Sewing Identity Crisis 

Most of you will see the lengthy prose and lack of pictures and keep scrolling past this post, and that’s ok.

This post is more for me than anyone else. Most of my posts are of what is currently happening in my sewing world, and usually it is just sewing. Therefore, the majority of my posts are of finished projects. But lately I’ve been doing more thinking than sewing, so this post is more like a diary entry for me. A way to work through my thoughts and maybe get some helpful feedback from those of you who do take the time to read. (I thank you ahead of time if you do!)

I’m going to talk about my “image”. Is image the right word? When I say “image” I’m referring to my internet presence. The best way to explain what I mean is to start at the beginning I suppose. I’ll try to keep it brief since I don’t have too many pictures to go along with the writing.

The Beginning

I started sewing a long time ago (in high school). Skip forward a few years to college when I made my first quilt for my oldest nephew, and then a few years later I made a second baby quilt for a friend/coworker.

This second quilt was a turning point for me. The reception I got from that quilt was bigger than I expected. Looking back, I can definitely tell my skill level has increased greatly since this quilt (especially in the binding area), but everyone was amazed at this quilt.

My boss and other friend kept telling me I should sell my quilts. They couldn’t believe I had made that! Shortly afterwards, my husband got a “real” job after graduating college and we moved cities. It was after we moved that I started sewing regularly.

Skip forward another few years to after I had made several quilts for fun, family, and close friends. I started to blog about my quilts as a way to keep an organized record of my work. Blogging about my quilts kept me motivated to keep going, and it also helped me find other modern quilters and inspirational artists.

Clover Quilts: The First Blog

The first blog I had was called “Clover Quilts”. A name I was super proud of as it tied closely to my love of four leaf clovers (and the everlasting game the women in my family have of finding them). Clover Quilts was a good start, but eventually I outgrew the capabilities of Blogger and wanted something better. I was also worried that “Clover” would be confusing due to the large sewing notions company with a similar name to my blog.

I started to question my blog title choice. If I ever wanted to register and get a business license, would I even be able to work as Clover Quilts?

What to Sew?: Quilts, Bags, OR Home Decor

Meanwhile, I was also inspired to sew other things besides quilts. I’ve done several bags and love the “instant” gratification of being able to finish a bag in less than a week as opposed to a quilt that can take several months. I also did some smaller home decor items like potholders, table runners, wall hangings, etc.

I did so much sewing of items other than quilts in the past year that I started to question whether or not having just the word “quilts” in my title was enough? Did I want to be pigeoned holed into only making quilts? Would I lose potential sales? Was their a title that would be encompass both quilts and other quilted/sewn items?

Choosing a New Name: The Seam Allowance

And so “The Seam Allowance” was born. It was several months of brainstorming new ideas for a new blog title and potential business name. From a marketing and internet presence stand point, choosing a new name was torture. There are lots of helpful articles out there that give tips on how to choose a business name. It has to be catchy and clever so people will remember it. It has to be short and easy to spell so people can find it. It has to be original so there is no copyright infringement. It has to be descriptive so people know your purpose right away. It has to be available as a url address, Etsy address, and a social media address like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

All these criteria were starting to weigh on me. Everything my husband and I brainstormed was violating at least one or two of these terms. Eventually “The Seam Allowance” was suggested and it seemed like the best option at the time. Here’s a list of the other ideas that were turned down.

IMG_2674

As you can see, we played with sewing puns, our pet’s names, my name, family names, my sewing style of using bright colors in rainbow order, just about everything. Most of the sewing pun ideas were already taken by other super talented modern quilters. I was worried that if I used my name it would be impossible for people to spell. Darcie Mair is a ridiculous name to spell, I admit that. LOL

“The Seam Allowance” was one of the last suggestions, and after several months of deliberation it seemed like the best option. It was an available url so I jumped on it.

The Seam Allowance: The Problems

Ever since I switched over to WordPress with “The Seam Allowance” there has been something nagging at me. While I LOVE the switch to WordPress (from Blogger), the name just wasn’t settling in well. I told myself just give it a few weeks, it’s new and unfamiliar, but eventually I’ll get used to it.

I didn’t.

To me, it feels impartial and formal.  Like I’m keeping my readers/friends/fellow sewists/family at a distance, instead of inviting them in. I want my blog title/business name/image to reflect my style, voice, and character. I don’t want to come off as impartial and formal. Not to mention the fact that its super long and annoying to type.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. I get so wrapped up in drawing up the *perfect* logo and name that I forget it’s more about the content and voice. But is it? Really? The name and logo can be just as much a reflection of me, as an artist, as my blog posts and photos.

A New Name?

And so, in the back of mind, I’ve gone back to brainstorming ideas. It will be more difficult the third time around I’m sure. I’ve already changed all my social media outlets (and discovered The Seam Allowance on Etsy is not available), and most only let you change it once. So I would have to do a total overhaul of my internet presence. (Is that even possible?)

But I want my internet presence to reflect my style in “real life”. At first I was afraid that if I used my name it would be difficult. No one spells either my first or last name correctly upon hearing it, but is that a big enough factor to deter me from using it as my business name? Certainly all the urls and social media usernames I’d want would be available. Which got me thinking, maybe my unusual name is an asset??

