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Hello.....I'm new to this site & I know this has been a topic discussed in past posts but I have a few specific questions & I need some feedback.

1)  My business specializes in Native American Pottery so is it best to incorporate words like Native or Tribal in the official business name? 

2)  I dont think it's a great idea to use the name of the tribe as I feel it will only draw interest for that specific tribe but I could be wrong, any thoughts?

3)  I feel sticking below a 12 characters in the name is important as a few popular social media sites have a character limit on the name, so incorporating either the word Tribal/Native along with Pottery/Studio would already put the name to long & that's before I add my name or any other word which is a must.  I think its probably important to emphasize the fact that its Native American as that difference brings a premium value to the work. Any thoughts on this &/or is this as important as I feel it is? 

4)  Strange question....If I use my name + the word pottery is it ok to use my first & middle name instead of my first & Last name? Middle name saves on several characters & is catcher sounding in my opinion, but my issue is my middle name is "Lea" & in my family it's the female version of the name "Lee" & pronounced the same as "Lee". However,  I feel a lot of people will try to pronunce "Lea" like the name "Leah" instead. Is this even an important matter? Would it be better to change my spelling in the business name, instead of spelling it as "Lea" vs. use the spelling of "Lee"? Curious on your initial instinct on the name "Lea", would you pronounce it as "Lee" or "Leah"? 

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My business started as a place name -that place is still the same 45+ years later.

In terms of using your names or parts of them-I do not think that matters at all. I have friends who morphed their two last names for the business name.

You 1st or middle or last or any shortened version does not matter.

The word  tribal/native  does put you in a catagory that will forever be that category .So that is thought .

I would think Lea is Leah

In terms of catchy names I would not overthink this and stick to simple

I work in Porcelain now (30 years) but I used to work in stoneware-so I'm glad I did not add that to name-its on my business card but not the name.

Long names do not stick-spend time thinking it all out -no rush-keep it simple.

You do not need a full description in business name

I have a friend who does high end native American inspired work. 

He uses his full name with Pottery behind it

you can see his work here


I started out as Liscom Hill Pottery Works-I dropped the works a few decades ago-it was to long

I do occasionally answer the phone with (The works) keeps them on thier toes.

Edited by Mark C.
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For questions 1 and 2, I want way more background before stepping into that as a non-First Nations person. I notice you say “the tribe” rather than “my tribe.” What are the concerns you have about wanting or not wanting a specific name attached to your work? Why are you asking those questions in this space, rather than discussing it with the Elders? What are your ties to this work?

3:The smallest name character limits on the most common social media platform belongs to Snapchat at 15, and Reddit at 20. To my knowledge, there isn’t a significant pottery community on Snapchat (too impermanent, main demographic is too young to have disposable income) and the Reddit groups I know of seem to have pretty strong “no promotion” rules. The more likely venues to promote a business on (Facebook, Insta, YouTube and TikTok) all give you a minimum of 24 and maximum of 60 character limit for your name. The next up and comer appears to be Clubhouse, but that one’s audio-only as I understand, and still is only available via invite. So I don’t know how useful that one’s going to be for promoting anything visual, like pottery.

So you have a little more room than 12 characters, if that’s going to be a major factor in your decision making process. I would suggest, however, that you pick something meaningful, and make it fit your social media via a clear abbreviation if necessary.   

4: As far as pronunciation of your name, I’d be inclined to drift either way, but Canadians have odd place names and tend to keep old country pronunciations of last names, so I’m maybe not the best person to ask. What you can do though, is clear the matter up with any number of social media videos, introductions, faq posts or listings. Short video is becoming increasingly important in promotion on certain platforms, and showing up and making yourself recognizable is recommended in any case. Eventually enough people will get the hang of it. 






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4 hours ago, nicrob42 said:

it's the female version of the name "Lee" & pronounced the same as "Lee". However,  I feel a lot of people will try to pronounce "Lea" like the name "Leah" instead.

My name is Lee and I assure you way too many people insist on calling me Leah--even after correction. I also get addressed as Mr. and am assumed to be a man (I am not!)  My last name is too long & some find it hard to pronounce (Ustinich) so I use Lee U as my biz identity. I have to say I don't see why you would falsify your name (change the spelling) just to accommodate people who might mispronounce your name-the heck with 'em. 

