Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Art of Choosing a Name...

Before I created a username for Etsy, I started reading through the community forums, which is where I discovered that once you've created your username, you can't change it. So it's important to choose one that you're going to be happy with for your entire time on Etsy. Now if you're just a buyer, this probably isn't a very big deal, but if you're a seller, your username becomes your shop name and therefore your identity.

I wanted to get started setting up my Etsy shop as soon as possible, but I needed that perfect username first. I literally thought about it for days, bringing my mom and younger sister into the conversation. We spit balled ideas and I typed them into the search bar under "Sellers: usernames" to see what was already taken and how many others there already were that were so similar as to be confusing.

The name had to be something that wasn't exclusive to me because though I run the business end of things, my mom and younger sister both contribute jewelry and art to the shop. I wanted a name that was inclusive of all three of us, but would also work if they ever got tired of creating for the shop and it was mine alone.

I was actually doing something else online when I read the word "genuine" somewhere and the phrase "genuine article" popped into my head. I checked with the search bar and discovered that not only was it free, but the other names that included either "genuine" or "article" weren't close enough to cause confusion to someone who was searching for me.

I thought it sounded perfect. My mother, sister and I are all perfectionists, we love to work with quality materials and put our all into making sure that what we send out is the very best possible product. The Genuine Article.

So we had the choice narrowed down to GenuineArticle or MadeInCanada, which was Mom's personal favourite. We settled on GenuineArticle for two reasons: 1- Mom liked that if you fuzz your eyes a bit you can almost see the word "earth" where the two words meet, just without the "H" and 2- it's more fluid, you're not tying yourself to having Canadian items.

We're all very happy with the name, but I have discovered one drawback to it. It's not as unique a thought as I had originally believed. The fact that it wasn't taken on Etsy made me think that finding our shop would be easy for anyone who heard our name. However, after signing up for Google Alerts (where you get an email every time someone searches Google for the word or phrase you created the alert for) I found that even though people put "etsy genuine article" or "genuinearticle etsy" into the search bar multiple times a week, often the links they get back don't take them anywhere near my shop!

I've noticed that a lot of the links that pop up are personal blogs where someone discusses Etsy and mentions something being the "genuine article," so I'm hoping that one of the things this blog will do is bring up a link so that those searching for me will actually find my shop.

So, things to keep in mind when choosing a name:

It's permanent - you can't change it afterwards, and naming your shop something different from your username is confusing.
Be original - you want people searching online to have your shop pop up quickly, and for those searching inside Etsy to know which of the results to their search is you.
Be true to yourself - choose a name that represents you and your craft, if you have a long selling career it will be part of your identity for quite awhile.

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