If I had a title such as Darcie Designs it would reflect who I am (duh) and leave me open to more than just quilts (as opposed to Darcie Quilts). But is it descriptive enough? Does it imply that I do more “designing” than “creating”. Since I don’t specialize in designing patterns or fabric lines, does it send the wrong message? The alliteration makes it catchy, but does the simplicity make up for the fact that it is not that clever? Perhaps I don’t need to be clever, I just need to be me.

What are YOUR thoughts?

So tell me what YOU think? If you’ve read this far, let me know! You deserve a huge handshake and many thanks! I don’t have that many readers, so anyone who listened to me babble this long about a personal problem deserves some credit. Do you think I’m overthinking this whole “internet image” thing? Do you think these changes are necessary? Should I just stop whining and go sew something already? LOL

9 responses to “Sewing Identity Crisis 

  1. First and foremost to me, it really sounds like “The Seam Allowance” does not resonate with you. And I am a huge fan of following your gut. I went through a similar experience about a year ago. I called myself Quilting Jetgirl because quilting was my hobby on the side of my professional life. Then, I left my full time job to focus on my health and all of a sudden I really questioned if the name still resonated with me. I did all the same things you did – I brainstormed new names, looked up to see if they were available… and I kept finding myself doodling graphics that had stars and rockets and space themes. So Quilting Jetgirl stuck, but that is just what worked for me. Now the Jetgirl is the hobby side, and that is OK. Sometimes taking a fresh approach to your brainstorming can open up new possibilities. How about starting from the graphics side and seeing if a name sticks after you find a logo or image that resonates with you? Just a thought, and I wish you the best of luck finding that happy spot of resonating with your online name and tagline. 🙂

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    • Thank you! It is really hard trying to finding a name that I feel represents me and my style as well as one that’s available and easy to remember for others. I’ve not thought about starting from the graphics side, but that sounds like a good idea!!

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  2. hmmmm. I always think companies that are names are meh. Not sure why considering I always work for them. I love something creative if you want to tie in your name though do it. Here is my only suggestion “The longarm cavalier”

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  3. You asked so I’ll tell you my thoughts. I don’t know if you’re overthinking this or not. I’m not in a position to answer that question as I quilt because I enjoy it – I love the colors, the tactile touching, the playing, the imagining, etc. I’m not one who has lots of finished quilts but I have lots of UFOs and I’ve enjoyed the process. That said, I do aim to finish more quilts this year.

    Yes, stop whining. Yes, go sew.

    I haven’t followed your blog very long so went back to read a lot of your old posts. I think I signed up after seeing the yellow quilt and the bicycle not too long ago. What I saw when I looked at the older posts was this. Colorful, creative, unafraid to go for it or try something, and unique, yet someone with heart. I loved hearing how your husband was helping you and how you updated your grandmother’s chair. You are special and whatever your blog name is or will be, you will be known.

    My last thought is a suggestion. Try writing a question to yourself in your notebook. Then put the pencil/pen in your non-dominant hand and let yourself respond. It may be hard to read, it may not be a sentence, maybe it won’t even be words as it may be a picture. Let your inner child respond. If nothing happens, keep trying. Ask a different question. Eventually this may help.

    Now go sew!

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  4. I just happened upon your blog to look at your quilt in your last post- I liked the design you were laying out that I originally found on someone else’s blog. And then I left the page open and then I wondered why I had it open to this blog post because it automatically refreshed itself but then I read the whole thing 🙂 I’m a new quilter but love reading quilt blogs – – I always get sad when someone changes their business name to one with their real name instead. When I see that happen, I get it, they want their name to be known, but i also like the non traditional names! I like the seam allowance – i think it’s a clever name. However if you’re still not feeling like it fits then it sounds like you should change it. I have no suggestions, other than if you foresee yourself getting big and think you’d want to use your own name down the road to represent yourself, then do it now as opposed to later 🙂

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  5. I have only been following a short time but I figured I’d add my 2c. I think Darcie is a beautiful name and I’d try to get it in your new blog/ business name. I don’t really like the Seam Allowance but that’s just me. What about the names that had Fading in them? What was that about? That was kind of unique and caught my eye. I don’t have a real blog, just a Tumblr where I post my own pics and sometimes share others’ pics that I like. I am an emergency veterinarian so I decided on CraftyVet, (I also knit and make temari). I agree it’s hard to choose a name, even moreso when you are doing it for a business. Good luck with whatever you decide.

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  6. I wonder if you’re over thinking this, but I don’t blog, I just love them. I absolutely hated the names with fading in them, as that to me says your fading away, turning grey, going AWAY! Is that the message you want to send? I find myself most drawn to blogs with vibrant names, like Red Pepper Designs. That zings. You have to find what you like and works, but be careful, your entire blog and image may fade away, along with your desire to sew, quilt, etc. To us Nike old slogan, JUST DO IT! None of this is meant unkindly, although It is coming across stronger than I would like. Good luck with your venture, hope I don’t lose track of you with too many name changes.

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