Then along came the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and suddenly the bold black-and-white ISIS signs seemed rather out-of-place on the High Street of Market Harborough.
But this week – after a couple of years of jokes, raised eyebrows and awkward conversations - the town’s High Street favourite has changed its name. Good-humoured owner Clare Cox (53) said: “Obviously it’s costing me money to change the name of the business and the signs.
“At first I thought, ‘why should I change?’, but it’s got to the stage where I feel, and customers feel, uncomfortable about what is actually a perfectly innocent name.”
The name Isis is actually thousands of years old. Isis was an Egyptian goddess worshipped as the ideal mother and wife. The name means ”throne” in Ancient Egyptian, and her headdress is usually represented as a throne.
That’s probably why the original business owner chose the name more than two decades ago – and why Clare was perfectly happy to keep the name when she took the business on 10 years ago.
“That all changed about two years ago” said Clare, who works at the salon with Laura Evans (35). “I hoped the other Isis tag would go away, but it stuck, and everyone started to comment on our name.
“Our password used to be ‘Isis’ too, and that used to cause comments with administrators – I always had to quickly say “it’s the name of our salon”.
The Market Harborough “ISIS” signs were even pictured on websites like The Lad Bible, as a joke.
Clare said: “It’s got to the stage now where people were starting to wonder why we hadn’t changed the name - so we’ve done it. Hopefully we’ll get loads of new customers now! And of course a change is as good as a rest!”
*What do you think? Email [email protected]