Beginnings: The Origin of Tinking Turtle

As we bring 2013 to a close, it’s time to take a look back at the path we’ve taken to get where we are this year.  The holiday season is often a time spent with friends and family, each with their own special traditions and holiday moments.  For my family, one of our favorite traditions is setting up a model train layout in the garage, all decorated up for Christmas, and spend hours driving the trains through our small town.  In this town, it’s important for everything to have a name, from the grocery store named after my younger brother to the boarding house and bakery.  This has been a tradition that Jennifer and I have carried on through the years.

Trains and naming things have found their way into our lives outside of just the holidays.  In September 2011 after settling in Washington, DC we embarked on our first long-distance train journey to the windy city of Chicago.  We travled for several days, including our first overnight on the train.  While in Chicago, we visited Loopy Yarns. Jennifer was just setting out on building the framework for the business that has become Tinking Turtle and, as a stitcher, she couldn’t visit the city without stopping by the store.  During the trip, the topic of discussion kept circling back to Loopy Yarns, the name, and if we had a store, what it would be named.

Over a delicious dinner of Knockwurst, Wiener Schnitzel, and Sauerkraut at The Berghoff, we began to bat around some funny names for the various buildings in our own model train town, with a yarn bent.  Grabbing the closest piece of paper at hand, a class schedule from Loopy Yarns, we recorded all of the names that came to mind.

Given that we were now living in Maryland, the turtle as a mascot came to mind, and then playing off of the alliteration, tinking was a natural fit.  I’ll confess that at that point in time I had no idea what tinking even was, but it sounded cool.  Ye Olde Tinking Turtle was originally going to be a combo yarn store/tavern, perhaps influenced by the German atmosphere, however it was a name that stuck with us.

Tinking Turtle was not the initial name for the company; Jen was contemplating running it under a company named after herself. Unfortunately however, when she was looking to register a trade name and website, there were several other businesses with similar sounding names.  Falling back to what was originally an amusing name for a train town pub, Tinking Turtle has stayed with us, becoming the business that it is today.