Story Behind our Name: POPPY + SAGE

When we started our entrepreneurial journey to launch POPPY + SAGE, we were completely hung up on the name and overall branding.  Coming from a large creative NYC ad agency (Carley) and MTV + The New York Times digital marketing teams (Robert), we knew how important branding and aesthetics are to any business, even more so - our own, because it feels so personal to us!  Of course we wanted our company name to be representative of our mission, our vision, the products that we would be selling, and most importantly -  be something that would resonate with our audience.  

The name POPPY + SAGE represents the harmonious balance of youth + energy (“POPPY”) with wisdom + experience (“SAGE”).  It was important for us to use words that are tied to nature, since all of our product materials are natural. We love the energy of "POPPY" and the bright, whimsical nature of the POPPY flower -- juxtaposed with "SAGE" which makes us think of the wise, traditional elders, who pass down the weaving tradition through generations in Bali, as well as the natural plant, wild sage. Using “POPPY” is also a subtle nod to the Asian region where our first artisan relationships were foraged, since POPPY flowers are native to Asia. 

Once we confidently landed on the name - the immediate next steps in our digitally-focused world was to secure the online presence - is the domain name available? Can we snag the Insta handle? Facebook? Twitter? Luckily, yes - we could!  

During logo and branding creation, we strove for a modern appeal, and a pop of color that would be enticing, without being too bright and a turn off - or too dull and get overlooked.  When researching brands in adjacent categories - we discovered that many of them used similar hues (shades of green, tan, brown, and white), similar fonts (peaceful and scripted), and similar overall branding styles (mostly evoking feelings of “natural”).  We admire this style, but we wanted to disrupt the existing aesthetic that was dominating the category of “sustainable” and “ethically-produced” - we wanted to go outside of the box that the category had created. Not only did we want our POPPY + SAGE branding to simply stand out from the rest, we also wanted to inject a sense of modernity and energy into the sustainably-created product space.  Our goal for the branding was to highlight that naturally-made products can still invigorate with a modern appeal, a sleek typeface, vivid colors - and overall live in the modern creative world. 

Throughout the whole process, we had too many brainstorming sessions to count (watching sunsets in Bali, throughout morning surf sessions in Venice, over wine on our balcony in LA, during airport travel and roadtrips) but eventually we landed on POPPY + SAGE and the logo as shown.  There were more than a few name iterations that we tried before POPPY + SAGE (and even drew up logos, and had printed on signage at LA markets). We can’t quite bring ourselves to share the duds here, but ask us in person and we will totally spill!

What do you think of the name POPPY + SAGE?  Does it resonate with you and is it representative of our business?  Have you named a business before, and how was the process for you? 



Carley + Robert


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