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Shelli Makes - Teddy bears & other cheerful things by Shelli Quinn
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Chico, California
Posts: 9,939

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

I don't think we've covered this here (or have we, and I'm having a midlife moment?), and I find myself wondering just exactly how to pronounce certain user names, and where they came from, and why they were chosen.  What's YOUR story?

I'll start.  Mine's boring, if convoluted.

I make high end teddy bears for adult collectors, which some of you may know.  bear_tongue  The name of my company is POTBELLY BEARS.  I originally wanted to call it ShelliBelli Bears and to name my website, but my friend Andrea, a graduate in graphic design and now, a consultant in marketing & branding, handed me a list of about a bajillion reasons why that name wasn't "ideal."  Reasons such as:  ShelliBelli is not an intuitive spelling and people might not get to my website as a result; ShelliBelli has no relationship to my product and is therefore harder to remember than a term that makes better sense; ShelliBelli is a very long thing to type into a browser bar; and so on.  I think she was dead on and I'm grateful for her advice.  So I went with something similar, dropping the Shelli and keeping the Belli.  And came up with Potbelly Bears.

When I started making imps (softies) and jar bears and art cards, I liked the idea of expanding my branding, and began using the moniker POTBELLY ARTS to reference myself instead, including registering the domain, which is an overlay to my original website  I thought POTBELLY ARTS was kinda memorable and whimsical and weird so I chose that as my ATC world user name and my "arts & crafts" name more generally.  I'm also POTBELLY ARTS (as all one word: potbellyarts) at flickr, on Etsy, on DeviantArt, and so on.  I figured it was good to be find-able on the web since I have a web-based business, and that's worked well for me so far.

I go by POTBELLY ARTS pretty much everywhere on the web (early in my career I used POTBELLY BEARS too.)  People can generally find me under one of those names, or the other, various spots on the web...

... Except (ironically) on this forum!!, which best represents my business and background and interests, and the reason I developed a "web presence" in the first place!!  Here at Teddy Talk, in order to appear accessible and friendly to the readership and to personalize our presence and take away any sense that we're authoritarian or "bosses" lording over the members here, the decision was made that all TT advisors use first names as their user names.  Which I think was a fine and good decision!  Anyway... That's why I'm "Shelli" here, and POTBELLY SOMETHING everywhere else.

And gawd, that was a lot of words to tell a really, really boring story.  bear_tongue  bear_tongue

What's YOUR user name story?  Do tell!  And please... share how to pronounce your user name if it's a weird one.

All Bear All Bear by Paula
Posts: 5,162

Mine's simple.  I wanted something that does what it says on the tin.  I make teddy bears and am passionate about keeping that time honoured craft alive, so of course, I would like people to understand my ethos from the outset - no messing around with other stuff, my business is about teddy bears, beginning, middle, end.  I think 'All Bear' sums things up perfectly, even on a subliminal level and if collectors happen to be able to find me in alphabetical listings really quickly, that'a bonus too! bear_happy

My full trading name is of course, All Bear by Paula Carter ... I've found it really helps to tag my name to my trading name to let collectors know there is a person driving the designs forward.

Chico, California
Posts: 9,939

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

But Paula, how do you pronounce that??


Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

Um... "Daphne".... how did I come up with that user name? Gee......

That's who I am! And it's not a common name so I'm not mistaken for another Daphne..... I could use "Back Road Bears" and do on some sites but its too impersonal for here. Besides, I'd have to always be signing my name to posts because not everyone knows who is behind Back Road Bears..... or can't remember my real name because its weird.

I use Teddy Bear Lady, Back Road Bears or Back Road Studio for eBay, Etsy, yahoo groups and the like but bear message forums like this and Edinbrugh's are more personal, my friends are here....  bear_original ..... and I'm more of a human being here than just a name! So I wanna be ME!

Edited to add: Daphne is pronounced: "daf-nee"  Two syllables folks, that all! Rhymes with Daffy Duck (but if you call me that I'll kill you!). bear_tongue

Aleta - The Silly Bear The Silly Bear
Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,119

Well, let's see.  I combined my "real" name (Aleta - pronounced a-lee-ta) with my bear business name, The Silly Bear.  I listed my user name this way because my name is so unusual that I find most people don't remember it.  So, I thought if I combined the two.....people would make the connection and maybe, just maybe, remember my real name. 

I guess I could have gone by my nickname, Queen, because I was named after a Queen.....of comic book fame (HA!)....Queen Aleta of the Misty Isles, Prince Valiant....but I thought that would give the wrong vibe here.  Don't cha think so?  Besides, I'm much more of a Silly Bear anyway! 

