What’s in a name? The story behind Hello Yello Clothing
No doubt every business owner gets asked how they came up with their name. When you start a specialist clothing store, you find you get asked this question a lot more. Especially when that name doesn’t obviously spell out what you’re selling. I often get asked this question, so I decided it was time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and share the story behind the name Hello Yello Clothing.
At the very beginning… I started with a lot of brainstorming and a lot of research. I knew I had to think carefully about the brand and the image I wanted to present to customers and suppliers. One thing I knew for sure was that I wanted a name that sounded like a mainstream clothing store. First and foremost, I wanted Hello Yello Clothing to be a lifestyle brand. It also needed to be catchy and creative so it was memorable. Talk about a challenge!
I initially looked to the mainstream clothing lines for inspiration — the likes of Country Road, Target, Boden, Cue, and Witchery. What did all these names mean? What message did they convey? They evoked a very specific feeling, emotion, or mood, and I knew Hello Yello Clothing had to do the same.
The colour yellow. I knew I needed to identify the values of Hello Yello Clothing: confidence, independence, strength, style, inclusion. And I wanted to find a colour that embodied these values. After a lot more brainstorming — and several cups of coffee — I decided the colour yellow was perfect as it represents the feelings of joy, confidence, and it is very calming.
On a more personal note, yellow evokes memories of late summer afternoons spent in the garden, relaxing with people coming and going as my sister regained strength after one of her many health scares. It reminded me of the cherished moments we had with her that were so special because only weeks earlier we thought we were going to lose her. (Find out more about my sister’s story here.)
Hello? Is it me you’re looking for? Once the colour was decided on, ‘hello’ came to mind. Firstly, because it rhymed! But the more I thought about, the more I realised it fitted, as I wanted Hello Yello Clothing to be welcoming to everyone. And, why did I drop the ‘w’? Well, to be completely honest there’s no good answer for that, I just liked it.
I didn’t choose a name that is obviously about ability or inclusion. Partly because Hello Yello Clothing is a store for everyone, including, but not only for people with a disability, different need, or ability. All the clothes stocked by Hello Yello Clothing incorporate inclusive (universal) design and have additional features that can benefit people who have a disability, but also those that do not.
When I talked to people in the early stages of setting up this business, they told me that while their disability was an important part of their identity, it wasn’t the only part. I wanted a name that reflected this view.
Some stores that cater for people with disabilities and different needs use awesome word-play and they do this very cleverly. I’ve always loved the name “The Able Label” for example as it’s positive, descriptive and subtle. From a marketing perspective, this approach would have been a sound business decision — potentially increasing my SEO and making my online store easier to find. But in the end, I decided I didn’t want to go down that route.
Having a disability, or different needs and abilities may be part of your identity. It may shape who you are and the way you view the world. But the feedback I received was that people just wanted a mainstream clothing store that catered to their needs. And that’s what I want to achieve with Hello Yello Clothing, as I believe everyone should be able to present themselves to the world with the ease, dignity and style they deserve.