How You Know When It’s Time to Pivot in Your Business

By Evelyn Helminen

What’s In a Name?

Here’s the truth. Giving something a name is hard for me to do. I don’t enjoy it, I don’t feel like I’m good at it, and I’m intimidated by the permanence of it. How do you capture the essence of a thing through its name? What if it’s not right? I over think it so much, I end up with no name or I paste on a vanilla name that has absolutely no meaning at all.

Does a rose by any other name smell as sweet?

I’ve been so worked up over THE NAME that I’ve sat on this post for over a month, finding it difficult to move forward, worried that this thing I’m about to do is going to result in disaster.

I gave myself 30 minutes to finish this, knowing I work better on a deadline. And then I granted myself 15 more minutes to finesse what I wanted to say, and I have a minute and a half left to breathe life into this new existence.

Here’s what’s going on. “Tazboards Pyro” is not the right name for me anymore on Instagram. I do so much more than pyrography, and the name is holding me back from posting more of the variety of artwork and teaching that comes from my side of the business.

I’ll always do pyrography, but there’s so much more to our business vision now.
The Dreaded Woodworker, @tazboards in the Wood Shop
The Dreaded Woodworker, @tazboards in the Wood Shop

While the @tazboards Instagram account shows more of the woodworking and wood shop aspect of what we do, my account is the branch of Tudo Azul that does pyrography, engraving, and epoxy customization on the boards, and also offers art classes – through pyrography as the main medium for now, but eventually branching out into epoxy art, fabric, acrylic and watercolor painting, and more.

This is where you will someday see guest instructors, tutorials, and original artwork. Someday, this will become a physical location where art classes are being held, next to a full-fledged wood shop barn, on acres of property where the wood is harvested and kiln dried, where students can custom design their own charcuterie board and then pop over to the adjoining restaurant to eat meats and fruits and cheeses off the board they just created… So dreamy.

Tazboards Paint Party
I’ve run a few paint parties and would love to do more!
Customized Charcuterie Boards are part of the dream

Now you understand why the Dreaded Woodworker and I both agreed that it’s time to change my name. We need to open up the portal for the future to arrive.

As far as the name itself, we wanted to stay branded with “Tazboards,” but we also wanted something that is more encompassing of all types of art forms. And, importantly, we wanted to incorporate more of my Finnish heritage into it as well, to add some additional flavor.

All of my great-grandparents immigrated to the US from Finland, from both sides of my family. We are proud of our Finnish roots—our “sisu” (loosely translated as “fortitude” or “strength,” and “perseverance”), our love of the sauna, our stoicism. We wear tossut (house shoes) around the house. We eat puuro (oatmeal) for breakfast. We love ourselves a huge serving of pannukakku (a sweet egg dish, baked in the oven, sometimes called a Finnish pancake) on occasion. We either hate or love the kantapää (ends, or “heel”) of the loaf of bread.

Pannukakku is so common where I’m from, that it’s available at restaurants.
Here’s my serving.

We may butcher the words a little bit, Americanizing them as they are passed down from generation to generation, but we use them and they are a connection for us to our heritage.

Well… the Finnish word for art is “taide.” (It is pronounced, roughly, “TIE-deh.”) When combined with Tazboards, “Tazboards Taide,” there is a certain ring to it that tugs my heart strings a little bit. I think that’s a good sign when naming something. It reminds me where I’m from, connecting my past to my future.

Tazboards Taide. This is my new name.

Kiitos (thanks) for listening.