As mentioned previously, since the start of 2020, I’ve been preparing to launch an independent sewing pattern company. Thank you to everyone who volunteered to help with pattern testing – the response has been far beyond what I hoped for.
I’m approaching the point of being able to release my first pattern (and will be in touch with testers very soon). It’s taken me much longer than I thought to get to this point (I was originally very optimistically aiming for around April!), but, despite being a project manager in my day job, I haven’t been too concerned about holding myself to deadlines. I knew that launching the company would need to fit around work – and other – commitments. Giving myself space to take as long as needed means I have been able to thoroughly test the patterns (I have more than one in the works), and to identify some great collaborators who I have been working with to get to this point.
One of those collaborators – Lisa Barrett – has helped me to develop the new ‘brand’ & name which I thought I’d share some of the thoughts behind today.
Moving from English Girl at Home to Charlotte Emma Patterns
I’ve been using the username ‘English Girl at Home’ since I launched my blog in 2011. The name was actually a variant of my existing Flickr user account, ‘English Girl Abroad’, which I had chosen because I almost exclusively posted travel photos.
My blog, like many others, started as a general craft blog, before I began to focus specifically on garment sewing, and English Girl at Home provided a suitably generic name. The name has served me well for my personal blog over the last 9 years, but when I decided to launch a business I knew I didn’t want to retain the name.
Firstly, I didn’t want to use gendered language in my company name. Even though my two fit models are women, and the patterns are designed for bodies with breasts, I wouldn’t want anyone to feel excluded by the use of gendered language. Plus, while I’ve been happy to use the term girl in reference to myself, I didn’t want to appear to focus on youth, or to infantilise, in the context of a pattern company
Secondly, I didn’t want to refer to England in my company name. I am English, but I hope that my patterns will appeal to, and be made by, sewers internationally. I’m also very conscious that companies which do try to use ‘Englishness’ as a selling point often can project a simplistic and nostalgic view of England.
So, over the next couple of months I’ll be retiring the name English Girl at Home, and instead adopting Charlotte Emma Patterns. I did consider lots of other names, but ultimately decided to keep it simple and use my own (first and middle) name. In part, because I still intend to use my accounts to share my personal sewing and other hobbies.
Alongside my name, my new logo features a thimble design, chosen because my hometown of Birmingham has a long history of thimble making.
I hope you like the new name and logo. I’ll be sharing more thoughts on starting the company as I approach the launch of my first pattern. You can sign-up to receive my new newsletter if you’d like to keep up-to-date.