Friday, November 20, 2015

What's in a Name?

My new banner! Not bad for someone with zero experience in graphic design, eh? ;)

I got some feedback at my last show about my store name - specifically, why "BokBok Jewelry"? This is a great question, and one that's a little difficult to answer in the short time frame between customer rushes at a craft fair, so I thought I'd go more in-depth about it here. :)

The short answer (and the one I gave at the show) was that when I was young, my family had chickens and I used to call them "bokboks". When it came time to sell online, I needed a name and wanted something short, sweet, and fun - hence, BokBok Jewelry.

This is all accurate, but there's more - my very first memory, period, is of helping gather eggs every morning. I'm pretty sure that was one of my first chores ever, too. I found a photo my mom took when it was time to process the chickens, and I look two years old, maybe three. It looks like I was still in a diaper and using a sippy-cup. So we're talking young, here. (I'd post it, but as a country kid, I was running around naked and there's no way I'm putting that on the internet, haha.) So, to me, "BokBok" represents the work ethic that my parents instilled in me, starting at a very young age. It also represents personal responsibility - how many toddlers do you trust to carry eggs across a good-sized yard? ;)

(The yard was also filled with holes, as well as weird dips and rises, from both gophers and dogs digging. Just sayin', that wasn't an easy task, to traverse all that while carrying a shirt-full of eggs.)

I recently redid my shop and social media banner (the old one was a product photo I slapped up because I needed a banner). The new banner depicts a public-domain illustration of a certain breed of chickens with a lovely farm background. The house that's in the background? It reminds me of the second house I lived in, where I spent the years from ages 11 to when I moved out on my own, and it's where my parents still live. Their house isn't quite that big, but it's a 100+ year-old farmhouse out in the country in a similar style. That chicken picture ties in the "bokbok" thing as well as my family history and background, too.

(Speaking of old-timey things, I love-love-love vintage jewelry, either wearing it as-is or taking it apart to make something new, and I look at jewelry from other time periods all the time for inspiration. Everything from Edwardian and Victorian times, up through art deco, art nouveau, and even the hippie jewelry from the '60s and '70s. It's funny, because if you watch the trends, things come back around every 20, 40, etc. years. Life is a cycle.)

Basically, BokBok Jewelry's brand identity is me, and the name is tied very strongly to me and my past. Family's important to me, and hard work, and responsibility, and trust. I am very serious about all of those values. On the other hand, I don't really make "serious" jewelry - at least, not all the time - I like to make jewelry pieces that are fun and whimsical. I feel that the name "BokBok" kind of bridges the gap between those two ideas, but only if one knows the whole story. Which, now you do! :)

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