In terms of specializing in Native American Pottery, that is not something to squeeze into business name--I'd keep it short, visually engaging (typeface/logo), and simple. If your marketing is on point people will recognize the nature of the business, i.e. Native American ceramics via your text, photos, brochures, design, logo etc. I'd maybe do something with a logo to convey the tribal piece. My logo has a story behind it that ties it to an actual piece and people ask me about the logo all the time-it's very effective. If interested, go to my web site and under "About" click on Flower and Ash-maybe it will spark some thoughts. 

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I believe it's a federal felony in the United States to even insinuate something being native american if you are not a member of a tribe.  So keeping that in mind, I would definitely avoid making any specific references to tribes or natives.  Even if you are a member of a tribe, the council may not feel your work represents the tribe, etc etc.  

But I assume you have cleared this already, so onto the next few things.

Social media arbitrations should have no bearing on your business name.  Social media has changed many times over in just the past 5 years, and can change even faster going forward, that limiting a business name to 12 characters should really not even come into question at all.  If you were forming a multinational corporation it would be one thing, but if this is going to be an owner/operator or sole proprietorship, why would you even think of limiting yourself to some arbitrary character length?  Make it personal to you.

As far as names go, it's both extremely uncreative, and deeply personal to use your name, in any part, for your business.  

I named my business Besaw Pottery, because in my own experience when a sole proprietor uses their name in the business, they stand behind their product and take pride in their work.  I want to relay that pride and responsibility up front and that's why I chose it.  In general, businesses that choose a trendy name are a tossup. Could be someone who is into marketing, or could be someone hiding behind the protection depersonalizing a sole proprietorship provides.  

I do not do business with single person LLCs that don't have that person's name in the business name.


Edited by liambesaw
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with only your post to go by, i would assume you are an sales agent or gallery owner for potters who are native americans.   are you that or are you a potter who likes to work in a style that could be mistaken for an actual native american?

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My youngest daughters middle name is Lea, we've always pronounced it as "Lee" and she hasn't noticed many people calling her Leah, maybe it's a regional thing pronouncing it with an "a" on the end. If you are set on not wanting to have it pronounced as Leah you could spell it Leigh for business purposes.

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My first name is Mea (pronounced mee-uh), and I cannot count the ways that people have managed to mispronounce it. I would avoid any business name that can potentially be mispronounced. Not because it will hurt your business, but because it will drive you nuts. It's hard to be an effective salesperson if you are feeling aggravated. 

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There may be an advantage to using one's own name as business name; the two being interchangeable, a "donated by firstname lastname" message, for example, translates directly to the business name, eh? Yeaah, when I donate ware to a charity fundraiser, I'm getting a lot less advert if my own name is credited, versus my business name.

That said, I didn't want to use my own name in my business name.

Take your time on; perhaps when you come up with a name that rings for you, you'll know it!

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@nicrob42I listened to Tales of The Red Clay Rambler today, Ben Carter was interviewing Christine McHorse Episode 361.   It was very interesting what she had to say about Native pottery.  She passed this year from covid.  I would loved to have met her.  Give it a listen, if you get a chance.


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I do not recommend using your location as a business name, as your business may move, whether you intend to or not. Sometimes life forces us to make changes we didn't plan. The only problem I've had with a long business name that has my name in it is that it makes for long email and web site addresses that have to be spelled out to people, especially if your name is not common or has multiple spellings. For example, if your name is Amee Lassiter, www.ameelassiterpottery.com and amee@amielassiterpottery.com are complicated. However long names with easily recognizable words like www.purplehousepottery.com are easy to understand even though they are long.

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I think they've all answered your questions, just to add:  the first Lea that I met, I pronounced Leah.  Now I know, I say it like Lee.

Choose something that absolutely cannot be mis-spelled.


Ann - without an e

Allen - double L -  e - n 


Thanks mum


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Im not looking to get into trouble here but what about the ethics of using something like a tribe name. Doesn't seem right to me or even " native american " unless you are a first nation's member. I would tred lightly.

Just my 2 cents worth


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