name me

Friends, I need your help.

Here’s the backstory. Nearly two years ago, I started a YouTube channel. Back then, I wasn’t exactly sure what the channel was going to be about, but I knew I wanted to find a way to take the experiences and skills I’ve acquired (cooking, parenting, acting, writing, preserving food, cheesemaking, etc) and monetize them. I’d done a good bit of research, and teaching via YouTube seemed doable, practical, and fun. So I jumped right in, and, as per my usual approach to new things, learned by doing. 

I hated YouTube at first. Despised it, really. The learning curve was wicked steep and the work so tedious, draining, and isolating that I wasn’t at all sure I’d stick with it. In fact, if I’d known how hard it was going to be, I probably never would’ve started it in the first place. But I’m stubborn, and once I zeroed in on cheesemaking, things began to crystallize. Slowly I became more comfortable with the editing software and filming hardware, and the channel began to grow — as I was told it would if I did All The Things, which I have mostly done.

This past weekend, I consulted with a friend of my brother’s who is leagues beyond me in this field (though to even say we’re in the same field is hilarious; I’m not even on the same planet as him). The good news is, Mr. Consultant Man said I have the solid grasp of the subject matter, as well as the personality and natural intuition for making videos, but I’m crap at marketing and branding. I already knew that, but he didn’t have any patience for my insecurities and I’ll-just-cobble-this-together approach. If I want to turn this into an actual job, he said, I’d have to get serious, and the first step to getting serious is to get a freaking brand name already.

Why is a name — a brand — so important? Because, he explained, I need to appear established, trustworthy, and official if I’m going to win over subscribers and affiliates, and make a name for myself in the cheesemaking world. Also, I need to think about the future and who might buy me out (?!?!), though by that point in the conversation my brain was exploding so I’m ignoring that one for now.

Up until now I’ve just used Jennifer Murch as my channel name because it’s the name of my blog, because I didn’t know what I was going to be doing when I started the channel, because I don’t want to pigeonhole myself, and because I’m hopeless at naming things. (It’s a miracle I managed to name four humans.)

So here’s where you come in. Will y’all pretty please help me find a name? Many brains are better than one stuck brain, right? And also, it occured to me a couple days ago that you, in some ways, might actually be able to see me more clearly that I can see myself. I’m in the thick of the muddle, but you’re on the outside looking in.

To get you started, here are a few things to consider:

  • The name should look equally good on a bottle of mead, a bag of granola, a cheese, a cookbook, and (this one is pushing it) a homeschooling pamphlet. While the channel is about cheese right now, that may shift over time, or I may end up doing two things at once. On the other hand, maybe I should stop trying to keep my options open and just go fullsteam into cheesemaking? This is the big question.
  • Some random words that describe how I feel about what I’m doing: creative, earthy, rebellious, playful, raw, chaotic, snappy. 
  • Here are a few neutral and versatile names I like: Barefoot, The Golden Pony, Fever Tree, The Hungry Belly, Magpie, Bottomless. Numbers are a possibility, like Twelve51. Contradictions could be fun, such as The Sweet Cactus. If I was going strictly with cheese: my top two choices would be Freewheeling and MilkSlinger.
  • What else should I be taking into consideration? What do you see that I don’t? Any marketing geniuses out there?

(I’ve been trying to think of role models. For example, YouTuber Nate Black uses his name for his channel, but he just changed his YouTube banner to the new title of “Radical Moment.” So maybe I can still use my name, but I just need to get a name/brand/title for the cheesemaking channel and stop worrying about all the other things I may want to do?)

So anyway, there you go. I need a name, hit me up. (Bonus points for logo ideas.)

This same time, years previous: Lil Peach: the bus life, the quotidian (12.6.21), my sweet beast, holding, iced ginger shortbread, my kids are weird.

24 Comments

  • Marie Joiner

    A vote here for something in the Quotidian/Runaway Home vein – although I definitely lean in the dragging-your-past-into-your-future-for-better-or-worse camp, so take that into consideration.

  • Jennifer

    Thanks SO MUCH for sharing about the struggles with moving forward with a business as it gains momentum. We are dipping our toes very slowly into a homestead business—currently selling eggs and vegetables through social media and hoping to start a farm stand and a real brand. So far we’ve consulted with a lawyer to create articles of incorporation for the business entity we legalized last year. But branding and socials and what to sell, what not to sell…so much to think about and experiment with. I love your process with picking a name. Wish I’d have thought about it like that!

