The HCC is not a voracious capitalist enterprise.
In my start-up phase, one of the many fabulous advisors I had the privilege of meeting counselled me against the name Haliburton Clothing Co. for the following reason:
"A good business name leaves room for growth – instead of stifling it. Narrowly focused names can undermine your ability to expand into other profitable areas.
Even worse, it may never occur to customers that your business performs services or sells products outside of the limited scope the name implies. So, you lose the chance to even compete for their business.
The wrong name can really hold your business back."
This is good advice were I looking to build an empire, but I am the opposite of that.
My longest-term goal is to be selling enough clothes that it's my full-time job and I'm not taking freelance pattern/sample-making work any more. That's it. (Ok, I also fantasize about a time when I'm grabbing a fancy beverage at Up River Trading Co and the stranger in line ahead of me is wearing something I made.) Anyway, here's why I rejected this advice (good advice, just not for me):
#1 Its ethos is centered around "profit" and "growth", which makes my flesh crawl. We see the results of doing business this way all around us - the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. We are regressing, as a world. Capitalist business models depend on growth - a company is only "successful" if it is getting richer and richer and richer. That's not me - I don't want "more more more", I want "enough enough enough". Moreover, I do not want to make money off the backs of hardworking, lower-paid employees.
In my life I strive for contentment. Of course I'm planning for the future, but the most important thing is to be content right now, after all, I could get hit by a truck tomorrow!
#2 It's too stressful!!! I am a high-strung job of a person and my physical and mental health are the most important things to me.
A few years ago I went to Aruba with a group to learn some new windsurfing moves. I was very amped up: it was my second time ever going to the Caribbean (the first being with my parents when I was 20, we don't travel much and prefer to travel within Canada when we do), my first trip ever without my husband, and I had been training hard all winter to physically prepare.
So I was already pretty overwhelmed, and then on the second day I had an altercation with a housemate who had been drinking and wanted to drive.
The third day, my body shut down - I was all-over pins and needles for several hours and I felt super ill. I ended up spending two of my eight days in bed, and thank goodness for my generous roommate's super-powerful sleeping pills. After two days of "forced" relaxation I recovered completely - I am convinced it was a bodily reaction to stress. That experience opened my eyes to the role stress plays in my health and that I need to intentionally manage my stress, be it "good" stress from a super-awesome trip or "bad" from an asshole who drinks and drives.
I do not want to grow my company beyond myself. I don't want to have employees who rely on me (either financially or in terms of fixed working hours) and to be spending more time on management and marketing than at my drafting table. I don't want to run the factory, I want to be the factory. I'm not saying it wouldn't be possible for the HCC to expand in an ethical way, only that I am not interested in that. In the same way that I was born to make clothes, I was not born to run a "company" comprised of more than myself.
If/when the day comes and I am full-time busy with HCC work, and it is clear the market could bear more than what I can make, I'd love to help someone else start up their own one-person manufacturing venture. Maybe they could apprentice with me, maybe they are someone who would like to have employees, who knows what is around the corner of life! But if I am to think of "growth", it is in those terms.
So, I am happy "limiting" myself with the [totally awesome] name Haliburton Clothing Co. 🙂