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Foster Made, A Brand's Journey - Part 2

The big reveal and answer to the question, "Why Foster Made?"

by Shawn Maida

This is the "aha" moment of our rebranding story.

If you haven't read Part 1 to this post, it covers the part of our journey leading up to this point, from the history of Visual Chefs and eecoder to the decision to rebrand.

The pillar of the whole rebrand was wrapped up in the new name, something we had tried before but couldn’t quite get right. It’s almost like trying to recall some distant piece of information, like the name of a classmate who moved after first grade and you haven’t seen since. You know it’s there somewhere in your head, but you just can’t recall it. In any event, a lot of weight rested on namestorming.

Finding a name is difficult. You want something you like, something that fits, something you can trademark. Of course, often the names you like aren’t available. Even the names you don’t like are unavailable. As the Focus Lab team dug deeper and stretched farther for inspiration, they found the answer was closer, well within reach.

A Name with History and Meaning

While the rebrand process was in full swing, my wife, Sara, and I happened to have another significant project on our hands. We had bought a historic three-story building in downtown Richmond to accommodate our growing team and become our new office. It was originally built in 1927 by a premier photographer in Richmond named W.W. Foster (see where this is going?). From then until 1972, the building was home to Foster Studios, a notable photography studio in the greater Richmond area.

During our weekly check-ins with Focus Lab, I often shared updates on the progress of the building’s major renovation (something we’ll discuss in another post). This led to sharing old photos and a little bit of the building’s history. It sparked inspiration.

The Focus Lab team began exploring the word “foster.” Aside from the historical symbolism, they found the meaning of the word itself compelling and true: “encourage or promote the development of (something, typically something regarded as good).”

That started to feel like a step in the right direction, so we expanded upon that and considered other aspects of our company identity. We are makers by trade and passion, so the word “made” was a natural fit: "constructed, created, caused something to come about." When combined with foster, the effect is intended to communicate something that was made with encouragement or helpfulness.

And that is who I believe we are here at Foster Made. While not perfect, our identity has always been built on the idea of fostering great relationships with the people we work with. We’re driven by those relationships and believe deeply that the manner in which we engage our clients is why we’ve been able to help so many of them achieve greater success. The Foster Made identity is about far more than the work we do, it is about how we care for our clients, projects, team and city while doing that work.


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