And where did The Silly Bear come from?  Well, I orginally started out as Willy Nilly Be Silly!  I had a tag line, Tick Tock Willy Nilly Hopscotch Be Silly.  It was all a bit too much.....even though it really speaks for the way I live my life.  Kind of a play on words that time is silly.  Anyhooo, I thought The Silly Bear was a skosh more serious.....for those who choose to be serious, yet still playful.  By including the word bear, it spoke more for what I actually do as a chosen profession.

So, there you have it.....Aleta - The Silly Bear!

Warmest bear hugs,  :hug:

Alexis Lexsomnia Bears
Posts: 123

Well, I just used my name (Alexis) because I am boring!  bear_grin I have FINALLY chosen a business name though that I am happy with. I chose it because my mind never stops even at night and usually I get up at 2 am to finish an eye, turn a limb, or do some other creating. lol!

Posts: 1,586

:crackup: Denby30 (Denbee30) My maiden name was Den Bleyker and kids called me Denby for short, 30 is my day of birth.  S thats my user name and my name for bears is Denby Bears.  I always told people that I would be Denby Bears. Quite simple really.  The only other Denby I know of is ceramic dinnerware. :crackup:

Lisa q.D.paToOtieS
Near Fredericksburg, VA
Posts: 1,349

Lisa.  Yes, I know.  How highly creative of me to use just my first name.  But, when you grew up in the 70's when a huge part of the population also decided to name their little girls Lisa and you were often referred to as Lisa B. (my last name was Bunting) so being referred to as just "Lisa" is a big thing.

As for my business name, I started out as Bunting Thoms Teddybaren which was way too long and difficult to remember.  So I stopped making bears for two years when I had the girls and when I started again, I decided to change my name from Bunting Thoms Teddybaren to Twin Cubs (because I have twin girls).   Now I'm trying to decide whether to change it once again to q.d.patooties because more people know me for my little Japanese bears than they do my traditional bears.

Decisions, decisions...

thumperantiques Newcastle, Ontario
Posts: 5,641

Until I sold on Ebay, I just used my name to sell my bears - Brenda Power, Miniature Bear Artist.  When I started selling on Ebay, I sort of stole the idea of using my pet's name with antiques, from my niece (who is Ciderantiques).  I like the "antique" ending, as I was starting to make my bears look old, hence Duffyantiques.  I really never intended to be known by that name, but since I pretty much only sell on Ebay now, it slowly evolved into my name.  I registered the domain name when Penny made my website ( and I just continued to use it on Etsy (  and my blog (  I chose thumperantiques for Teddy-talk as I had used it for a couple of other chat boards, and it is also my current cat's name (Thumper).  Pretty boring, really  :crackup:



MerBear MerBear Originals
Brockville, Ontario
Posts: 1,540

My family nickname has always been "Mer" from a cousin who couldn't pronouce Marion - (not one of my smarter cousins). When I started making bears and felt I needed a name - MerBear made more sense than Marion's Bears.


Plum Cottage Bears Plum Cottage Bears
Long Beach, CA
Posts: 2,151

Plum Cottage Bears Cute Animal Ambassador

Teddy bears always seemed like metaphorical angels to me.  Thus, Angelbearies--Teddy bears are angels come to earth in mohair.

Chico, California
Posts: 9,939

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Oh, that one's a particularly sweet and soft explanation, just like bears.  (sigh)  bear_flower

katiecountrymouse1 KatieCountryBears
Bolton-le-sands, Carnforth
Posts: 3,101

Hi Shelli,
My dad had a nick name for me 'Katiecountrymouse', maybe shortened to 'Katie', from a tv programme when I was growing up. When he died, my husband started calling me Katie, so I thought I'm not into mice so change the mouse to bears, so that is how Katiecountrybears originated. So I'll never forget  my wonderful dad, whilst I'm making bears. He would have been proud of me!
Love kayx.

NewelleyBears Newelley.Bears
Harrow, Ontario
Posts: 284

It's soooo cool to hear everyone's background regarding their names.  Mine (obviously) comes from my last name which is Newell.  I thought that it was an approprate name as all my friends and co-worker's have always called me Newelley, and I have heard from too many people to mention that I remind them of a big teddy bear....LoL.  So I thought "hey, Newelley.Bears would be a perfect name!"  and it has stuck ever since.


