What's In a Name?

What's In a Name?

August 09, 2017

"That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet."

Unfortunately, what might have been true in 16th century England, at least according to Shakespeare, is most definitely not true in 21st century business.

When I started Curly Sue it was a side project to my full time bakery, and one that I hadn't anticipated growing to the size it is now. As a result, and as hindsight kindly taught me, I rather foolishly didn't put nearly enough time into choosing a name as I should have.

There was some thought behind its selection, however, as Curly Sue was a nickname someone had given me back in 2007. It was also one that only that particular individual knew me as, so in choosing it for the project it offered a personal connection of sorts whilst helping me maintain relative anonymity in the online world.

But therein lay the problem: it reflected who I was, not who I am now 10 years later. It's no surprise then that as the side project grew into a full time online business, and furthermore as new customers, old friends and family came to know me as the person behind Curly Sue, I felt more and more misrepresented by the name. Unsure how a name change could affect the growing business I postponed the inevitable for several months, but in time this postponement became a hindrance rather than a help and I had to bite the bullet.

The name Pretty In Punk has become the replacement for two reasons:

1. I like wordplay (my bakery was named Minor Treat after all), and
2. It offers a far more accurate reflection of myself -

- that is not to say I am conceited enough to presume I am pretty, but instead am often not seen as punk or "punk enough" because I don't resemble that of a stereotypical* crust punk who has been dragged backwards through a hedge and washed in a sewer. I'm also not a cisgender heterosexual white guy, but that's another topic of conversation entirely.

What it actually means to be punk is different for everyone who self-identifies as such. To me it describes not only my musical interests but also my political beliefs - the two not being mutually exclusive, as I was unsurprisingly influenced politically by a lot of left wing bands. Indeed the fact both my musical and political interests point towards the same apparent appearance and attire is certainly convenient; although I dare say that the majority of punks don't consciously pick out clothing to reflect their lifestyle, and instead find that their lifestyle is reflected in the clothes.

Making the change has without doubt been nerve-wracking - in fact, as I write this there are only hours to go before I reveal the new name and tension is high - but having asked myself several months ago "is Curly Sue, in name and form, the most accurate representation of myself?" to which the answer was a thunderous "no", if I were to ask the same question with respect to Pretty In Punk, the answer would be a resounding "yes". 

So, here's hoping that the new name maintains the interest of you who have followed Curly Sue thus far, whilst generating newfound curiosity from those yet to discover Pretty In Punk...

Love and rage,
xo Caro

* Of course stereotypes are more often than not entirely misleading, having been fabricated by a relatively more privileged group of people and presented in such a way so as to "other" them, either through dehumanisation, degradation, or down right dishonesty. 

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