  • Kippy

    I’d keep using your name, since people already associate your writings and recipes with your name.
    Otherwise Murch About Many Things is only idea I came up woth

  • Jen in MN

    You can also tie your region into your name (Shenandoah Farm/Acres, Valley Provisions , Barefoot Valley, or something similar). That would encompass your interests, but not be too personal (i.e. something with your name) if you are looking at a broader market. If you got too big, Barefoot might be an issue with Ina Garten or Barefoot Wine.

    I’m not a marketer at all, but I don’t care for food items that are too personalized (i.e. Mike and Jen’s Hot Cocoa that’s available at Costco). I don’t buy them because I immediately think that I can just make that at home. I mean, I’m a good cook, why would I spend money on Mike’s hot cocoa? lol.

  • Anonymous

    I think the tagline of your blog sums up what you’re doing pretty well. How about Runaway Home? Your logo could be a horse or cow kicking up its heels. Or even Flyaway Home, in which case you’d need a ladybug.

  • Charlsey G

    This may sound corny, but maybe “Murch More”? That way, in can encompass everything you want to do in the future, without having to change your name every time you want to do something new?

    Also, I am a huge fan! been reading your blog for years. Love seeing you on “The Tube” :). Look forward to seeing what you do next!

  • Marie

    How about your label reading something like this:

    JJ Murch (select a graphic font to include a flower stem?)
    (Product identifier on the next line)

    This way you have your personal stamp identifier, your name, that you can
    use for any item. Then below it list your cheese, bread, wine, etc with a snappy
    name! You will have name recognition to catch the buyer’s eye along with opportunities
    to diversify your interests. Otherwise, you will have to recreate each new adventure with a new label and develop a new fan base all over again.

  • Greta

    I think you’re actually pretty good at naming things – titles of different blog posts stick in my mind for years. (“Do you strew?” is one that I think of as I look around my jumbled, strewn household these days.) So I looked back through some of your old blog post titles, and there are some titles that might sound like you:

    In Her Element (post from May 30, 2014)
    The Greening (April 10, 2014)
    The Creative Norm (March 19, 2014 – maybe not the most exciting brand name, but I love the meaning you put to it in the actual post itself)
    Kitchen Notes (Oct. 16, 2018)
    In My Kitchen (Sept. 6, 2016)
    Mushroom Salt (Oct. 6, 2022)

    And while “An Ecclesiastical Funk” wouldn’t be a good brand name fit, it’s a fantastic non-example.

  • Lalliship

    For cheesemaking: JJ Murcheese or Home Grown Cheese

    For overall brand name: The Quotidian (I never hear that word but if I did I would instantly think of you! Long time follower :))

    Other options: Murchome Art (nod to your tagline)
    JJ’s Way

  • katie

    I like the Jen of All Trades suggestion.

    Don’t be afraid to pigeon hole yourself a little bit. I think it makes it easier for folks to follow along and stay interested. I think we try to keep broad out of fear that we will “run out of material” but that really just isn’t a thing — and forcing a focus will make your products stronger. That said, I think you could establish yourself a little broader than Cheesemaking — maybe Cultured, Fermented? something that could incorporate your Meade and other often confounding kitchen products that are a lot easier to explain how to do via video than text?

    So that opens up name ideas like:
    Jennifer Ferments
    Cultural Experience
    the Cultured Kitchen
    Curds and Ways

    Agreed it is often easier for outside viewers to suggest names rather than internal folks. Maybe something will click after it sits for awhile.

  • melodiemillerdavis

    I love brainstorming names so here are a few I’ll throw at you:
    Jennifer Murch Food House
    Murch-end-Dice
    Murch-en-Dice
    Heavens to Murgatroyd
    Murch’s Murgatroyd
    Murch Unhinged
    UnHoly Cheeses
    Soul-Hugging Cheeses
    Wonder-full Cheese Monger

  • sandy

    FullStopOrigin. Because you don’t question that you want to know the origin of the things you eat, like and then ultimately make. You recreate things you like into your own original process or idea. Just a thought from one of your recipe lovers.

  • Judy Lehman

    Something like
    “JEN OF ALL TRADES”

    As in Jack of all trades, master of none, but you can’t use that because you’ve actually mastered some. Maybe “Mistress of some” to be perfectly accurate although not quite neutral.

  • Carrie

    This is so exciting. I’ve no suggestions I’m afraid but I would definitely avoid Fever Tree – it’s the brand name of a company making delicious tonics/mixers here in the UK. Good luck!

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