Good to Glow!
I just wanted a better sealer for my terrazzo trays. The acrylic sealer I was using back then left a streaky, unpleasant finish, bees wax left my pieces oily and yellow, some unlabelled sealers from terrazzo kits were great but extremely stinky! I just couldn't find any other alternative available, so I had to come up with my own. I watched a bunch of videos on YouTube, did endless google searches and turned my tiny kitchenette into a greasy, oily, waxy experimental playground. It took quite a few tries to get the consistency and texture right - melting, cooking, stirring, chopping and spreading - which resulted in a wax that finally I was happy with. It worked so well on my terrazzo trays that it was almost a sin not to share it!
I decided that I'm gonna try and sell some portions on Etsy and see what other people think about it. My trusty impostor syndrome and its loyal entourage, the negative though patterns teamed up to supply me with some hesitation, a pinch of doubt and nightmarish scenarios. What if my wax will destroy other people's perfectly fine terrazzo creatinons? I will have to deal with angry customers! They will demand a refund and a compensation for their ruined pieces! What if people try it and it all works fine but weeks later the sealer starts to grow a green, furry, mouldy layer on everyone's work?
But there is a slight chance that it works just fine. There is only one way to find out.
I ordered ten 100ml aluminium tins from Amazon and some blank white labels. But what should I write on them? It's an exciting and rare moment in life! To name something new! I don't really remember how I came up with the combo of seal and shine - but I knew I wanted the "and" to be an "and" symbol on the label. Like this: Seal&Shine. It alliterates! It says it all! No further explaination is needed to describe what the product does. It seals and shines.
About the first twenty or so tins had hand written labels on them - I didn't think about investing money in professionally printed labels. But when sales started to pick up I had to get some pre-made labels simply for time saving reasons. While the fresh batches of wax were cooling I sat down and fired up Illustrator. Finally, something I have some experience in! Graphic design! I made a circular label with JESMONITE on the top curve, WAX on the bottom curve and Seal&Shine in the middle with a lovely script font. It looked great!
I was so excited about having the opportunity to give a name to a product that I created that it didn't even cross my mind to do a Google search to see if the name I came up with was taken or not.
It took about fifty sales, a number of five star reviews and raving feedbacks to silence the baseless paranoid voices in my head. It was time to think bigger. I had to, because orders kept coming in and I found myself out of tins, labels and packaging every week. I placed another order of fifty Seal&Shine labels, this time with white text on an elegant black background. They looked so pretty on the shiny aluminium tin and that was all that mattered to me at that point! Little did I know I was sitting on a bunch of ticking 100 ml bombs.
It was a thoughtful fellow creator on Instagram who messaged me and shattered my ignorance. He or she told me to be careful with the text I put on my label. This was the first time I realised, what I do is not a hobby anymore - and as a business I have to be respectful and careful but mostly highly aware of at least the basics of how copyrights and trademarks work.
Of course my first reaction was panic.
OMG they are going to sue me! I'm done!
How come it didn't even cross my mind this far!?
I spent that late night learning about trademarks and copyrights (quick, maybe it's not too late!) then re-designing my logo and getting rid of all the wildly incriminating labels and social media posts that I thought could get me in trouble for having the trademarked brand name Jesmonite written on them. (Until this point I was convinced that "jesmonite" was the name of the material, like concrete or clay.)
Well, that night I learnt that Jesmonite is not the name of this eco friendly material that is a great alternative to concrete, it is in fact a brand name, established in the 1980s. And by writing their brand name on my product without being an official distributor I could get myself, my crazy popular product and my newborn business into a lot of trouble!
Of course at this point I didn't stop at just googling "Jesmonite". I had to see what comes up if I typed in Seal&Shine! I was sad and shocked to find that a bunch of other companies already use and own this name.
I wanted a unique name! Something that no one is using yet. Also the new name had to stay similar sounding to the old one - I thought a wildly huge change would be confusing - as people already started to talk about my product on various social media platforms calling it by its name Seal&Shine (which made me very flattered to be honest!)
It had to be a synonym of shine! What about sparkle or twinkle... or glossy??? - None of these words really described the magical shimmeringly soft satin finish my wax adds to terrazzo pieces.
I liked the word glow. It means the same as shine - no cool alliteration though! Glow also sound a bit like "GO" that can be associated with a quick and easy solution to a problem. Like coffee to go. I picked a new, stylish font in Illustrator and typed in Seal&Glow. I didn't hate it.
After the approval of my friends I once again re-designed my label and decided to GLOW with it!