I’ve been struggling with an identity crisis lately. Not the kind where I wonder who I am – I know exactly who I am. It’s more of a brand issue. You see, a few years back, when I started my business, I had to think of a name to call it. I wrote down and repeated out loud a ton of different options, and the winner ended up being Torregrossa Art and Design. My maiden name is very special to me, because it’s very unique, and where I’m from, there is only one family with that name. So if you knew a Torregrossa, I was definitely related to them, and BINGO, instant connection.
I’m very proud of my maiden name, but I had always intended on taking my husband’s last name when I got married. I’m very old school, and proud of that as well. I just didn’t put enough thought into the name change, and what that would do for my business. Honestly, it hasn’t had much effect, negative or otherwise, but the transition has caused me to lose some sleep, so I wanted to share my thoughts on the process with you.
As an artist, I am the face of my business. I’m not the kind of business that sells products or services that anyone can do – people buy my work and hire me for live painting services because it’s me. Not trying to brag, it’s just a fact. We buy music from certain vocal artists because we love their sound, and the way they sing the lyrics. The lyrics alone don’t sell the music, otherwise the songwriters would sell us the lyrics as poems or something directly. So, when I changed my name from “Torregrossa” to “Gaffney,” I was really worried that I wouldn’t be recognized, or that dropping “Torregrossa” would affect my search result on Google or social media.
After much deliberation, I decided to go with my gut, and change my name. My email signature displays my name as Stephanie T. Gaffney, Artist, and then includes the contact info for the business below. My business cards, website and social media platforms are the same.
I realized that my concerns were inconsequential, and no one really seemed to notice. The people who did notice, or at least the ones who said anything, expressed their excitement for me as a newlywed on a new journey.
There have been many times when I wished I had followed the example of my friends over at Mimosa Handcrafted and opted not to associate my name with the identity of my business, but from what I hear on the streets, the name ‘Torregrossa’ is earning some recognition and the business is gaining some traction online, and I could not be more proud.
Maybe one day, Torregrossa Fine Art will be a gallery that hosts other artists, or an institute that provides courses for artists who want to learn how to be wedding painters… who knows! For now, though, it’s just me, Stephanie, bringing you beautiful artwork one day at a time.