Profiles

How Companies Got Their Names

Owners put as much thought into finding a name for their companies as parents do for their children. People, songs, and dreams provide inspiration.

Alpha 9: “We wanted a company that would be successful, a 10,” explains vice president Gary Sperling. “Alpha means one, so one plus nine equals 10. So, on a scale of one to 10, 10 being the best, our company is a 10.”

Arius-Eickert: The Arius-Eickert Company name comes from a family that has been in the business of manufacturing cutlery for generations. Arius-Eickert was derived from “Ari” plus “us” plus the family name, Eickert.

Creative Nail Design: The company is called “Creative” because they are creative thinkers and they surround themselves with creative people; “Nail” because they are the nail industry; and “Design” because that’s what they do.

Develop 10: Lee Spelling, vice president, explains, “Our company name, Vital Nails, was originally to have been our product name, but Vital Nails was already used by another product and was unavailable to us. So Develop 10 was born. That name and our product names are the brainchild of company founder Terry Cutrone.”

Essie Csometics Ltd.: Company president Essie Weingarten felt that her product line was good enough to use her own name.

Flowery Beauty Products: “Since no one currently at Flowery was alive in 1910 when the company was founded, we can only go on hearsay,” says executive vice president Geoff Gils. “The original owner had two daughters named Rose and Iris. It is believed that in order to please both girls he named the company Flowery Manicure Products. In 1985, we changed the name to Flowery Beauty Products because we had grown to include so many other foot, hand, and skin care products.”

Forsythe Cosmetic Group: Wanting a name that expressed the ability to look ahead, the company chose the word “foresight” and altered its spelling.

Galaxy Nail Products: The founders of Galaxy, Kym and Timothy Lee, wanted a simple name to connote their vision and futuristic approach. They chose the name Galaxy because they believe that the sky is the limit.

Gena Laboratories: The original owner’s wife was named Gena (pronounced with a hard “G”). When the company was purchased by Howard Black and Don Cottam in 1979, they didn’t want to lose company identity, so they simply softened the “G” to its current pronunciation.

International Beauty Design (IBD): The company’s name is a reflection of who the company is, says IBD International: Established in the American nail market, IBD has expanded its expertise in nail care to more than 15 countries. Beauty: The company is in the beauty business, providing products designed for beautiful results. Design: The company displays its design expertise in its packaging, products, and business design.

Mehaz International: “After two bottles of wine one night in October 1988, we combined the last names of Jerry Mennicken and Ardo Hazelzet. Pretty clever, don’t you think?” recalls Jerry Mennicken, one of Mehaz’s founders.

Menda Scientific Products: Menda was founded in 1947 by David Menkin and his partner Bud Darling. The combination of their names resulted in Menda.

Nail Systems International (NSI): NSI offers nail technicians several systems for liquid and powder, gels, odorless, and fiberglass, and the company feels that the name “Nail Systems International” fits their idea. Because saying the entire company name took a lot of time for the customer service representatives, the company shortened the name to NSI and had it trademarked.

Nailco: President Larry Gaynor says the company wanted a name that would tell nail technicians what the company is. The word “company” sounded too generic, so they abbreviated it and added it to “nail” to form Nailco.

Nailite: Nailite started as a gel company. The name, quite simply, reflects the system the company offers nail technicians.

No Lift Nails: No Lift Nails got its name from the nail technicians who tested the product. After the company gave samples to salons, they received phone calls asking what it was because “there was no lifting” when the clients returned for fills. A dozen of these calls convinced the owners to name the company and the product No Lift Nails.

Olan Laboratories: Founder Maurice Minuto named his company after his wife Olanda, deleting the last two letters of her name.

OPI Products: OPI Products used to be dental supply business. OPI stands for “Odontrum Products Incorporated”; when the company offered acrylics for the nail industry, they chose simply to keep the old name.

Origi-Nails: Emmett Hickey wanted an original name for his new company and says he spent hours looking through the dictionary. “I kept going back to the word ‘original.’ At first I thought it was very corny and I wasn’t comfortable with it, but after hours of looking, it got mire comfortable,” he says.

Orly International: Orly International is named after Orly Pink, the wife of the company’s founder and president, Jeff Pink. She is an expert in the fields of makeup artistry, color, and fashion.

Peau de Pêche: The president of the company, Paul Dimeglio, sat with six friends and English, French, Italian, and German dictionaries. They liked “Peau de Pêche,” a French phrase that plays a compliment to a woman’s “glow.” (Translated, the phrase means “peach skin.”)

Rudolph International/Soft Touch: Rudolph International was named after the owner, James Rudolph. Soft Touch connotes the company’s claim to fame, which is making gentle abrasives such as cushioned files. Louise Rudolph, CEO, explains that they didn’t want the name of the line to have a “rough and ready connotation.”

Seche: Many names were considered for the company, but the principals decided to go with a name that best represents what the product does—“seche” means “dry” in French.

Simply Elegant: “The name Simply Elegant belonged to a dress shop that went out of business. My beauty supply was expanding and needed more space, so we decided to lease the empty Simply Elegant building,” says president Rudy Lenkes. “The cost of replacing the Simply Elegant sign mounted on the roof of the building was going to cost $2,000, whereas it would only cost $15 to change the name of my beauty supply to Simply Elegant.

“With a name of Simply Elegant, it is always implied that the décor and our way of doing business would reflect the name. There have been numerous times in the past 15 years that major decisions have been made to enhance the image created by the words ‘simply elegant.’”

Snails Italian Jewelry: “I was sitting on my living room floor with the person who was then my partner, and we were trying to think of a name for a nail charm,” says president Marlene Sortino. “Something small, cute, and fun, something that would be easily related to nails. As I was doodling on paper, the name ‘Snails’ developed.”

Tammy Taylor Nails: The company chose the name because it is easy and catchy. Tammy Taylor, owner, started out as an instructor and knew that technicians normally remember the instructor’s name.

Tropical Shine/Realys: Michael Falley, Zoe Falley, Lisa Crowther, and Julian Wilson were sitting together one evening when one of them said, “Let’s go into the nail business. Let’s think of a name.” Michael’s first words, “Oh, really!” (not meant to suggest a name) were written down on a brown paper bag: “O, Realy.” They put an “s” on the end and started “O Realys,” Later they changed the name to “Realys.”

Tweezerman: Twelve years ago, president Dal La Magna designed an eyebrow tweezer that he sold to salons for retail. Although he anticipated that his tweezers would become famous as signature tweezers a la Yves St. Laurent or Pierre Cardin, La Magna simplified matters by calling himself “the Tweezerman.”

“The name got lots of laughs and I figured receptionists would file our phone number under “T” and would be able to find the company,” explains La Magna. “Tweezerman and the company slogan, ‘We aim to tweeze,’ still gets laughs, and my customers always find us.”

Ultronics: Two criteria were used as the basis for Ultronics’ name: It had to reflect the company’s business, which is ultrasonic cleaning and disinfecting systems, and it had to be a high0tech name indicative of advanced technology. Ultronics was a simple yet sophisticated name that the company principals felt addressed their commitment to high-quality products. The raised O in the logo represents a “scrub bubble,” which is typical of the Ultrasonic cleaning method used in the medical and dental fields.

[Originally published: February 1993]

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