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7B, the brand The county indicator on license plates, “7B” has become a local meme.


ou think the most difficult part of opening a retail business has something to do with merchandise or money? Try again. It is all in selecting the right name, said 7B Board Shop owner and sole proprietor Rory Whitney, 31. The challenge is coming up with something unique and interesting that sticks with customers and creates name recognition. Whitney, a Sandpoint High School graduate, had worked off and on for Ground Zero from age 16 to 25. When Ground Zero went out of business, he decided to open his own shop offering clothing and gear for skateboarders and snowboarders. He wanted a hook though, a business name that would resonate with people and bring them through the doors of his shop, which until recently was located in an out-of-theway location on Second Avenue behind the 219 Lounge and The Hive. Whitney wanted a name that would not only evoke Sandpoint but Bonner County as well: 7B fit the bill. It’s the identifier the state uses on its license plates, where each Idaho county is identified in the first character or two of

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the number. Bonner County is “7B” because it comes seventh alphabetically among the Idaho counties that begin with “B.” For locals and Idahoans in general, “7B” paints an immediate picture: the Long Bridge, Schweitzer Mountain, City Beach, the Selkirk Mountains and Lake Pend Oreille. Whitney’s is not the first business to use the 7B moniker, but he is the first to have a streetfront retail space using it. While his research of the name did not turn up another business using it, he later found out about 7B Skis, an Internet-based custom ski business owned by David Marx. Whatever its genesis for businesses, Whitney quickly learned that “7B” resonates with people, including customers and others wanting to brand their own businesses. After he hung out his shingle, the name

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began to crop up in business names including 7BTV owned by Lenny Hess; 7B Floors; and 7B Fitness owned by Jenny and Matt Mire. The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce’s women in business group formerly known as the Chamber Chicks is now going by 7B Women. Using 7B has not lost its appeal for his customers. He can’t keep up with demand for 7B sweatshirts, hats and the ever-popular 7B sticker with the Idaho shape inset in the B, and his business has grown every year. Watch for more 7B to come. Whitney, who recently moved his shop to the even more visible location at the corner of Main Street and First Avenue, has plans to add more 7B logo gear — T-shirts, women’s tank tops, hats and more celebrating the land of 7B.



5/10/16 2:10 PM

Sandpoint Magazine Summer 2016  

In this Issue: Dog Town, Idaho How people and their dogs have created Sandpoint’s copious canine culture Plus ‘Peaking’ Our Interest - Peak...

Sandpoint Magazine Summer 2016  

In this Issue: Dog Town, Idaho How people and their dogs have created Sandpoint’s copious canine culture Plus ‘Peaking’ Our Interest - Peak...