That cutesy name you’re thinking of giving your land may have a great story behind it but how will it look in a logo? What if you decide to start a website – is the URL already taken with your cute name? Even if you’re confident right now that you’ll never start a business endeavor from your homestead, you simply never know! Here are some tips for being smart about how to name your homestead.
Right now, you may be going along, working your homestead in your quiet way, never imaging that one day you’ll feel called to start a website or write for a magazine. You’re just you – why would you ever do something so big?!
Well, the website you’re on right now came about ONLY because we felt moved to create it to help people learn how to be self-sufficient. That was over ten years ago now and what we thought would be a short venture has turned into public teaching opportunities and a publishing company!
You simply never know what new venture you’re going to jump into in the homesteading community. Just read through this article on Homestead Side Hustles to get some inspiration!
What Should I Name My Homestead?
This is a perfectly logical question. After all, names have power and meaning. Besides, it’s nice to have a catchy name when talking about your efforts on your land with friends and family.
You can certainly find a name that’s based on:
- family history
- local lore
- a particular aspect of your land like a landmark
- some combination of names from the family on the homestead
- or something that just plain sounds cool
In the end, it’s your homestead; name it whatever you want.
Naming My Past Homesteads
My homesteads have never been grand or fancy, but I have lovingly named them with an eye single to the vision of what they could be.
- The first house I named was a less than 800 square foot home in the middle of a Sacramento suburb. I had a tiny garden and a single beehive, and I named my home “The Cottage,” which made me feel cozy.
- Our next homestead was dubbed “Daffodil Hill” because we covered the entire slope of our property with daffodil bulbs to deter the deer that wandered through our North Carolina half acre.
- My next was “Pocket Farm,” an acre homestead tucked into the middle of a Utah neighborhood.
- Our first 20 acres in Missouri we called “WinterPast” to signify that the long wait for land in the country is over as we looked forward to the harvests of many summers.
(Even if you decide not to start a business from your homestead, at least name your home! Here’s some help from Apartment Therapy on Naming Your Home.)
Still, Your Homestead Name May Go Viral
If there’s even the slightest chance that you might want to:
- Contact people on behalf of your homestead via email
- Start a blog
- Sell a product from your homestead
- Create a website for said homestead product
- Sell at farmer’s markets or boutiques
- Write a book
- Create a logo
- Trademark said logo
- Teach or lecture using your homestead name
- Trademark said teaching/lectures/published material using your homestead name
Hear me say it:
YOU NEED TO THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU NAME YOUR HOMESTEAD NOW!
Be Careful What You Name Your Homestead
Not everyone who homesteads will begin any kind of business venture but for those who do, here are some things to think about before you name your homestead.
First things first, if you’re going to interact in the community and want to provide an easy way for people to get in touch with you, I suggest you get an email address for your homestead communication. Be sure the name isn’t already taken on your email provider of choice.
Name Your Homestead Social Media Page
Social media and the public are having a bit of a spat at the moment. Amidst allegations of censorship and all other manner of drama, some of us have even stopped using much social media.
Having said that, however, social media can still be a worthwhile place to share your message and build community. (If you have ethical problems with any of the current major players, there are other platforms that have developed whose ethics you might find more compatible with yours.)
If you have a name in mind for your homestead, the first thing to do is to check and see if it’s already taken on the major social media platforms. If it already exists, or you find anything even remotely similar, pick another name.
Name Your Homestead Website URL
While we’re on that topic, check if your proposed homestead name is already attached to a website URL. There are several places online, like My Domain (www.mydomain.com), where you can determine if a name has already been used for a website and purchase your name if it’s available. You buy the domain for a year, but you can easily let it go if you decide not to work with a website or blog in connection with your homesteading efforts.
You can’t choose a name that’s already in use without running into intellectual property rights violations and even copyright violations. Both of which can lead to legal action against you. Yes, these lawsuits exist and you do NOT want to mess with them.
Further down the road, you may decide to have a logo created for your homestead business. You may even decide to seek copyright or trademark protection for your logo and your name. If so, you will want a name that is completely unique to your homestead business and not taken by any other entity. (This includes international businesses!)
Legal Homestead Issues
Let me take a quick break to make something clear: I am not a lawyer and can’t advise you on all the ways to protect yourself legally should you choose to begin a business from your homestead. I will say that you should consult with a lawyer to be sure before you begin anything. If possible, see if you can find one with experience in copyright law, online content creation, cottage industry pursuits, and/or online businesses.
Likewise, consult a tax professional.
You may also want to consider joining Farm to Consumer Legal Defense, even if you never start a business. They have a homesteader and artisan business levels which are fantastic! Here’s a little from their website:
Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) protects the rights of farmers and consumers to engage in direct commerce through legal representation and policy work. Our members receive help drafting the agreements they need to provide food directly to consumers. We are there for farmers facing inspection and regulatory issues and may provide representation of members facing litigation if it fits our mission. We work to influence state and local policy to ease the regulatory burden placed on independent farmers.
Keep Your Homestead Name Short and On Topic
When considering your homestead from a business perspective, you need to do some thinking first:
- If your homestead name is long it may not be easily remembered. It also may not condense easily into a logo or onto a website header.
- Your homestead name should reflect the business goals you have for your homestead. For example, if your focus is going to be selling delicious jams and jellies, focus on a name that conveys that.
- Having said that, however, if your goat milk lip balm is THE thing you want to focus on right now, be sure to consider that you might want to expand to other cosmetic products. Or maybe even goat milk candy, soap, or foods! Do be so laser-focused on one product that your homestead name is too niched-down.
Try to avoid weird spellings, or colloquialisms that only people in your area of the world will understand. Plays on words can work really well as long as they’re really good. Don’t go cheesy unless it works!
Name Your Homestead Troubleshooting
The best way to find out if your proposed homestead name will work well for your plans is to consult a business professional in your niche and/or the business professional involved in creating your business plan. Don’t have a business plan? Get one the very second you realize you will be starting a business!
You also need to run the name by a random group of normal people from all walks of life – family, friends, strangers in your niche. Also be sure to share the name with different age groups and both sexes.
Take all the feedback, especially the negative kind, and filter through it with gratitude. Consider what each person has to say and see if it has value for you.
Here are some tips for sharing your proposed homestead name:
- Provide a short – and I mean concise – overview of what your homestead business venture will be.
- Share the proposed name and ask for feedback on its clarity as relates to the business venture.
- Also ask for feedback on the name’s length, its memorability, and whether it is generally pleasing.
- Ask if there’s anything they would change about the name.
Email is a simple way to contact people, but you could also create a poll on your current social media profiles. A poll can be helpful if you have multiple options for names and can’t narrow them down on your own.
So, there you go! When Shakespeare posed the questions, “What’s in a name?”, you can be sure a modern homesteader or farmer will shout, “Everything!”
Have any questions? Just share them in the comments section below!