Starting a business is a pretty overwhelming task. There are so many decisions to make, and the To Do list is overwhelming. As I think back to the summer of 2016 when I was working on starting my organizing business, one of the most difficult decisions I had to make was choosing a company name. I wanted it to be something unique, and with hundreds of organizing businesses in the country, that wouldn’t necessarily be easy. I wanted a name that could somehow relate to a logo. I thought about it for months, sought ideas from family and friends, looked at lists of organizing companies, and was still stumped.
The breakthrough finally came on a long car drive with my husband Eric. Eric was driving (as usual), and I started the conversation (again) about a company name. Being the word nerds that we are, we decided to use my Dictionary app to search for synonyms for the word “organize”. Most of the words or phrases generated by the app were ones we had heard of (like group, coordinate, catalogue, straighten out, or put in order), but there were also plenty of new ones. By the end of the long discussion, we had 3 distinct possibilities of synonyms for organize that were unique and would relate to a logo: shipshape, pigeonhole, and apple pie order. For each of these, we talked about whether people would have heard of the word or phrase and what logo it might suggest. In the end, we both decided that we really liked the word “shipshape”. Adding “solutions” to the end made it sound like a business that helped people solve organizational problems. I liked the alliteration with the letter “s”. There was an easy correlation with a nautical theme for a logo. I had some vague notion that ships were supposed to be neat and tidy but wasn’t quite sure what that meant. And so finally, after months of uncertainty, I chose “Shipshape Solutions”.
Little did I know that it would be a long time before I really appreciated how perfect the name choice had been! I have my wonderful client Nick Grabar to thank for this realization. In writing a 5 star review for my business, Mr. Grabar went into great detail in explaining what it really means to be “shipshape”:
As a former competitive sailboat racer, being “shipshape” has a very specific meaning: “You only sail with what you absolutely need; then, everything has its place and is to be found in its place when needed). Those that win races don’t carry excess weight, or lose time looking for something. Seconds count. Being shipshape one can focus on what is really important to winning races.
Cary and I recently downsized after living 45 years in our previous house. We thought we had decluttered and simplified our lives. We did get rid of a lot of stuff we really did not need when we downsized. Five years later, we realized our new home has also become cluttered because the truth is that our mindset is “stuff expands to fill the space available”. When we ran out of space, we called Angie to have her do an assessment. With her professional expertise and guidance we are now trimming our sails and stowing our gear to be shipshape. There is smooth sailing ahead for us. We like her ideas and most of all, she is a hands on deck crew to help make it happen. Knowing what shipshape means is one thing, making it happen is another. We highly recommend Angie Hyche and Shipshape Solutions.
I’m so glad that Mr. Grabar helped me understand the term “shipshape” and allowed me to share his writing. And I’m so glad that I chose this name even before I really understood what it means. I love the logo that my graphic designer, Lesa Phillips with Sterling Graphics designed for me.