The word Gypsy... and what I'm doing about it.
In recent weeks, our country has become much more aware of the racial inequities. This includes the use of the word gypsy. I didn't realize the negative meaning when I chose the name for my quilting business. I learned about it only in the last year or so. Ignorance is bliss... but it is still ignorance. I had a 2-3 year rough plan for changing my name in the works at the end of 2019, but I am attempting to accelerate it.
Here are my thoughts and challenges that I have been working through. I would change it today if I could, but it will take time. I will explain it a bit below so you can understand why it will take me months and months to get this done.
Once I found out, I started trying to figure out how to go about changing my business name. I started the legal reorganization of the business is 2019 in preparation for the name change.
Next huge hold up... what in the world to change my name to?
I knew I wanted a new name that meshed better with the direction my designs. I started out strictly designing quilts and now the focus of my patterns are all organization things. The "Fat Quarter" part of my name implies I design a ton of things with fat quarters... which isn't true. And we all know why the Gypsy part needs to go. I thought about changing just the Gypsy into Gal, Guru, etc. But it still didn't feel right. In the Spring of 2020, I launched a new product called Sew Organized. The organized part felt right... pop ups, tote bags, etc. All things that fit that description pretty well. After chatting with my designer friends, we decided Sew Organized Design would be perfect!
Once I purchased Swirly Girls Design in the Fall of 2018, I had a opportunity to move quilt and table runner patterns to that brand in the future. Eventually, I will work through all of the quilt patterns originally under the FQG brand. This is something I look forward to. Not all titles will make the cut, many will change in some manner. In the end, the best ones will be reborn.
My largest issue is inventory. In this industry, printing is usually the most expensive part of our businesses. I order very large quantities of the best selling patterns. I usually end up with 1-2 years worth of inventory in order to get the cost down. This is why my plan was for a 2-3 year switch over. I'm a small business... really just me. I have a LARGE amount of money tied up in printed inventory... which I'm hoping I don't have to throw away. I have been trying to decide if I can print new covers and slip them over the existing stock with a note about why I'm changing my name and that I didn't want to negatively impact the environment by tossing all that paper. I don't really like this solution. I have multiple pallets stacked high with inventory. This isn't a file cabinet worth. I could toss a file cabinet worth and be ok. I debated stickers... might still go that route. I'm obviously still struggling with how to go about doing this part.
Websites. I have 3. One for The Fat Quarter Gypsy, one for my online store and one for Swirly Girls Design. The online store will move to the new URL first. That one is easy... I just need to figure out how to make all of the changes. This will hopefully be done by the fall. The Swirly Girls website is fine as is. The FQG website will need to be completely redesigned. This is a big project. So, this will probably take me a little longer. I need to move to a new platform, which means I'm basically starting from scratch. I also need to take the time to plan out what Sew Organized Design looks like... new pattern covers? New Logo? I have already hired a graphic designer to help me with those decisions.
There is a lot to do... but I will get it done.
More importantly, I personally need this change to happen... it bothers me. I don't deal with stress well. I hate disappointing people. Once I learned the negative meaning to the word gypsy... I lost sleep for days. I never, ever meant it in a negative way. I just didn't know. But once I learned, I started thinking about what to do and hope I am moving in a much more positive direction as a business owner and person.
Thanks for understanding and for your patience,