Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The beginning stages of a new shop on Etsy...

I have officially decided to open a second Etsy shop for handmade items. I think a more focused approach will make each shop more successful, especially when it comes to advertising.

I am deeply attached to the “Revolution is Sexy” brand identity. I’ve tried to “own” the phrase as a part of my online presence in as many ways as possible. It’s not easy to find a phrase that is unused as a “user name” on any of the usual websites: Flickr, blogger, deviant art, Etsy, gmail, Myspace, etc…

And I don’t want to lose that brand identity, but I feel I should begin an exploration of the wild untamed jungles of my creative potential. My new Etsy shop should embrace concepts that connect it to the first shop. It should evolve from the same primordial ooze of surrealism, imagination, absurdity, and irreverence.

I have been brainstorming for new shop ideas, but I feel to really ensure that I am as committed to the new brand name as I am to the old one, that I should use a phrase that I already have a relationship to. Three phrases definitely show a lot of potential:

Deus Ex Machina: It means literally “god in the machine” but often translates as “ghost in the machine”. The original term comes from Ancient Greek Theater, but I was introduced to it during my Shakespearean studies. Essentially it is the plot device that differentiates comedies from tragedies. It’s when something (or someone) comes “out of the blue” to make everything better. Although I am personally very attracted to the meaning, I am also fascinated by the mystery and provocation of the phrase itself. Ghost in the machine. What a fabulous juxtaposition of words, and gosh do I love juxtaposition.

The Lunatic and the Swan: This is the only phrase in the running that isn’t borrowed from another source. It was the title of a memoir that I began to write. It is also another delightfully juicy use of juxtaposition. I just like the idea of madness mixed with beauty, incoherent weirdness mixed with loveliness and grace. However this phrase has a similar problem that I have with my first brand identity, Revolution is Sexy. The juxtaposition of the word “revolution” with the word “sexy” is edgy and thought provoking, but is it too edgy and thought provoking? In this case, it is less the action of the juxtaposition as the action of the word lunatic. It definitely aims at a specific customer group, but is its’ aim too specific? Are there enough people out there who are going to be intrigued by my dangerously whimsical frivolity?

Curiouser and Curiouser: This phrase had won the competition in my mind until I discovered a blog on Word Press by the same name. As many of you may already know, “curiouser and curiouser” is a quote from Lewis Caroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. I think it definitely conjures surrealism, whimsy, absurdity, and cultural literacy for a large group of people. But as every choice has its downfalls, so does this one. People may be too familiar with this phrase and its original context to really shift their associations to my brand.

Although I am beginning to lean toward my own personal choice, I am going to try and post a poll to hear from others what they think my new brand name should be.

Feedback is always appreciated!


  1. Although I like The Lunatic and The Swan, I'm thinking if it's meant to be the title of a book you hope to finish, then maybe you should save it.

  2. I think "The Lunatic and The Swan" may have already won. I'm grabbing the blog title and etsy account now just in case.