Writer Worries: when your fictional business name turns out to be a real one


"Blushing In Pink" dress by Ouma

A character in my novel is a fashion designer starting an urban, alternative bridal boutique. She upcycles old dresses into couture gowns that people can actually afford. My character's business deserves a cool name.  I have spent the last week making up every cool name I could think of, just to Google and find out it already exists.

Now I know if I were actually starting a business, my business name is  only held in the state where I copyrighted it. But for the purposes of a novel, can I use the name of a business that already exists? I googled and didn't really find an answer.

I have a huge list of buzzwords that I have been putting together and tearing apart like refrigerator magnet poetry  and I'm getting frustrated. I need a name that is romantic and edgy and urban. One that declares that this is a bridal shop but not that kind of bridal shop. You aren't going to get white blindness from staring at generic gowns in this boutique. You won't find $10 worth of gauze sold as veils for $70. Instead it's a place where the prices are reasonable, the veils are birdcage-y and the dresses are made with love and color. It's the kind of shop where chick flick moments are optional but feeling like a badass is not.

Wow I think I just wrote the commercial for it :)

Anyhow, these are the names I made up that turned out to be real bridal shops:

Claire Pettibone Gown

She Said Yes
Something Old, Something New
Committed
All Frocked Up
Frocked Up
Unbridled
Unveiled
Swoon

I also have a list of ones that I googled that didn't come up as being shops but I'm not sure if I like those as well as the others:

Unlaced
Unruffled
Aisle Less Traveled
Rock the Frock
Vixen
Scandalize
Lovesick
Gorgeous But Deadly


Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?