Wednesday 14 March 2012

What's In A Name?

I often wonder how people come up with names for their businesses.....I can clearly see a lot of them are using their children's names, but it was a hard slog for me coming up with something.

For ages I just used my name and was calling myself VictoriaOC, but it never really seemed right and for some time I just mulled around with names, asking friends what they thought and then my mind would go blank and I'd forget about it for a while.

When I decided I was going to take my work a bit more seriously and register it from a hobby to a business, I knew I had to come up with a name.....both my Nans became the inspiration, but trying to work their names into a business wasn't happening.....Phyllis Stanford and Doreen O'Connell, as you can see, not much to work with name wise but 2 incredibly brilliant women that shaped my childhood considerably.

Then one day sitting it came to me.......

The streets where they lived.  It was perfect.  Something that didn't have the word "knits" in it ....and a dedication to both my Nans who taught me how to knit....I'm sure they would be both very pleased.

Both my Nans lived quite close to each other so each school holiday I would spend the first week with Nana Stanford and then she would drive me around to Nana O's where I would spend the second week....loved every minute of it....and this is where I was taught to knit, sew, bake and drink lots of cups of tea!!

I loved each Nan for different reasons....In my mind Nana O was the better knitter, she got me started, I still remember the bright green Patons Crepe DK that I started on.  It was a scarf for my Dad, full of holes and really just a bit of nothing but it was a start.  She also taught me how to read a pattern and eventually we progressed to baby booties, and I think I was around 7 or 8 when all this started.

Nana O didn't really teach me how to sew, I believe that was one of my Dad's sisters Anne....I clearly remember her teaching me how to sew Barbie clothes on the kitchen table at Dover Street.....White flannelette with purple cotton, lovely!!

Things I remember about Nana O and Dover Street.

Ham sandwiches with lots of butter, cups of tea with  3 sugars, cakes from Pattersons Cakes in Chapel Street, lots of tram travel as Nana didn't drive, Wheel of Fortune with Ernie Sigley,  Barney the Cocker Spaniel who loved to come inside and would only leave when given a Monte Carlo biscuit. I also love that her children, or my aunts and uncles were always coming and going and dropping by, the house always seemed to be busy.

Well Nana Stanford was full of the joys of life.  She sewed a lot, and made a lot of our clothes and clothes for herself, she was always beautifully dressed.  That's her on the right with her daughter in law Narelle in the middle and my Mum on the left....80's of course!

She was poles apart from Nana O...things I remember about her.  Always had raw sugar and Diploma skim milk in the house, yoga in a leopard skin velour tracksuit before it was cool, she loved the football, had the most magnificent roses in her garden, had the most amazing jewellery collection, cooked great date loaf and had the best vege garden in the street....and when I made a pottery vase of Queen Elizabeth at school, she was so proud of it that she had Pa cement it to the middle of the bird bath in the front garden....every time we pulled up out the front in the car....I always beamed.

So that's how dover & madden came about, the business and the name.  Phyliss and Doreen both died too early in their lives, but I'm sure they would be pretty proud knowing that they both still play a part in my life today.

Enjoy Vicki x


  1. Dover & Madden is perfect and I love that it acknowledges two very prominent women in your life :)
    It took me so long to start blogging for that reason...I had no idea what title to use. Little Poppa evolved out of our little one's nickname Poppa but I have been toying with changing it for about 6mths now.


  2. Absolutely love that story!Such memories and such an honour for your grandmothers ...they would be so proud. Your Nan reminds me a lot of my Mum...especially the raw sugar and Diploma Skim milk, yoga and cooking. I think my Mum was the first person that owned a wok in the 70s....we certainly ate some interesting food.
    She was also a woman that died far too young......

  3. I find your name great, but I've been wondering what it means.
    such a touching story!

  4. I was curious about your business name as well. What lovely memories! Thanks for sharing.

    - Randi

  5. Lovely Nanna stories, I often wonder about how people come up with their business names too

  6. I love this post! I found your site after seeing Some beautiful pictures of your work in a magazine recently, and now enjoy seeing what creative thing you have next turned out. My grandmother taught me to knit & crotchet when I was tiny (3ish) and I would churn out shapeless looking dolls clothes in all her excess wool- they gradually began to resemble real clothes the older I got. A couple of years ago I pulled my needles out again (much to my husbands surprise - he had no idea I could knit) & have enjoyed keeping my friends & families newborns in little jumpers, but how I wish I had your creativity. kep up the great work, it is beautiful!!


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