'What's with the name?' 'How did you come up with Bloomer? What does it mean?'
Let us tell you how it all started...
We wish we could say the name ‘Bloomer’ came to us in a dream, but it was a much more maddening process to come up with a name that is feminine, unique, catchy, and remains current.
Anna had read that the way letters and sounds are combined can affect the way people perceive a brand. She liked the idea of a word with a double vowel combination for the visual element. So, we started looking for words with double vowels in them. Aargh! Oof! We were feeling peevish, moody and gloomy.
Then, we used a more technical approach of listing two columns of words about the industry attributes and the brand and reader attributes and calculated all the permutations of those combinations – shortening those mashups, changing the spellings, adding prefixes. The names were too long, too sterile – in short – there wasn’t an emotional response to any of them.
Next we looked to foreign languages, symbols, animals, vegetables, minerals, industry slang and terminology – we were getting closer, but the feedback was that the names were too abstract and people didn’t “get them.”
Finally, we thought we hit gold on a name, only to find a clothing boutique, a branding agency, a now defunct magazine, and an artist’s co-op in Turkey had already claimed the name.
...Bang head against the wall and start again.
After exhausting our resources, it was back to the drawing board.
We’re women, creating a magazine for women – so why not look to influential women through history who could be our muse? We stumbled upon Amelia Bloomer, an American social reformer who campaigned for women’s rights. So, would it work for our magazine? “Bloomer” had the double vowel feature going for it; it was easy to pronounce and write; could be interpreted in a couple of different ways, and bonus points that Amelia Bloomer was a writer who started the first newspaper edited by and for women. We thought we were on to something.
A Brief Biography Of Amelia Bloomer
Although she was rather slow to embrace the cause of women’s rights, in 1849, following the Seneca Falls Convention which launched the suffragette movement in the United States, Amelia Bloomer began a newspaper for women, called The Lily. It is regarded as the first publication to be edited entirely by a woman. It started out as a publication on temperance, but eventually became a platform for gender equality in education, politics, employment and other constitutional rights.
She is probably better known for her involvement in a dress-reform movement. As she became more active in the suffragette movement, she began appearing in public wearing full-cut pantaloons, or “Turkish trousers,” under a short skirt. It was touted as an alternative to the heavily petticoated and constricting corseted dresses of the time, which were hazardous to women’s health. Although she had not originated the costume, Bloomer’s defense of it in The Lily forever linked her name to the garment. Unfortunately, the chatter about the outfit overshadowed the objectives that the suffragette movement was trying to spread, and fell out of fashion.
After a six-year run and a semi-monthly circulation that peaked at 6,000, Bloomer decided to sell the paper. Until the end of her life, she remained a contributing voice in the suffragette movement and helped set the stage for social reform in the United States.
Is this magazine about gardening?
Did we achieve our goal with the name game? Not sure; when we asked for feedback, the overwhelming first impressions to hearing Bloomer was women’s underwear or flowers. Even though the responses made us second guess our choice, we liked the back story, and that the name wasn’t so literal.
OK, some people think of underwear, but why not turn that on its head and say we’re going to look beneath the surface, and explore things that some people find uncomfortable, or make them feel vulnerable? Some people think of blooming as emerging or maturing or becoming someone new in a different environment. Certainly, that would apply to many of us living in Turkey.
So, take another look at the image above. You'll see Amelia Bloomer walking down the street, sporting her short jacket, skirt and a liberating pair of trousers, with a lily in hand.
That’s a brief history and introduction to us and the name.
Thanks for reading!