Names have power. Businesses have to have a name, and that name matters. It defines how people think of your business, how they encounter it. I have needed to start a business for a couple of years now but have been dragging my feet because I knew that I didn’t want it named “Green Basket”, but I just couldn’t find the right name. A few months ago the search for a name became determined as I am actually producing enough on my property to start selling now.
A month or so ago I did a thought-exercise where I walked around in the garden and wrote down favorite plants, animals that have started visiting since we moved here, and descriptive words. Then I joined them in random combinations. Some were plain silly (Armadillo Gulch) but I found a few that I liked and started googling. Every single one was already taken somehow. There are many businesses out there and many farms. I thought about just using my name, but our family name is Houston and I thought too many people would think of Houston, Texas. If there’s anything I want to be clear, it’s the sense of place. We belong here.
So for some reason I thought about the local waterways. A pretty creek borders our neighborhood just a block north of our house. I see it almost every day, it’s part of my internal landscape, even though I’ve never dipped my toes in it. So I looked up a map of local creeks, and found the name: Springstead Creek. Springstead Creek is also connected with the creek that I played in as a child. I immediately loved the name. So yesterday evening I set out with a camera and an empty bottle to visit the creek. Like many suburban creeks, this one has been fenced off and built up around so much that the creek burbles at the bottom of a steep jungle ravine. I caught glimpses a few times through trees and back yards but finally found a spot behind a business where the banks weren’t so steep. I got as close as I could wearing work clothes and sandals at dusk. I need to put my feet in this creek and visit with it a while before I adopt the name, but I’m pretty sure this is it.