Thursday, January 31, 2008

What's In a Name?

When we are born, our parents give us a name. In our family, we use names from our own rather large family pool. It gives us a feeling of continuity and connectivity with our past. My older brother was named for my dad. My younger brother was named for my grandmother's brother and my dad's brother. I was named for my grandmother's aunt and my mom (and her mom and her mom...4 generations with the same name). My own children carry nomers from our family, my older son is named for his dad's grandfather and my grandfather. My daughter carries my name and the female version of my brother's name. My younger son is named for my husband's 4th great grandfather.

As we grow older, we usually get a nickname of some sort. I was called Ladybug as a child and it has been shortened to Bug over the years. My husband is fondly known as Flop in his family. My own kids have loving nicknames which they would kill me if I published, so I'll keep them a family secret until they start dating....hee hee hee.

I inherited my g-grandmother's talents along with her name. I taught myself to sew on her Singer Featherweight machine when I was about 9 years old. As my skills developed, I realized that sewing was not just my creative outlet, it was my passion. So when I decided to sew for the public, I wanted a business name that would convey my sense of style, creativity and my basic philosophy as a seamstress. I love fine fabrics and elegant designs. I have an attention to detail that borders on obsessive. If I had to describe my own personal ethic in fine clothing, I would say sophisticated. And thus was the birth of SEWphisticate, my custom sewing business. I cater primarily to the bridal industry, making custom bride's maid dresses and the occasional wedding gown.

Out of my custom sewing business, came the development of my own line of high quality accessories. I wanted a label that would be easily recognizable. After much debate, I finally settled on a monogram. gLp are not my initials, but a compilation of all that I hold most dear to me. My two older children are from a previous marriage and their last name starts with G. The most wonderful man in the world, gave me his last name, which starts with L. Together we have a perfect little boy whose last name begins with P. Which leads to my last name story...and perhaps the answer to the question 'What's in a name?'

My husband was adopted by his maternal grandparents when he was 4 years old. Because he already knew his full name and because his maternal grandparents had 4 boys of their own, they decided to let him keep his last name. But none of his uncles cum brothers had boys and neither did his grandfather's brothers. The family name died out completely. When we had a son, we gave him my husband's grandparent's last name to honor their commitment in raising him and to give the family name another generation....and hope for future generations in his children.

Names represent who we are, where we come from and where we are going. People know us by our names and associate who we are by the names we carry. I proudly bear my families' names and enjoy being connected to my past. When I see my business name, I am reminded to work hard and to take pride in my efforts. When I see my design label, I think of my children and their own bright futures.

What about you? What's in your name?


Jennifer-Ancientgamecupboard said...

What a lovely post, sew~

Felicia said...

Lots of history in with your family's names. I like hiding behind Fluffy Flowers :)

Jenrosesegrest said...

I am named after no one, but my husband calls me Bird, i like it. It is funny how names evolve and get shortened or changed.
Very nice blog and interesting topic which i will now ponder throughout the day.
Thanks for the kind comments on my blog:)
xoxo jen

Elizabeth said...

Names are "sew" important to you - and you are very clear about that! Like the way you described the development of gLp.

Love what you have done with your blog!! Really like the new design and format.

You do marvelous work.

XUE said...

Always nice to learn more about you! My name "Xue" means snow in Chinese. And that is funny since I grew up on a sunny, tropical island. My (adoptive) parents gave me this unusual name as I had come to them in an unusual way. Maybe that explains too, my fascination with snow !

RuralAbandon said...

Oh what a great post! I adopted a 5 month old and stuggled with whether to name her or let her keep the name her bio mom gave her. Luckily I had a representative there when the bio mom named her and I know how it went down so I didn't feel bad changing it...and the ladies at the orphanage began using the name I was going to give her at one week old because I went to the orphanage everyday. My daughter doesn't have a middle name because it wasn't something they did in her country but I have unofficially given her the middle name of her bio mom.

I just love the decision you made with naming...really touching!

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i sew because i cannot draw.