What’s in a name?

I love to hear the story behind how people choose names…. Names for babies, names for business, names for blogs, even the name they give their boat, car, scooter, bike….

For example my first car which was a 1982 Toyota Corolla Station wagon, tan, five speed, 200K+miles was lovingly nicknamed “The Squash.” My little sister was the one who first called it the Squash, I think out of desperation and an attempt to save face from the embarrassment of having to ride to high school with me in it. Though for all it lacked in style and overall coolness- multi colored panels, rust at the bottom of all the doors (it was from the east coast) inability to open the doors with the locks (having to climb through the back hatch etc.) the Squash made up for all that in loyalty. It was super reliable- hey it’s a Toyota, didn’t burn a drop of oil and consistently started which were three major points when looking at many of the other cars in the lot at the high school. The Squash will always hold a special place in my heart, and many memories. Now years later I drive a 09 Honda Pilot which is no doubt a step up from my first set of wheels. Yet it doesn’t have the character that the Squash had or a nickname.  Maybe our family should come up with one.

If you have any great suggestions for car nicknames or stories of your own about a name you’ve chosen, or been given please feel free to leave a comment.

But I digress from the actual topic I had in mind for tonight’s post. Names. More specifically how I came to choosing MEinspiredcrafts as my name. It actually started back in 2008. I have always been a crafter, my mom was a crafter (which is a long post for another night) and I love making things with my hands. I love the satisfaction of designing and creating something special. I love trying new techniques and learning new skills. I love the peace and quiet I find when I let my creative side run.  After having our first baby in September of 2007 I found that I needed to be creative as part of the definition of who I was/am more than ever. Before our son was born I had my career as a teacher. Being a teacher was and is a big part of who I am and includes making things and being creative daily. I worked in a low income school where there were not a lot of extra dollars. I could only add so much of my own salary towards buying things for my classroom, so I simply made them. I would look through the teacher supply catalogs and mark the things I wished I had then would make them or a version of them for my students to use. If it was made out of wood I’d rip the paper out and send it to my grandpa who would lovingly build it for me down in his basement. (This is an established habit, even from the time I was a little girl I would send him pictures and drawings of things I wanted him to make, doll houses, magic wands, and even a horse barn.) He is an amazing craftsman himself (also the topic for a long post on another night) and I still believe he can make anything I send a picture of. However, after my son was born I didn’t have a classroom full of students who needed me to make things for them every day and a baby can only use so many things. This was also around the same time we were interviewing babysitters so that my husband and I could have a date night occasionally. During one of the interviews one of our potential sitters mentioned that she sold her crafts on Etsy. Now this was the first I had heard of Etsy but I checked it out. I instantly fell in love. Here was a place I could send off into the world all the extra things I was making. Here was a place that I could buy from other artists and support their efforts. Here was a place for me. I signed up and created a shop right away and because all of my things were for or inspired by my son I decided that I would use the first two initials of his name M.E. inspired as my shop name. I crafted and sold some on Etsy for a while then as my baby got busier I let myself drift from selling and focus solely on buying. Now that our son is almost 5 I am still making things for him but also finding that I have the time to make more than he can use. I am starting to put my professional training as a teacher, specifically my years teaching Kindergarten to use in the things that I make for him, and the lessons I prepare. I have found what I want to make and share once again in my Etsy shop; handmade educational games that teach specific skills. One of my favorite parts of teaching is curriculum development and lesson planning and I think I’m pretty good at it. This is what I am working on to fill my Etsy shop with; fun games that teach.  It will be a few more days before I am ready to list to my shop, I am waiting on some supplies I ordered (some from other Etsy sellers) to arrive to finish off my first products. I’ll keep you updated as I stock my shop again.

PS- I know I’ve got some old photos of the squash, I’m going to search around and see if I can find some to scan and add to this post!