I cannot contain my excitement! When I logged in to Etsy yesterday I saw this little flag up by my name that said "Coming Soon". So of course my immediate thought was, "What the heck is that?" and so I clicked on it to determine what the heck it was exactly. I was so pleased to read that Etsy is going to allow people to change their shop names. (article here)
If you are non-Etsy, whatever username you put in when you first signed up for the site is the name you see everywhere. It is your personality, and for all intents and purposes, it is your shop name. For example, if you signed up as HRN1978 because that is the username you use everywhere, then you have been stuck with it up to this point. Your shop is identifited as HRN1978, even if you want to call it Bubbles and Bows or something like that. Now, people have gone ahead and do have different shop names from their usernames, but it makes it all very confusing. And that doesn't factor in your actual name. So you become known as HRN1978 and people will call you HRN for short even if your name is Henry, because you have to actually go to someone's profile to find out what their real name is (if they show it), and no one ever does that. And up to this point, you have not been able to change that username once you stuck yourself with it.
I myself have actually been lamenting my choice of name for the past few weeks. I thought I did a post on it here, but I must have just been talking to myself instead. Anyway, I have been wishing that I used something more generic, like The Purple Butterfly or Manmade Design (ok, not really), that would allow me to expand my shop without being pegged into one type of item. By the Book Paper seemed like a good name at the time. I was going to make bookmarks. I wanted the name to have something to do with books. "By the book" is a common phrase. I was using paper. Bing, bang, boom...that was my name. But then I had note cards, and bookplates, and garlands, and magnets, and so on. And then I got onto the fabric kick with my Pinterest projects. But my shop still said "Paper".
But now this news brings a whole range of possibilities and questions. First, should you change your shop name if you've been known as something else for awhile? If you do change, what will you change it to? A whole new name, or some version of your old name? Is it worth it to change business cards, and banners, and avatars, etc.? And for me, for consistency purposes, my blog address and twitter and Pinterest are all bythebookpaper (once a username, always a username!). But I want to change it! I have been thinking about a total name change to something generic that can be used for any crafty medium, and I have been thinking about a slight change like "by the book" or "made by the book" in order to keep it familiar.
So here is where I need your thoughts: Please today fill up my comments with ideas and suggestions and your thoughts on this whole name-changing thing. Will you consider changing your shop name? Should I change mine? Do you think I should go for a total change, or something slight? I have a week to decide this (because you know I will be all over it on October 18) so I would really, really love to hear what you, the independent-of-my-shop have to say!