Thursday, March 7, 2013

Well, here we are, then!

And how lovely it is to be here!

I am the real, honest-to-goodness Leopardstripes. The one, the only, the original. Just thought I'd get that out there, right off the bat. I've been using this handle since, oh, gosh, what year did Yahoo! start up? Early '90's? (Yeah, I'm old. Ish.)

Why am I telling you this?

Well...let's go back in time. (Please forgive me...blogs don't allow for the swirly-time-travel-segue-thing, so just picture it, OK? Use the Wayne and Garth scene in your head, if it helps.)

A few years ago, I started a business. I made handcrafted jewelry, particularly wirework, and was also a Certified Natural Henna Artist, through INCHA. I started an Etsy store. I sold stuff on Ebay. I had a website, and did local henna jobs. I tried! Between breastfeeding a new baby, taking care of a very active toddler, and running a household, I got a few things sold, did a few gigs.... But, eventually, because it wasn't the most profitable operation on the planet, the State of Idaho decided that really? This was a hobby, not a going concern. I faced the facts-I could handle that. The economy was starting to tank, and fripperies were not exactly in demand. I got a "real" job, and actually paid some bills, fed my family, all of those responsible things that responsible adults do. But I didn't stop doing what I was doing- just had more fun at it, now that the pressure was off! I shut down the website, only listed stuff on Ebay occasionally, and cooled off on the Etsy shop. After all, Etsy's so damned crowded with STUFF, it's not like I was selling much of anything on there. Unless you dump some cash into getting your listings placed on the top, it's hard to get noticed. It was costing me to keep listings up, and was becoming an excercise in futility- my local sales and friend-to-friend sales had always been more profitable, anyway. So I de-listed my stuff, and let it go for a bit.

Fast forward to a few months ago. Found that I had enough stuff built up (including my incredible burgeoning fabric and beading supplies stash!) to maybe think about selling some of it off, and my dear friend, Cheri, suggested that I use Etsy- she was doing well with it, with her fabrics, so why not? And their listing fees are better than Ebay's. (Side note: check out her Etsy shop- it's at  http://www.etsy.com/shop/mynamescheri - she's got GREAT fabrics and supplies at GREAT prices! She's also a helluva nice gal!) However, I couldn't for the life of me remember what my Etsy store address was, and somehow managed to delete all of the emails that pertained to it- bye-bye, passwords! By-bye, all that information! After cursing under my breath a bit, I looked it up, since gosh, Leopardstripes is a pretty uncommon name, right? And it's been mine forever- this'll be easy, right?

Wrong. Couldn't even find it, at first. Because the only shop with that name attached to it that popped up in the search WASN'T MY SHOP.

Someone callously took my name. And used it for their Etsy shop. She's just a kid, from what I can tell. (Of course, as I get older, EVERYONE appears to be a kid, to me.) But I was there FIRST. It was my name first, while this kid was probably still in preschool. If not in diapers.

Steam came outta my ears. I also said some words out loud that I'm sure my children delightedly regaled their grandmother with, on their way to church that weekend. (Thing One and Thing Two do so enjoy doing that sort of thing!)

I immediately contacted Etsy, asking what could be done about this- surely there were rules about this sort of thing?

Nope.

Score one for people who use other peoples' business names, including legally registered ones.

It's perfectly OK for people to do that, so long as there's a *slight* variation in how the name is presented. (Betcha the Kraft Corporation, or maybe Coca-Cola, would disagree!) There is no recourse, other than to change my shop name, so says Etsy. And I'll-be-go-ta-hell before I'll do that. Not sure what, exactly, I am going to do...but not that. And I'm fairly certain, at this point in time, that I'm not interested in trying to "outsell" this other person- I lack the energy for that much work, most of the time, what with a full-time outside job, my various projects, and an energetic, ever-hungry family to feed. Also, the money to do so. But I can bitch about it! Empty bitching costs nothing. That's a price that I can afford!

Bear in mind, this little rant is not indicative of what I'll be blogging about all of the time. I'd like to share some tutes, some projects, some refashions, some recipes and cooking tips, and the occasional photo of things in my world, including my two amazing boys, Thing One and Thing Two. And also of my husband, when he permits. Just like pretty much most of the bloggers that I read do, now that I think about it. I'm not going to pretend that what I plan to do here is in any way unique, but I hope that it will at least be interesting. But I thought it was only fair to warn you, Dear Reader, that I *do* occasionally go on rants. I may say things that offend. I will possibly even use somewhat offensive language, from time to time.(Although here, unlike in real life, my computer keyboard does conveniently have almost an entire row that, when you hit the "shift" key, provides me with endless and harmless ways to express the many, many bad words I know!) I occasionally lack political correctness. Plus, I'm stubborn, a typical Taurus. If I'm in the wrong, I'll admit it, and apologize.

But I'm not wrong on this one.

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