I am sure I am not the only crafter who has found themself facing this question. Does my name still accurately describe my business?
This summer I had an idea to make pants into messenger bags. I was just starting to learn about upcycling and freecycling and I totally loved the concept. I wanted to get my business started online which meant I needed to decide on a name. I love Upcycled by Ash and all the graphics I have created to go along with it.
Almost everything I sew still has at least some upcycled and/or freecycled materials. I quickly learned that making appealing items out of completely upcycled materials wasn't so easy. New fabrics have so much more color and they make it much easier to pick out a color pallet with patterns that complement each other.
Freecycling helps for sure. Between my friend Ginger, Mom, Grandma, and the project that my sister and I started a few years back that never got off the ground, I have a pretty good supply of fun fabrics and other materials. It has never been enough though.
Now I've also discovered jewelry making and I love it. A lot of what I am making still has freecycled components, but it is getting less and less as I use up the supplies. The thing I am liking the most about the jewelry is that it doesn't consume as much time.
Items I sew take up a lot of time. I honestly don't make enough from the sales to really say it worth the effort. Jewelry on the other hand is worth the effort. Don't misunderstand, I don't intend to stop sewing but it would be nice to make enough money to cover the cost of the project and have a little left over to help with the bills.
So back to the title of this post. I would say that about 60% of the items I currently have for sale are made of at least some upcycled or freecycled parts. The rest are made from new materials that I bought specifically for the project. Six month ago when I chose the name for my blog and business, I had no intentions of starting to make jewelry or of buying fabric specifically for projects.
I have evolved. Have I evolved away from my original roots too far? Is calling myself Upcycled by Ash misleading? Am I now just Ash who does some upcycling as well? Do I need to separate the sewing and the jewelry since it is the jewelry that is really pulling me away from the upcycled theme? At the same time though, I have made some purely upcycled jewelry too.
I have all these questions now because I am about to open an Etsy store. I only want to open one but I have two completely different crafts. Neither is completely upcycled, but neither is completely new material based either.
Is it a realistic compromise to create an upcycled/frecycled icon to denote which items are in fact made with upcycled/freecycled components?