I get asked a lot, where the name SweetBabyDesi came from…people just assume that I run a shop oriented towards babies. The funniest part of that, is I hardly make any baby items, and I don’t even particularly like babies. They are cute from a distance, and fine…as long as I can hand them back to mommy and daddy after a little bit. But babies are not my all focus in life…I actually much prefer to design stuffed animals and adult clothes.
So…SweetBabyDesi…well, the last part must be obvious by now, as my name is Desirea. I have gone by Desi for as long as anyone can remember (except that year when I only would answer to Nikki, but that is a far removed part of my past…). So, where did this name really come from? Well…it came from my 15 year old email address. I am serious. When I was 12, I fell “in love” with this boy…we “dated” for 2 years in the 7th and 8th grade…and of course, the computer, internet, and email was just becoming to be the standard in all homes. My first email address was DJHsAngel87@aol.com (Complete with dial up and that awful connection noise and 35 minutes to load…)…oh yes, his initials…yup…I was THAT pre-teen girl. I was in love. He was the only one who got me! What else could I do but pay tribute to him in my email address! Well, inevitably, the relationship came to an end (that jerk dumped me five minute before I had to go onstage and perform in a stupid play!), and the email address was just embarrassing. Well, AOL had this magic thing to let you change your email address…at the expense of 2 hours of your time. So, off I went…and the first, and best, thing I could possibly come up with in my 14 year old brain was, “I’ll show him how great I am! I am sweet and he will miss me!” And thus, SweetBabyDesi@aol.com was born. I am quite sure that email address still exists. Just as I am quite sure that the last time I checked it was around 2005…Well, it was AIM screen-name, of course, and when I swapped to the ever more awesome (and free!) yahoo and Hotmail, I kept SweetBabyDesi around. My friends and family all knew me by that screen-name, so it just didn’t make sense to change it. And quite honestly, it never embarrassed me until I went to write it on a job application back in 2013. That was when I realized that it was sort of immature and I should probably have a grown up email address for employers to write to..(there is no one in the military who is actually a grown up, by the way. We all still laugh at fart jokes…every single one of us.) So, I went through and hashed out a mature, responsible, adult email address for those purposes.
When I opened my Etsy shop, it was actually for one sole purpose…to try to get rid of some of the massive amounts of pom-pom scarves in my life. (Well, they didn’t sell…and most got given away as gifts.) So, after 10 years of everything being “sweetbabydesi”, it just seemed like the natural thing to name the shop. And so I did, and I never, ever thought about trying to pursue it as a real business. I never thought about how your shop name may play into your branding. Hell, I never thought of branding at all, not until I started reading posts on the etsy forums about how to improve shop sales. (By the way, if you are looking for some killer advice, Stacey Rebecca is the lady to look to…her blogs, her posts. her entire being is just so abundantly helpful.) Now, I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. I feel like my shop name may hurt me, because people do come looking specifically for baby items, but at the same time…the little bit of a following, the people all around, the cards I have handed out, the advertising I have done, is all under SweetBabyDesi, and I feel that a major change now will kill any momentum that I have garnered. And so I leave it, hoping that people will just assume I started with baby items and expanded…unless, of course, they read this blog, then they will know my deep, dark secret…I was a love-stricken and heart-broken teenager!