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From Home Furnishing Business

LaDifférence Changes Name to LaDiff

Furniture retailer LaDifférence will rebrand with the name everyone already calls it in the Richmond, Va., area--LaDiff.

The 34-year-old international furnishings store's French name made pronunciation tricky for some, so people just shortened it.
Andy Thornton founded the store in Charlottesville, Va., in 1980. After a stint working in Haiti, he based its name on the Haitian motto: “Haiti, Vive La Différence!” The name came to represent what the store is all about: “different” ideas and approaches in home design and decorating. With the French name came challenges. Employees answering the phone had trouble with it, often resorting to the American pronunciation of difference. Delivering truck drivers had trouble with it, calling the store “L.A. Difference” on many occasions, and asking why we were in Virginia if all of the furniture was made in California. The media never seemed to know where to put the accent, and potential customers weren’t sure if this was a furniture store or a French restaurant.
The French name also carried with it a burden of presumed pretention and haughtiness, which is the complete opposite of the store's make up and character.
For years, when running into “regulars” around town, would proudly speak about their “LaDiff home.” The nickname became almost more common that the original.
Effective at the end of August, LaDifference will officially begin doing business as LaDiff.
With the new name, LaDiff is unveiling a spunky new logo designed by the extraordinary team at Elevation Marketing.

“When Aaron Dotson approached us with the idea of a new logo, we knew it would be a wowser," Thornton said. "Elevation has always understood what makes us tick.”
For Sarah Paxton, co-owner and vice president of sales and marketing, implementing the new logo has been a welcome experience.

“At last our name will fit the mood of the store: fun and happy, while still having the spirit of being and feeling ‘different,’” Paxton said.
LaDiff’s new logo will start appearing on marketing materials and collateral at the end of the summer.
With a 50,000-square-foot showroom displayed over three floors of refurbished warehouse space, LaDiff offers an abundant and varied selection of modern and contemporary furniture. Readers of R.Home, Richmond Magazine, and Style Weekly have regularly named LaDiff Richmond’s best furniture, best source for modern furniture, and similar honors for the last 15 years.

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