you haven't really started until you've named your company. Off my soapbox....

As I mentioned in my last post, we spent a ton of time researching women and their feelings about the eyewear shopping experience. In addition to hating the current experience, women also told us that they wanted to feel more empowered when it came to shopping for frames. They said they wanted to feel inspired with not only the shopping experience, but also by the frames they were wearing. And they told us that in many circumstances, they felt more confident, more motivated, and more secure in themselves when they were wearing their frames. Basically, women wanted to feel more emotion with their eyewear and with the eyewear shopping experience.

Armed with that knowledge (another huge thanks to the hundreds of women that we spoke to early on!), we set off brainstorming on a name. We started thinking about all of the inspirational women in our lives and all of the women we knew who weren't afraid to go against the grain, to defy what was expected, and ultimately, had the courage to just make $%^& happen. We immediately were drawn to Rosie the Riveter. For those of you who don't know, Rosie the Riveter is a World War II cultural icon who inspired a social movement among working American women. Basically, when all the men went off to fight in WWII, women had to go to work and pick up all of the factory slack (primarily on the assembly lines for ammunition, military vehicles, planes, etc.). When the men returned from WWII, many of these women said to themselves 'Hey, I actually like working! And I actually feel like I can do this job just as good, if not better, then a man'. And thus the revolution of women in the workforce was born. So Rosie represents empowerment to us. She represents possibility, strength and progress and she inspires us to 'see who we wanna be'. And as an added bonus, a Rivet (Riveter) represents quality. We have Rivets in many of our frame styles, so emphasizing design and manufacturing quality in our name was attractive as well.

And Sway? That one was a bit easier. We wanted a name that spoke to women. A name that women would see or hear and immediately think 'yeah, they sell women's frames'. So we started thinking about different names that would represent both inner and outer beauty to women. Not too sure if it was a scene out of Xanadu or images of a Celine Dion concert (and no, I've never been!), but an image of a woman swaying in an evening gown immediately came to mind. For us, 'swaying' stood for beauty and the aura that a confident women has on those around her.

So, from all of our research and brainstorming, Rivet & Sway was born. For us, the name represents empowerment, inspiration, motivation and beauty. It screams; 'I have the confidence to live unapologetically, to make my dreams happen, and to do what I want to do'. It's a name that we believe honors women. And hopefully, over time, Rivet & Sway will mean the same thing to our customers as well.