I got some bad news yesterday. I've received a letter asking to close down my shop that I've had on Etsy since 2007, which in internet years is ancient. The problem is with the username I have.
How it started was when I was in hospital. That was the absolutely worst time of my life and I was grasping at straws to keep my mind going. I was being blasted with the worst chemotherapy and was on a cocktail of drugs to keep me alive while the transition happend in my body from my bone marrow transplant.
Then in an art article online I read someone describing some artwork as "____ _____". I started looking all over the web to see if anyone else was using the name or had the dot com. There was a bespoke photography company in England that had the wallcandy.com so I registered its_________.com
I thought it was a perfect way to describe the colourful paintings I had been selling through a gallery. The paintings were of fruit with bright backgrounds and they sold like hotcakes. When I was home and well enough, 2007 I did another search online and didn't find anything new that was using the _____ _____ name. So then I opened my Etsy account.
Etsy saved my sanity on all the dark days that came later. I met amazing people on my very first forum which were the Etsy forums. They were funny creative people and it fed my need for creative stimulation when I was unable to create. I never really got around to seriously using the account for selling because I was too unwell to paint or to ship anything out, so I made sure to only sell things every once in a while.
Well, the friends I made there made me feel so less alone. When I got well enough to get out of bed and get off the laptop, I would then check in at night. Some of those friendships have blossomed and grown but all of them are immensely important to me. You'd be surprised at what small things have huge impact on someone.
So now I have been informed that I am in trademark infringement. Someone who makes something in the USA that is a completely different product wants to shut my shop down. I am a Canadian working out of Canada and our products do not conflict.
If I lose my Etsy username I will lose contact with a lot of people who only know me through that name. Some are on forums some are not. Four years of building goodwill will be gone.
I'm positive that I'm not infringing on their trademark so I will be looking into that today.
*I've finally figured out how to close commenting on this post. I've never had to do that before. I respectfully ask that you do not continue this Trademark debate here on my blog.*