Sometimes I’m looking for a word to describe a certain kind of company. One that’s small and cares about quality and is trying to do something great for a few customers instead of trying to mass produce crap in order to maximize profit. A company like Coudal Partners or Zingerman’s.

The word that usually seems to fit best is boutique. But that never seems quite right. Boutique has connotations. It conjures up fashion. Something that’s precious and hoity-toity. And it seems exclusionary too. Like it’s just for the elites or something. If someone said, “We should go with a boutique agency” would make me roll my eyes a bit. (And why do we always have to go French on this stuff?)

We need a new word. Something that conveys the ideas of that first paragraph without the pretentious baggage of the second paragraph.

Small is too generic. Indie has other connotations. QOQ (Quality Over Quantity) is kinda accurate but a silly acronym. Any suggestions?