The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show

March 2–4, 2025 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show
March 2—4 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

IHA got acquainted with Mollie Young of Minneapolis-based Nametag International, Inc., and Stacey Kalamaras, a trademark and intellectual property attorney, to learn about how to craft a market-effective and memorable brand name, which they will explain in their session at the 2020 Show. The Inspired Home Show’s Innovation Theater will feature 21 presentations over four days. Topics will include successful retail practices, consumer research findings, digital commerce, sustainability and global market trends.


Young, founding principal of Nametag International, Inc., has more than 30 years of strategic branding experience. She has worked with a wide range of companies from start-ups and rising enterprises to Fortune 100 and 500 companies across a broad spectrum of industries and markets. She specializes in the development of global brand and nomenclature strategy. She has rich experience and leadership in working with C-level and boards of directors in creating strategy and consensus around major change issues.


Young is a frequent speaker and panelist on topics including brand strategy, global naming, branding trends and brand research/insights. She is also actively involved in multiple community organizations and children’s charities.

Kalamaras is a trademark and intellectual property attorney who has spent nearly 30 years working for some of the world’s most beloved brands in more than 150 countries and for clients in diverse industries. In January 2018, with the founding of her eponymous firm, she now assists small and medium-sized businesses identify, register, protect and commercialize their brands both in the U.S. and abroad. Before going to law school, she was a brand manager and advertising director in the consumer-packaged goods industry, which gives her valuable insight into her clients’ businesses on a practical level.


Kalamaras is a frequent speaker on branding and intellectual property topics, educating both small business owners and other attorneys. Within the past year, she has helped educate more than 1,300 attorneys on three continents on the trademark rules of practice, trademark clearance searches, anti-counterfeiting and trademark enforcement issues.

Mollie, what is the most exciting or rewarding part of your work? 

We thrive on working with clients on a national and global basis whether they be large companies or small. Our driving force is to help them succeed by strategically solving often complex branding challenges. Rolling up our sleeves and working side by side with our clients to choose the very best names is what motivates us every single day. We know the unique challenges of branding and guide our clients by creating memorable and distinctive brand names that deliver competitive advantage.


Stacey, how about for you?

Stacey Kalamaras

Branding is such an important part of a product’s messaging and as a former marketing professional and now trademark attorney, I enjoy helping companies of all sizes develop new brands and help guide them to protect these valuable assets from a legal point of view. My inspiration is all of the hard-working marketing professionals and business owners who work tirelessly to create something unique in the marketplace. I especially enjoy working with marketers and founders to help them protect and defend their brands so that their companies can realize their true potential in the marketplace.


Can you name a pivotal event or project that impacted your career or company?


Mollie: A key pivotal event was our first global project for a large pharmaceutical company. This allowed our organization to experience significant international growth. We also named an SUV, the TrailBlazer for Chevy, which has been revived and is making a comeback in 2021!


Stacey: I have always been drawn to the law and I loved my career in marketing. When I realized there was such a thing as blending the two, I was hooked. Early in my career as a marketing assistant, I worked with trademark and intellectual property attorneys who inspired me. I knew then that one day I would likely go back to law school to help companies protect their intellectual property assets. And that’s exactly what I did.


Mollie Young

In the past few years, what has changed most in your business?

Mollie: Lately the complexity and clearing of trademarks for our clients has increased exponentially. We work closely with our intellectual trademark partners to help evaluate and think through business risk. We find opportunities to create names that can both create a story for a company and can be legally protected in the increasingly challenging legal environment. This fuels our fire to help clients be successful with their products and businesses.

Stacey: As the demands of the digital platform grows, counterfeiters have become a bigger problem for brands of all sizes. In our work with our clients, it’s important we educate them on the importance of having a trademark strategy and global registration strategy (where appropriate) to be able to combat counterfeiters. But most importantly, it’s important for manufacturers of every size to know that it is critical to have an anti-counterfeiting strategy no matter what your budget. New tools have emerged in the marketplace in the past five years that enable us in the legal industry to offer such tools to our clients, but this is an important strategic conversation for any manufacturer to have with its IP counsel.


How do you de-stress and find balance in the demanding 24/7 workplace?  

Mollie: I have been a runner since my early teens and continue to do fitness and yoga to carve out personal time and destress.


Stacey: As a business owner, it’s sometimes hard to find time to do all the things I want to do in any given day or week. Although I pride myself on serving my clients, I try to silence my phone during certain evening hours and on weekends so that I can get away from the office and decompress. I love to cook and bake, and in my free time I channel my creative energy in the kitchen, which I find is the perfect way to clear my mind from the everyday stresses of my workplace.


