Cube Riot is now FOROVOS.
A while ago I wrote about the first time I decided to change the company name from House of Betsy (a name of an old blog) to Cube Riot (a brand for women in the workplace).
A simplified vision around finely crafted blazers made the second name change necessary.
It’s been quite a journey so far (!), so I thought I’d share a little bit about what I’m working on and learning.
A Blessing in Disguise
I planned to launch the company this fall and channeled a lot of energy, (unrealistic) expectations, and self-worth towards that goal.
I missed that goal by a long shot.
Due to manufacturing delays (later-stage menswear startups coming in with bigger orders, throwing off my sampling schedule; my size grade turning out to be epically f’d once said samples were made), we’re still humming along, but in product development mode.
You have to be just slightly naive to start your first company because if you actually knew how hard it’d be, you wouldn’t do it. You’d be too scared. First time founders don’t know what they don’t know. Naïveté makes them brave, and in some ways, more ambitious. But it also makes them vulnerable.
One Saturday morning in September, the shock of how bad the delays were set in. I got up, ran 10 miles, bought a $10 bottle of Cab and sipped it and wept the rest of the day while watching a marathon of Ghosthunters and generally feeling sorry for myself. #likeaboss
Somewhere in the middle of all that, there was this moment of clarity: Maybe this is a good thing.
I took the opportunity to get back to the drawing board.
I thought about where the white space in the market was and asked myself if what I was making was in line with that.
I reached back out to fabric suppliers I’d met along the way, asked for advice and introductions, and ended up with better fabric and trim.
I got more realistic about my limitations as a founder and what I needed to learn.
I started working with a new factory that was set up better for sampling and offered the design and pricing advice I needed.
Most of all, I asked myself why I started working on this in the first place, where the brand could go, why I still wanted to do this, and if the “career girl” content and branding from Cube Riot still fit.
A few months ago I read this post about how the world works. The thesis: The world only cares about what it can get from you, who you are on the inside counts for very little, and execution is everything.
My favorite part:
“How do all of your interesting thoughts and ideas manifest themselves in the world? What do they cause you to do? If your dream girl or guy had a hidden camera that followed you around for a month, would they be impressed with what they saw? Remember, they can’t read your mind — they can only observe. Would they want to be a part of that life?”
Execution is definitely everything to most people. But if you’re lucky, you know a few people for whom the manifestation of your dreams is the cherry on top to who you are on the inside. They still text, gChat, and ask you to hang out regularly despite whatever progress you have or have not made on your startup.
Support for who you are outside of your startup is profoundly comforting. It frees you up to swing harder, take risks, have uncomfortable conversations, make tough choices… to basically do all the crazy stuff you have to do when you are starting something from nothing. Knowing that who you are on the inside is enough for some is motivation to keep going and stick with something that’s difficult to execute.
I never thought making clothes for work would teach me so much about my life outside of it, but that’s the cool thing about being one of those naive first time founders. The startup always turns out to be more than you bargained for.
Really Practical Advice: Make Decisions
I still stand by a lot of my naming advice I wrote about the first time:
- Try different spellings.
- Play around with how it looks as a logo.
- Use Knowem to see if it’s available on social media and as a .com web address.
- Consider Greek or Latin roots of words relevant to your brand as a method for making up a new word that’ll actually have meaning.
Now, I’ll add one more piece of advice: Make decisions.
If your company name or anything is holding you back from reaching the goals you have for your business, don’t be afraid to make hard decisions and change course.
Making no decision is worse than making the wrong decision. If you make the wrong decision, it’s probably not the end of the world. But you know what is the end of the world? Taking everything way too seriously and imagining that every little decision is a matter of life or death. That mindset? THAT is the end of the world. That is what leads to a lack of progress and stressed out founders who make dumb decisions.
Just like flipping omelettes and winged eyeliner, practice makes perfect. You make better decisions by making more decisions.
I’m not saying that you HAVE to change your company name. I am saying that if you want to and you haven’t done it yet, you should seriously ask yourself what’s holding you back from making that decision.
Why? Because there’s a confidence you get from making decisions that leads to momentum in other areas of your business. It’s like, “If I can decide that, I can ask so-and-so for advice about this thing that’s been bugging me. If I can decide that, I can reach out to this person about this partnership.”
Trust me, it feels great! It’s the tiramisu of emotions. You don’t want to miss out on that.
So go make some decisions. That’s my company naming and general startup advice from what I’ve learned so far. I hope it hits the right ears and helps someone today!
Always happy to trade notes with other startupers about these kinds of things! Reach out anytime: email@example.com.