Why I Chose the Name Spindle Tree Studio

Image from Familiar Wild Flowers Volume 1, by F. Edward Hulme

I had a friend discuss with me how to name her business. It reminded me of why I chose the name “Spindle Tree Studio” as the name of my business.

I looked at loads and loads of names to start with. I wanted something quirky and different, but something that somehow tied in to what I do. A big part of it for me though was to pick something which wouldn’t be limited to one art form. I know it’s often suggested that you describe what you sell in your business name, but, rightly or wrongly I decided against that.

So I started off writing a list of ideas for names. I thought it might be good to have an interesting ‘thing’ and then a descriptive word in front of it, however everything I was coming up with had someone else already using it. I would have to go more off piste!

I adore vintage and antique illustrated books and I was in the middle of an eco printing binge so I started going through my set of books on British wild flowers for name ideas. Now clearly a lot weren’t suitable, I don’t think ‘Fleabane’ is a very attractive company name (apologies if that’s your company name 😮), but eventually I came across the ‘Spindle Tree’ page. I’d never heard of it, but it turns out my parents actually have one in their garden.

The book which describes it has some lovely information about the history of the Spindle Tree, which is actually a shrub rather than a tree. It has delicate white and green flowers in the Spring and lovely red seed capsules with round orange fruits in Winter (however the fruits are poisonous). I love that it’s quirky and different. The wood was used to create spindles and for artists’ charcoal (or sometimes it was used in the fabrication of gunpowder!) I thought this was great to represent my love of mixed media – referring to cotton or wool, wood and charcoal (and explosions when one of my trials goes badly wrong). The other thing that sold it to me was that the berries were supposedly used in dyeing (although the book author does not recommend it 😂). Also, the proper name Euonymous Europeus comes from Euonyme in classic mythology (mother of the Furies).

I’m still desperate to get hold of some photos of the berries, which I can use to do some sketches. I agreed with a new friend I was going to go and take some photos of her Spindle Tree, but the weather was terrible and now all the beautiful fruit has gone, so I will have to wait.

I’ve have even bought some ‘Winged Spindle Tree’ seeds to grow in the garden. I really ought to look at how you actually grow them!!

So hopefully you think I made a good choice. I would love to hear your stories for how you decided on a company name. I bet there are some great stories out there!