When Karen and I first started thinking about joining forces to create a business, we thought choosing a name would be easy. Enjoyable, even. We’re two creative people who like to play with words…how hard could this be? But, the trials of modern living kept spoiling our fun. Every name we came up with was already taken as a .com (and it’s other cousins, .net, .biz, .co ... and in desperation, .mobi.
After weeks (and I do mean WEEKS) of brainstorming names, I was perusing a favorite design blog and happened to see, off to the side in some creative person’s office, a little yellow couch. It wasn’t the focal point of the photo but I noticed it because it was the only pop of color in the room. I forwarded the link, jokingly, to Karen and said, “How about Little Yellow Couch?” I mean, we were coming up with some crazy names at this point. She laughed (I could tell she was laughing over email because I know her so well) and said, “Why not?”
We then diligently went back to the drawing board for several more days, looking for something much more important sounding. But we kept coming back to Little Yellow Couch.
We began to realize that Little Yellow Couch represented a lot of what we wanted this business to be, both literally in terms of our design style, and figuratively, in terms of the lifestyle we wanted to convey. Little Yellow Couch (both the thing itself and our business) is:
A pop of color
A mix of vintage and modern
A mix of luxe and comfort
Attention to detail
A intimate place to converse
An appreciation for design
A love affair with handmade
Our next action item, one that was obvious to us, if not to our husbands - who were looking at us with confusion and just a touch of panic, was to go find a real little yellow couch! “But you don’t even have a business plan yet!”, they pleaded. What? Clearly, we needed to own one. I mean, how else would anyone be able to start a business called “Little Yellow Couch” without an ACTUAL little yellow couch? Right?
And of course, it couldn’t be any old yellow couch. We had a very specific couch in mind. It had to be an antique camelback, with an exposed wood frame, mustardy-yellow in velvet, with tufting. Obviously.
Karen did a lot of the leg work, contacting antique stores, scouring Craigslist, hunting down estate sales, and even taking me to a few furniture stores to see if maybe we’d fall in love with something that was, at least, yellow. At one point, Karen’s 8 year-old son looked at her bag and said, “Mom, maybe you should just call it Little Yellow Purse and be done with it.” But we were not going to be deterred!
One day, one of the antique stores called Karen back and said she had an old couch that would need to be completely restored but that she knew an upholsterer who might be willing to do it. We were nervous starting from scratch but decided to check out his studio. That is when we fell in love with Tony.
Tony turned out to be an easy-going guy with a lovely Italian accent and a passion for old furniture. His workspace was a restorer’s dream with chairs hanging from the ceiling, divans standing on end and a few fainting couches lying in the corners. He immediately understood what we wanted, pulled out the perfect velvet fabric and said it was no problem to add the tufting. Waiting for that couch to be finished felt like it took longer than my pregnancy.
But the wait was worth it…we were OVER THE MOON with the results! Here it is, our Little Yellow Couch.