On Naming my Business After an Erection and Saying Fuck a Lot
Written by Kiwi Schloffel
I’m sitting in my basement studio having an imaginary chat with Carlos, one of the spiders in my studio that I’ve named, when the FedEx guy on the phone says, “Is your business named Craft….uh….. Craft….. uh….,” and then in a hushed whisper, “Boner? Uh, is that correct?”
It takes everything in me not to laugh imagining his scandalized face but I say as loudly and as proudly as I can, “Boner, yes. That’s correct, it’s Craft Boner.”
Yeah, you read that right, my business is named after erections. It’s both the biggest mistake and best decision I ever made.
I wish I could lie and tell you the name Craft Boner came about from my desire to knit tiny woolen hats for penises or something else hilariously weird you’d find in a shady back corner of the internet. But, really, I decided to make it the name of my business because it made me laugh those big belly laughs that make your sides hurt and leave you gasping for air.
Did I think about trying to register for a business license with a name like that? Nope. Did I think about the fact that I very well might give my banker a heart attack the first time he heard it? Definitely not. Did I think about how many people I would offend at markets and other events? Yeah, not even for a second.
I didn’t think about any of the tactical stuff that you’re told is essential before starting a business. I don’t align to much in the traditional sense of business expectations and that alone would be considered by many a huge failure. I don’t do anything prim and proper. I don’t care if I offend people. I’m used to people scrunching up their noses in disgust after they read my cards at markets. I’ll never be approved to be featured by many traditional media outlets, I’ll never be on Shark Tank and I’ll surely never be able to tell my grandparents the name of my business.
My failure to fit into what people expect a small business to sound like and to look like taught me that it’s okay not to follow conventional business norms when starting or growing your business. You can totally say ‘fuck’ in your marketing if it makes sense for you. You shouldn’t be afraid to try something even if it doesn’t become a financial success. You don’t need to have a business plan and marketing strategy and spreadsheets to start something that you feel drawn to share with the world.
Most importantly, you don’t have to completely change your life to create something that’s meaningful to you. You don’t have to quit your job to start a business. You don’t have to start a business out of your hobby. You don’t have to make a shitload of money from something in order for it to be valuable to you. You don’t have to figure out a passion in order to lead a meaningful life. You don’t have to pick one passion to have a creative life.
You don’t have to do anything the way the “experts” tell you to do them. Just do things because they feel authentic and right and you want to see what happens. Go out and fail at doing something the way everyone else tells you that you should do it. Even if it doesn’t work out I bet you’ll have a fucking great story to tell afterward.
Kiwi Schloffel is the brains & brawn behind Craft Boner, a stationery and gift company that fundamentally believes that the world would be a better place with more honesty and laughter and curse words. Her ideas and projects and collaborations regularly fail in ways that lead her to even better ideas and projects and collaborations and she’s always trying to find new ways to share her ridiculousness with the world. When she’s not hand-lettering curse words you can find her visiting quirky road side attractions, doing thrifted puzzles or reading a book in a hammock. If you like curse words and hilariousness, join the gang of weirdos over on Insta @craftboner.