Back in 2013 I was brainstorming company names for my jewelry line on my kitchen floor with one of my best friends, Virginia. She kept asking me, 'what about your name?' I was resistant to say the very least. My real name is Cornelia but everyone calls me Corkie... at the time my last name was Hobbie but I was engaged and planning to take my fiancee's last name...Bolton. Everyone else goes by their name and I wanted to be different. So I decided instead I wanted a name that described my aesthetic and sounded bad ass. I had always been inspired by the banner ribbons in tattoos and I had been incorporating them into my work so Metal Ribbon Studio was born.
I never considered that I might outgrow that company name. That my aesthetic might radically change or that people actually love my unique name. When I began to ask around I learned that shop owners were often telling customers about me, Corkie. Then I began to produce newer collections and they were completely devoid of ribbons. Whoops. Another turning point was reading How To Create Your Own Jewelry Line by Emilie Shapiro. In it she tells the story of her own rebranding which I identified with so much (I highly recommend her book) and it gave me the final push.
So now I knew I wanted to change but what needed to be done? First I had to work on getting a new logo created for Corkie Bolton Jewelry. Once I had that in place I changed my website domain (redirecting my old one) and then the branding on my website. I created a new email address and made sure that my old emails were redirected. Packaging was an important consideration, I needed to change my business cards and get new boxes and bags printed. While I did have some old boxes with Metal Ribbon Studio I decided I could find other uses for them. It was important to have my new branding present everywhere so there was no confusion for customers. Lastly and most importantly I had to make my customers aware! I talked about it in posts and stories prior to changing my handle on Instagram from @metalribbonstudio to @corkieboltonjewelry and I utilized my email list to alert them of this huge change!
I think this rebrand was especially important for me because I want customers to connect with me as the jeweler and with my story. Now when people see my name they know there is a person behind it all. I can grow and my work can evolve and I'm not limited by a company name that at one time felt right, but now I've outgrown.
I hope by sharing my story it helps other jewelers who perhaps are considering rebranding or maybe are in the early stages of starting their business! If you are a small business that also rebranded, we'd love to hear your story as well! Be sure to leave a comment below!