The "X" means Multiply: FASHION X FAITH
Posted on June 13 2019
Did you ever wonder how Amazon got its name?
Originally, they were going to call it "Cadabra" as in "abracadabra" but someone on the team mistakenly heard "cadaver" (Ooops!) so that went out the window and they went back to the drawing board.
They finally settled on "Amazon" but why?
If I counted boxes in my mailroom on any given day the name seems perfectly obvious. But not all that long ago they were just another start-up selling books online and losing money with every transaction. "Amazon” sounds pretty audacious when they were kicking around potential names but not to them. They knew who they wanted to be.
So, "What's in a name"? Well, for starters, it’s named after the Amazon River. It’s the largest river in the world. It covers over 30% of South America. That's a whole lot of water, fish, plants and creepy-crawly things I'd never want to lay eyes on!
Jeff Bezos and his team dreamed beyond what had ever been done before and saw a whole new way to reach customers. They gave their company a name that reflected their vision.
I think every new business must have a similar process for finding the perfect name for their baby and we were no different. There are a few key questions you have to ask yourself:
"Who do we want to be?"
“What can we create that's different?"
"What is our goal?"
"Who is our customer and what do they want"?
At the same time we were struggling to come up with the perfect name for our company, the world seemed to be filled with an extra shot of “noise”.
It felt like everywhere I turned I'd hear people who identified themselves as Christians saying and doing things that didn't seem remotely Christian. I certainly didn't know most of these people personally so I could make no claim regarding what was in their heart, but their words and deeds seemed contrary to everything I believed Jesus taught. There was a lot ranting about fear, distrust and doubt. Real downers. Zero joy.
People seemed to be longing for another time when they thought things were better for them. I guess I did, too. I found myself wanting to start a clothing company for kids that would embrace all the hope and faith that I had in Jesus when I was a kid.
I remember when I was young, I believed in full confidence that God knew every hair on my head, collected every tear I cried and had a plan for me. I had infinite hope and I trusted that no matter what happened He was going to take care of me. It made me brave and I tried, and sometimes failed, at things I wouldn’t have never attempted if I hadn’t had faith that through it all I would be ok because I was under His protective wings.
I wanted to create cute girls’ clothing that would inspire that same faith.
So, what do we call ourselves? We settled on Angels Unawear (yes, we took a little liberty on the spelling—but we are an apparel company!). The name comes from a verse in Hebrews about how we need to be kind to strangers because they might be an angel. I thought it was a perfect name for a kid’s company because children, until they’re taught otherwise, are innocent and see everyone through God’s eyes.
But, like the early Amazon team, we had our name troubles. We’d hear, “Angels UNDERWEAR”?? “Angels UN-I-wear”. “Is it like Victoria Secret”?????
THAT was the final straw. We were not getting our mission across at all so it was time to scrap that name and find something that defined who we were and would reach our customer.
It was exhausting because even if you come up with a perfect name it might already be in use. If the domain is taken it can be expensive or impossible to get it released so it’s often easier to try to be original. If you’re lucky enough to settle on the ideal name and you think you want to get it trademarked, then that’s another hurdle. More times than not you end up going back to square one. It’s sort of like whack-a-mole but eventually you get there.
Almost with defeat we agreed to Fashion X Faith. We weren't sure it would pass all the tests but we loved it because it incorporated three elements of who were:
- “TIMES” (the “x” is a multiplication sign)
Fashion multiplied by faith can create confidence, hope, bravery, style. The possibilities are endless.
We held our breath. The domain was available. The trademark appeared to be available (it took 8 long months!) but it’s finally ours as of last week.
Our name doesn’t mean we’re the biggest or most revolutionary. It’s not meant to signify greatness in ourselves or our abilities. Hopefully, it does assure parents and kids that we’re a company who designs fashionable clothes that will help them to remember they're never alone, that faith in God and yourself will take you farther than you could ever have imagined and that hope is a promise that lives in each of us who has faith to believe.