No, I'm not taking you to a 12 step group. But I will tell you... I'm disturbed. Before you leap to your feet in agreement, I'll explain that there's something quite specific that disturbs me this morning. It's the rampant use of Catchy Business Names, Secret Identities, and Anonymous Signatures.
I'm making an effort to spend time wandering around the Etsy Community. I live there now, and want to know my neighbors. But as I look around, I notice that many people feel the need to hide behind an alias of some sort. I find this curious. Of course it isn't specific to Etsy. Everywhere you look you'll find quirky names disguising the identity of an actual human. Of course I can see a use for this in places like MySpace and FaceBook, and I'd want my kids to be a secretive about their personal information as an undercover agent. But what about the rest of us grown-ups? Am I the only one who thinks that if a person has something to say, they should say it in their own voice and claim their words? Or that an artist should use their own name instead of a witty business name? To fit in with this new trend, Vincent Van Gogh might have been Acid Trip Art. Leonardo Da Vinci could be Secret Smile Portraits. And Claude Monet might call his Etsy Shop Luminous Liquid Landscapes...... are you following me?
I just want to suggest that if you make art, be brave and put your name on it. Those who are just starting hopeful art/craft businesses are often caught up in the clever possibilities of self-naming. But I feel strongly about this. If you care enough to make it, say it, write it, think it, you ought to be willing to stand up and own it. Sure, clever names are fun, but at least add your own real name in there somewhere.
And when it comes to internet identity, what is so wrong with communicating and shopping under our own names? What are we hiding? What are we protecting? And what the heck is a Secret Admirer on Etsy anyway?
So there you are. Free advice for the budding new business person, and a bit of a rant for everyone out there hiding behind an adorable alias. And in case there's still any question, I'll start the introductions... Hi! My name is Kim Miles, and who might you be?