What's in a Name?

I spent a long time on selecting Ember+Forge. Like, a long time. 

I wanted it to be perfect. I wanted it to represent where Erie is and where Erie is going. I wanted it to tell a story of what to expect when you walk through the door. I wanted a lot.

I also needed to select a name...quickly. Business entity paperwork needed completed so that I could get an EIN, which I needed to open a business account, which I needed to purchase anything for the shop. I was at a standstill until I figured out this name.

I had a ton of ideas. Some were great, but already had domains and social media handles taken (Klatch, Dwell), some were too Erie and over-done (Gem City, Flagship), and some where just not quite right (Rekindle, Linger). I dug deep and came up with some that were completely wrong.


It was then that I decided to shelf naming the shop and come up with a legal business name. I could develop a "Doing-Business-As" name later. (As a note, I selected my business name to be something pretty generic that could stick with me even if I do businesses other than coffee.) Once that was selected and my lawyer was working on the paperwork to create my legal entity, I set my sights back on picking a gosh-darn name already!

I called in reinforcements (hi, Sean!), grabbed a beer, and talked it out. One of the reject names (Rekindle) was axed because it was too soft and romantic, but I liked the story it told of rekindling feelings for Erie and the homage to the building's history as a chandlery (candlemaker's shop).

From there, we kicked around candle/fire words - flame, kindle, blaze, ignite - until we landed on ember. While not directly related to candles, it's a strong word. We put a pin in it (or more exactly, I wrote it down in my notebook) and we moved on. 

We started talking about how coffee shops can come across snooty - which is something I desperately want to avoid - and posed the question, "how do we keep from seeming like a snobby coffee shop?" The answer: pay attention to your history. Naturally, we all responded, "Manufacturing." And from there a list of words came - machine, mold, cast - until we came to forge. 

It was actually Sam that recommended putting the two together. Ember and Forge. Ember & Forge. Ember + Forge. Ahh...

A quick search showed an available domain and social handles. It didn't appear any other shops or cafes had anything similar. It seemed...perfect. But before declaring it official, I needed to make sure that there were no weird or negative meanings associated with it.

So with a quick Google search, an ember is "a fading idea, memory, or emotion that can be easily revived," and forge is "a swift and sudden change in direction." If that doesn't sum up where Erie is and where it's going, I don't know what does.

Hannah Kirby