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July 23, 2019
So, I’ve been in marketing for 17+ years. Which makes me sound crazy old, but let’s just pretend I started working when I was 12. Mkay, thanks.
I’ve been responsible for naming companies and new business lines and new products in that time, and here is one thing I’ll tell you: it’s probably the hardest part of marketing/branding.
I mean, for real.
Here’s why: everyone else has your good idea before you.
When I decided to start The Root Collective, I obviously didn’t have a name. I came up with approximately 17 million good ideas, only to discover that someone else had that idea before me.
Come on, people. Stop being smarter than me.
It took three months to find a name that was available. THREE MONTHS.
Three months of pulling my hair out, of Googling, of searching for domain names, of yelling “freaking a!!!” when I discovered the name had already been taken.
I got so many (bad) suggestions from other people that never fit. I had my own really terrible ideas that would never allow for my brand to be successful, regardless of if the product was good.
This is the struggle of branding. It isn’t easy.
I honestly don’t remember where I was when the idea came to me. I started thinking about the reason why this business made so much sense to me. What was I going after, really?
To back up a bit, I need to tell you why The Root Collective is a for-profit business. It was a very intentional decision. I waffled back and forth between a non-profit and for-profit for a while. I looked at similar businesses to see how they were structured. It was an equal mix of both.
I eventually decided to opt for a for-profit structure for one reason: I didn’t want to come into these communities to help.
I think well-intentioned helping can often harm the communities more than they actually do good. But here’s one thing I knew for sure: helping wasn’t an empowering term. It wasn’t an empowering way to come into a community. Because it said, “I know better than you and you need me in order to succeed.”
I knew one thing: it had to be a partnership. It had to be equal need on both sides. I needed these makers as much as they needed me. I had my skills, they had theirs. What would it look like if we came together in a place of mutual understanding and need and did something beautiful.
What if we all had our own roots, but did something together? As a collective?
And there it was. The Root Collective.
A business built on mutuality.
What a beautiful thing.
And why put the “The” in the beginning? Simple. Someone else had the domain rootcollective.com and was trying to charge too much for it. These are the decisions we make as business owners.
Our name is an invitation. It’s an invitation to take who you are and join a community. To bring your own roots and combine it with others. It’s about being a part of something bigger than ourselves and watching the beauty as those roots grow and strengthen.
It’s about what we can do together.
June 13, 2020
I’m absolutely in love with your story and your business model. I’m thankful for my friend Brandy Ostrem who has been sharing your brand and designs on her Instagram account.
July 23, 2019
Thanks for sharing. This is such a positive community!
Ahhh, I’m so excited you have a blog! And I loved reading this. I don’t think I ever knew the story of the name of The Root Collected, but it’s so perfect and so beautiful. I didn’t think it was possible, but now I love this company even more!
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