What's in a name?
Birthing anything is a long, arduous process. Human being or business, there are some similar emotions I went through. Nerves, stress, laughter, fear, anxiety, pride, strength and even weakness. Just to name a few...
Now that we're in the swing of it and moving at crazy speeds is the new norm; I can now look back and say that creating a brand was far more difficult than the day-to-day roller coasters. So far. Perhaps that's the reason I started this whole thing - something to do with thriving off change.
I'm referencing this post and how this whole 'Oak St. Social' came about! I get asked about our name and what it means at every meeting I go on. Well, today I'm giving you the back story...
But first, let me explain my relationship with my partner. We are complete opposites.
She: sharp, creative, witty, emotionally stable, logical and relaxed.
Me: hyper, worry wart, intense, reactive, funny and not relaxed.
Together: a perfect marriage.
I've known Carolyn for over a decade and I trust her implicitly. Sure, we've had our ups and downs but I'd like to think that only made us stronger. (it sounds like I am talking about a spouse doesn't it?) We've shared many of life's milestones - good, bad and pretty friggin awesome - and for that we make great partners.
She knows when my lid is about to pop off with steam ejecting from my ears and I know when she's done hearing me yammer on and to just take charge. In other words, she knows how and when to shut me up which is truly an admirable quality. Challenging at best.
Truthfully, I don't know who else would accept me as is besides my husband and immediate family.
P/S One of us is a little kookier than the other. I'll let you guess. Oh and we both love love love coffee. (see...perfect marriage!)
And the name. Well, I'm a true Midwestern girl having lived in Chicagoland my entire life and Carolyn has been a transplant but lived here for most of her life. Both of us love Chicago. It's on the verge of so much greatness where business is concerned.
When we created Oak St. Social, we wanted to pay an homage to our city realizing that much of our business would stem from it and the deep rolodexes we've built over the years. And so began the quest. We came up with some really funny names now that I look back:
Social Media Mavens, Socially Acceptable, Socially Chic, Social Society, Social Standard...none of them referenced Chicago and quite frankly...were socially awkward!
As we tinkered back and forth around names we weren't in love with, we started to talk more about the streets and landmarks that had left an impression on us over the years. Michigan Avenue was too cliche. Damen was too obscure. Lincoln was too long. Ontario was too commercial. But Oak Street...that was a street with real street cred. It had grace, style and elegance and is truly one of the prettiest streets in the city littered with high end boutiques, salons, restaurants and spas.
As a little girl I remember visiting the city with my family and always loving Oak Street. The people watching, really the entire demographic, was something I could stop and stare at for hours. I wanted to grow up and own that street and make it home; I just didn't know how.
Then there's the 'social' aspect of what we do. It's social media, right? We wanted people to pick up on those two nuances and link them together evoking a sense of something top notch. Something rich.
Like...top of the line social media strategy and brand management. The best of the best. Oak St. Social.
Seven months later, several hundred business cards, a collection of fantastic clientele, hundreds of cups of coffee - we stand. Still fighting and clawing our way to the top to become our own household name but nonetheless, we're here. Some days are frustrating while others we're hi-5'ing each other.
No one said labor was easy but she's born and that, my friends, deserves a glass of the good stuff. Happy Friday!