Wednesday, July 15, 2015
When I decided to open up an Etsy shop back in 2008, I struggled with what name I would use. I wanted the name to capture what I did while still keeping it open to going in new directions. At the time, I was making cast paper sculptures, handmade paper sheets and cards, paper quilts and other art with paper pulp. Aha! Pulp. Art. I put it together and made PulpArt as the name. One of my friends said it sounded like the noise someone makes when they vomit. I laughed and decided that I loved it anyway. I opened my shop, claimed my name and started filling up my shop with my beautiful handmade papers. It wasn't long after that I googled my shop name to see if it showed up in searches, and that's when I found that the searches brought up Pulp Art, or pulp magazines (also referred to as "the pulps"). They are cheap fiction magazines that were published until the 1950s. (The term pulp derives from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed.)
I suppose if I could do it all over, I would name my shop something different, especially since I have branched out in new ways since then. I would want a name that it is simple and straight-forward but still sticky, the kind of name that you can't forget and that's fun to say. (PulpArt doesn't exactly roll of the tongue.) But most of those kinds of names are already taken, and frankly, I don't have a marketing team to help me. Perhaps I would call it "Petal, Paper, Pulp" but that doesn't encompass my plantable papers, which is the largest part of my business. It's so hard to claim a name that includes everything you are as an artist while advertising in a quick glance what you make and why a customer would want to buy it.
This stream of consciousness ran through my head today while matting and framing some of my new work…