We were approached by an established nonprofit at a crossroads. KCCJ (Kentucky Conference for Community and Justice) had been working on social justice issues in Kentucky for 50 years. They were struggling with funding. They were struggling to make the impact they knew they could make. So, they took a step back and decided that they could do the best work if they started a multi-tenant nonprofit center to support other social justice organizations. They knew the name KCCJ would no longer work.
To come up with a compelling place name we started with two metaphors. One, the idea of organic growth. The second was the idea that if you put organizations in the same space ideas and best practices emerge more quickly than they would organically. We made lists and lists of words. Two words stood out: plant and factory. But, Plant Factory wasn’t quite right. It sounded like a big-box store. Eventually we looked at it long enough that we realized it could smoosh the words together: Plantory. It was easy to say, easy to spell, and didn’t have any name competition. A win/win/win.