Naming Your Etsy Shop: What’s a blue otter got to do with it?

by on September 26, 2014

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Back in 2011 as I contemplated getting started on Etsy, I found myself visiting frequently, clicking the front page images and getting familiar with the Etsy system.  Finally it was time to sign up with my own Etsy profile.

Setting up your Etsy profile is easy.  Everyone on Etsy takes this step, whether they are a buyer or plan to open a shop and sell things.

Just click Register on the Etsy header bar links.  Takes you to “Create an Etsy account and start shopping.”  Enter your name and email, decide on your own password, then create a username.

A username?  Aha – a small text explanation appears from Etsy.  “This will be the name of your shop, if you sell.  It cannot be changed later.”

“Your shop name is important,” my mentor David had said.  “Choose something unique, something clever, something folks will remember.” I needed to come up with something right up front.

My own name would have worked, I guess.  kimsolga on Etsy.  There’s not a lot of other Kim Solgas, so the name would probably be available.  But then I get to have my name listed in addition to this Etsy handle, so why not have some fun!  I ventured into the spirit world.  Which animal guide would lead me on this new Etsy journey?  I most often create artwork when I am off on a river trip, rafting down some wilderness whitewater stretch. Perhaps the most compelling river spirit I meet out there is the otter.  Slip sliding down the mud banks, basking in sunshine, cruising upstream in the twilight with it’s nose poking out creating an expanding V of ripples on still water.  Then there’s blue, the color blue, the color of water, of sky, of French Ultramarine and Lapis Lazuli, and my personal favorite color.

So blue otter it became.  And a third word?  (Felt like it needed some sort of finish…)  Not Blue Otter Studio.  I rarely get much done in the “studio.”  I’m a plein air painter – working in the open air, on location, out in the wilderness.  Blue Otter Painting?

I finally decided on Blue Otter Art!  Covers a range of meaning – a body of work, my entire lifestyle.

So for better or for worse, I signed up on Etsy as blueotterart.  Completely free.  Uploaded my smiling face as a profile picture.  And I’m in!  I could buy things!  I could build lists of favorites – favorite items, favorite shops.  I could create treasuries.  Hmmm, wonder what’s a treasury?

Well, now, let the fun begin.


Name advice from the Etsy Blog.  “New sellers often stumble at the very first step of the shop opening process: selecting a name. While it can be crushing when the shop name that you’ve set your heart on is not available, don’t let it stop you from creating your shop. If you’re in this boat, try adding the word “shop” or “boutique,” your location or even your initials to the end of your desired name. And remember, this isn’t your only shot at picking the perfect name. You can change your name as often as you like before you open your shop by going to Your Shop > Shop Name. After you’ve opened your shop, you can change the shop name one time (here’s how).”

Illustration courtesy and © Katherine Grey, The Grey Fox Studio on Etsy

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