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Over The Counter Name? What’s In A


David Robertson, co-owner of gift and card retailer JP Pozzi in Scotland, deliberates on whether shop names shape and reflect the beliefs of a store.


Occasions, Card Factory, Clintons, Birthday’s, Between Friends, Cardzone, Best Wishes, Thoughts, House of Cards, Celebrations, Something Special and Inspirations - what do all of the aforementioned have in common? Well, obviously they are all card shops past, present and no doubt future. I indeed own a shop called Between Friends, which was the name of the business I took over more than 10 years ago, and personally it isn’t a name that I would have picked or indeed wanted. This shop is scheduled for a redevelopment next year, with new signage, shop frontage and possibly name change all being considered. But does a name matter? Well does a shop’s logo, mission statement, consistent branding and colouring matter? Well if they don’t why is there a whole industry built around these things? In isolation maybe one element is not critical to a store’s success, but collectively these things define a path and stamp who you are on the public’s consciousness. My other businesses have long- established names. One is the historic J.P. Pozzi (112 years old and counting) and the other, Bijou, now nearly 10 years young. This latter business has a complete brand with its own typeface logos and style, which carries through many supporting parts of the business - ie Beauty @ Bijou, Celebration Cakes @ Bijou. Interesting to note that the name Bijou is creeping more and more into use although most others have an ‘x’ on the end!


Above: David's Bijou store in Elgin. The branding carries through to other areas supporting the Bijou business. Right: Wayne and Geraldine Hemmingway in the 1980s.


22 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE ‘Inspirations’, the last


element on my previous shop name list obviously plays on the idea that the store will give you lots of amazing ideas to satisfy either your own desires or indeed an end recipient’s desire for a gift or card that is amazing. Inspiration is not easy to create. Indeed, compare the feeling that many of us jaded buyers get when heading off to Spring Fair compared to seeing the newbies at PG Live’s Springboard and you will get the picture. It takes a lot to inspire these days. Three weeks ago I spent an hour in the


company of someone who was truly inspiring. Wayne Hemmingway is the design guru who featured on the Big Breakfast and gets asked his opinion on a lot of topics. He was a name I knew and could clearly picture, but in truth knew little about his back story. If you will indulge me I would like to give you


the potted history of Wayne, his wife Gerardine and indeed his company. Wayne and his wife both came from a


working-class background, but had academic success - Wayne has a degree in Geography. In the couple’s late teens - early 20’s they moved to London to get closer to the music/dance scene which they loved and played an active part. A band was duly formed and Wayne worked in a pub and as the only employed member he funded the rehearsal room. Indeed, all his other members apart from his wife were living in squats! They hit upon a problem where they simply did not have enough money to pay their own rent and also the rehearsal room. Having already paid the latter they had no choice but to find or make the money. As is often the case when your back is against the wall (try writing a column for five- plus years every month!) you find a way to do things that you simply thought you couldn’t do, and the duo decided (as Gerardine had made her own and Wayne’s clothes for most things, especially for going out) that they would take a mix of fashion that they had made and stuff they bought and customised to Camden Market to sell.


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