If you were there on day one, keeping an eye on us back in late 2016, you’d know that we had a different name. No shade if you weren’t there. You’re reading now!
We were The Curatours. Technically, that’s who we still are: Bold Xchange is a trade name of The Curatours, LLC. Back then we were just hype to finally have a “company.” No money had been made—we’re still hustling to figure that part out. But we’d spent a ridiculous amount of time planning how we’d build something that could make some. Instead of jumping right in, we did what you’d expect from a couple of people who’d just graduated from undergrad and weren’t the type to cut up in class. We were borderline perfectionists and our entrepreneurial journey continues to shake some of those unhealthy habits, partly because that kind of stressing was unnecessary and also because there isn’t enough time to go around as is.
But back to the name, The Curatours. I doubt you’ve been reading aloud. Please take a moment to actually say “The Curatours.” How did you pronounce it? Did you say it like “the curators” or did the extra “u” throw you off, making you add a fancy or funky spin that emphasizes the “-tours” part?
The problem with creating in a vacuum is that you’re oblivious to your blind spots—sometimes isolation breeds magic but not for us. We thought that our name’s spelling wasn’t a big deal; we assumed that people would just pronounce it “the curators” despite the extra letter. Unfortunately, I heard the cure-ah-tours more than anything. And people would commonly type or text me saying that they appreciated “The Curators” mission.
Every time—in my head—I was like, that’s not our name!
When I went to open our company bank account I had to make an initial deposit and I did so via check. Ironically, on that first check I even spelled our name wrong! I wrote “The Curators.” The bank still accepted that money, though.
Our format continues to evolve but our aim remains steadfast. And hopefully this name survives the test of time.
Our head was in the right place when coming up with The Curatours—we just over complicated it. The goal was to have our name literally articulate our aim: to curate a platform who’s stories reflected our experience, the perspective of young, black and ambitious dreamers. We could’ve done just that through our actions even if it didn’t quite come across through our name. After all, a name is what you make it; who cared about the words Google or Nike before the companies made them relevant? Maybe we should’ve been less concerned about finding a perfect name and more concerned with not picking one that had obvious flaws. Whoops.
So, here we are as Bold Xchange. Our format continues to evolve but our aim remains steadfast. And hopefully this name survives the test of time. I can’t act like we didn’t think deeply about our naming options the second time around. We made up our mind a lot faster, though and we made sure to at least run it by a few people.
A brand’s name has to have some flare; I guess ours reflects that desire with the “Bold” piece. We think that interaction is a two-way street; we’re producing, but it’s just as important that someone is responding, creating an “Xchange.”
I often get asked what’s the name’s deeper meaning. I can justify one now. Some have assumed that it’s influenced by Malcolm X. It isn’t but I stamp his work. We just liked the ring of Bold Xchange. At times we are overly analytical but when naming this time around, I don’t think we were. Often I ditch my law school friends—or tell them I can’t hang all together—because I’m working on Bold Xchange. They roll their eyes and say there I go “Bold Xchanging.” I don’t use our name as a verb and didn’t anticipate anyone else would. I kind of like it.
The work of creating value behind Bold Xchange lays ahead of us. Yet from the beginning we were certain that the name wasn’t too long, the pronunciation was clear and the domain was available.