Weary of the misperception that it sells maternity clothing, the Edina-based retailer is now Evereve.
After a decade of catering to busy moms with little time to follow fashion, Hot Mama women’s boutique company is changing its name to Evereve.
“We felt the Hot Mama name was limiting and confusing,” said Mike Tamte, co-founder and chairman. “People thought we were a maternity store or only for younger moms, but we’re for all moms in all phases of their life.”
The Edina-based retailer has changed its website to Evereve.com and will switch signage and other brand elements in stores between August and November. The flagship Edina store will change its storefront in September, while the seven other Twin Cities’ stores will be changed later.
The name change was a smart move by the company, said Mary Van Note, a retail brand consultant at Ginger Consulting in Minneapolis. Too many women who hadn’t been to the store assumed it was something that it wasn’t.
“The Hot Mama name has a strong maternity takeaway,” Van Note said. “If you know you have a problematic name, it’s smart to change it before you get too large.”
Evereve has 50 stores in 18 states, including four stores under construction. The retailer had revenues of about $50 million last year and has seen growth near 50 percent each year, Tamte said, though noting that same-store growth slowed to 7 percent in the last 12 months.
Not all analysts were impressed with the name change. “What does Evereve even mean?” said Dave Brennan, co-director of the University of St. Thomas Institute for Retailing Excellence. “Now you have to educate and convince customers that it’s a better name.”
From the beginning, co-founder Megan Tamte said she wanted a store that made shopping easy, helpful and fun for busy moms juggling a million different things. Evereve, a palindrome, is about forever being full of life — and a source of life, she said.
“Evereve is a badge of honor to moms who give life and then live it. That’s the power of a mom,” she said.
The name change won’t change the boutique’s core strategy. It will remain a store for women, usually in the 25 to 50 age range, whose families are their first priority.
“We help moms stay fashionable when they don’t have time to follow fashion,” Megan Tamte said.
That will continue to mean creating family-friendly stores with aisles wide enough for strollers, a bottomless supply of animal crackers for little ones, video games for older ones, and sodas for waiting dads. Not to mention a very attentive staff to find outfits that can travel from the park, work and a meeting.
“Our staff knows that kids can be loud and messy, and that doesn’t scare us,” Tamte said. “We hold babies while Mom tries something on.”
John Ewoldt • 612-673-7633