Mollie and Stacey, tell us what you will be speaking about and how this topic is important for Show audiences.


What is a name? A series of letters. A word. That’s all a name is. Choose the right one, though, and it can create magic. It can change behavior. It can be the difference between success and failure. It can live for generations.


The topic of naming ironically coincides with the launch of this Show’s new name— “The Inspired Home Show.” Some may wonder, Why did the Show leadership choose to change a trade event name that has been around since 2004 and built awareness and equity?


In a press release, the 2018-19 IHA chairman John “JC” Collins said they chose the new name “The Inspired Home Show” to set the right tone for the industry and position the Show for the future. It all begins with deciding what you want your name to say. What does it need to communicate or mean to your target markets? A great name is built upon business strategy.


At its core, this is what brand names do – they set the tone and positioning for your product. And sometimes, it’s important to consider a new name when you realize you’ve strayed from your core message.


We will lead you through the story of how a successful name delivers business success. It doesn’t matter if you are naming a housewares brand, a toothpaste, a car, a smart home technology or even a new company, creating a great name is imperative in today’s competitive market. We’ll share the secrets to creating great names and ensuring they are legally protectable as trademarks. You’ll learn how to reach your key audiences thru naming, how to ensure the name you choose is trademarkable, and make sure your brands are speaking the right language in this global world.


What do you see as consumers’ biggest concerns regarding housewares products or how to shop for them?


Mollie: With the massive increase of online shopping, consumers express worry about quality when they can’t see the products. Younger consumers don’t have brand awareness and loyalty.


Stacey: I think there are two primary concerns – first, just as in other consumer packaged goods spaces, as the variety of counterfeit goods grows, consumers in housewares want to be sure that the products they buy are authentic and that when they are buying them online they are buying from a reputable site. Second, in the housewares space I think many brands are struggling to create their point of differentiation to capture the consumer’s attention and gain market share. Having a strong and protectable brand/trademark can help address both of these concerns.


What are some of today’s trends or issues that new product development professionals and/or retailers face in the housewares market?


Mollie: Clutter in the marketplace—product clutter, message clutter and media clutter. Key takeaways from our session will cover:

  • How a successful naming project delivers business success
  • How to address audiences from the inside out
  • What is a trademark and how to protect it your brand legally; and
  • It’s a global world – ensure your brands are speaking the right language.

Stacey: We see a number of trends that all new products will need to face:

  • How a new/start-up brand can create noise and awareness when its resources are limited
  • How to create meaningful product innovations in the housewares space that solve the needs of many consumers when some of the target consumers may have different needs, and
  • As the online shopping sector grows, how housewares companies can bring the essence of the tactile experience to online platforms to best capture market share.



Founded in 1987, Nametag International, Inc. is a globally recognized firm providing clients with the highest quality brand strategy and naming expertise. Mollie Young and partner Bridget Levin have been defining and redefining some of the world’s leading brands. Their leadership and expertise infuse each project with senior-level attention and experience. Strategies and techniques include all facets related to naming, nomenclature strategy and rebranding. Additional tools focus on brand equity measurement, linguistic screening, name testing and tagline development. A few of the distinctive clients they have served include: General Electric, 3M, Whirlpool, Pfizer, Cargill, General Motors, Land O’Lakes, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, Monsanto, General Mills, Honeywell, Sherwin-Williams, Rubbermaid and Target. 



Kalamaras Law Office LLC is an intellectual property boutique founded in 2018, focusing on trademarks, copyrights, and advertising law for entrepreneurs, small- to medium-sized businesses, corporations, and international clients seeking to support their brands in the U.S. The firm’s singular goal is to become its clients’ trusted advisor and partner to provide world class intellectual property services at a cost-effective rate with the flexibility to adjust to the clients’ ever-changing intellectual property needs. The firm has served clients in diverse industries including manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, hospitality, human resources, financial services, legal services and technology.




Thank you, Mollie and Stacey, for outlining some of the important aspects of the critical naming decisions for the launch of a product or service. You’ll make a difficult topic more understandable for both makers and sellers of home goods. We look forward to learning more from you during your presentation at the Innovation Theater, Monday March 16 at 12:30 p.m.


Winning the Name Game: What’s the Story Behind a Great Name?

Monday, March 16, 12:30 –1:20 p.m.

Lakeside Center – Innovation Theater – Room E350


Be sure to attend the free executive-level educational sessions at the Innovation Theater to hear about successful retail practices as well as the latest research and analysis of home trends and forecasts for products in the smart home, kitchen and health care categories. These programs will give you a fresh perspective as you walk the Show and will inspire, inform and improve your business. All programs will be audio-recorded and will be available at The Inspired Home Show after the Show.