Mo Beary Mo Bear Designs
Redcliff, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,535

My name comes from the 3 Stooges!!!  Myself and 2 girlfriends were nicknamed that 3 Stooges by my hubby and when my granddaughter was born he taught her to call me Mo instead of grandma.  So thats where Mo Beary came from.

shantell Apple Dumpling Designs
Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128

I just used my name...Shantell.  It's not all the popular especially for someone my age.  I hear tons of little girls under the age of about 10 with it now a days.  It still makes my head turn to see who in the heck is yelling at me now.   :crackup:    I could have used the name I have on ebay which was a quick sign up when I wanted to purchase something years ago (long before bears)...shanternelli.  That silly name originated from my friend Angie who started calling me "Shanternelli with the big belly" when I was pregant with Taylor (now 17).  I got even with her,  she later went on to have TWINS.   bear_innocent

Apple Dumpling Bears...came from you guys actually.  I got help here coming up with a name for my little bear business.  I do think it was Kelly from Canna Bear Paint that came up with the final Apple Dumpling part.  I couldn't decide for sure.  I needed input!  (so typical me)  I have been thinking about changing it a bit to encompass more than just bears since I've been playing in the cloth/rag doll arena lately.  Nothing ready to sell...just having fun.

I could have just used "Mooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom" but I suppose most of you hear that all day long too!!!!   :crackup:

KiddoBears KiddoBears
Posts: 851

Hi! everyone bear_flower  I came up with my HiKiddoBears name when in 1991 was my first grandaughters birthday,I wanted to give her something very special for her,something that she would play,and hide her things inside. My idea was a bear,a very special one just for her. I set out to make it,and to make this story short,I made ,an open bear, like the ones sitting that some of you have seen in here,when I finished it I had it in front of me seeing its soulful eyes and remembering my brothers friends calling me by kiddo when I was small and just said "HiKiddoBear" with such inner satisfaction that it had turned out, how I had envisioned it.
My grandaughter still has it in her dresser now with jewerly.
I am planning in changing it to just KiddoBear or MEBears and I am waiting a reply from copyright office, so I will see if just the name (kiddobear) or MEBears(ME=first and my last name) does not exist. I will use it,and they will change it.  :hug:  :hug:

Annnik JustMerde
Bells & Sherman, Texas
Posts: 345

Mine's not so fun as everyone else's!!

My first website was on Tripod and that's the ID they gave me... it just stuck!

Swan Valley Bears Swan Valley Bears
Penn Valley, CA
Posts: 1,845

I started out as being BaroneBear.  My last name Barone, is pronounced, well, rhymes with baloney.  Most people are familiar with  the "Everybody Loves Raymond" show on TV.  They pronounce it Barone, rhymes with throne.  When you say BaroneBears with the first pronunciation, it sounds pretty good, but if you say it the second way, it sounds pretty lame.

So, I decided to change my business name.  I came across an article about Swan Valley, Montana.  They have the largest Grizzly Bear population in the lower 48 and the bears are protected by the Swan Valley Grizzly Bear Habitat.  You can check out this website to find out more:  I also kind of liked the idea of a bear riding on a swan's back.

When I changed my business name and I sent an email to Quy asking him to change my info, I didn't realize that my user name would be changed from Patty B to Swan Valley Bears.  But that's OK.

chrissibrinkley Posts: 1,836

My original user name out here on TT was chrissibrinkley (a combo of me and my dog!)  It was a user name I used for a yahoo dog group, so I just used it again not really thinking.  Teddy bear folks started to think it was my real name, so Quy graciously changed it to alleviate the confusion  bear_grin

CatherWoods.... woods, bears....I had a really convenient last name and just went with it!  bear_laugh


teeeej Brisbane
Posts: 623

My username is simply my initials with a few extra E's in it. My nickname is Tej, but I use Teeeej a lot on forums. Just pronounce it with a super long 'ee' sound and your fine. bear_grin I don't have a business name as I don't sell my bears as yet. I guess I have to look forward to choosing a name if I ever decide to go down that path.

Mutz Mutz's Tootsz Bears & Buds
New Berlin, Wisconsin
Posts: 397

This has been a really fun thread! We are, it seems, as creative in names as we are in bears!

My name "Mutz" (rhymes with Toots) was a nickname that my mom called me. I asume that it may have some German origin, my grandparents were German.  For all I know it means something nasty in German, my mom doesn't know either.

When I started making dolls many years ago, I said that if I ever started a business I would name it Mutz's Tootsz. I kinda just kept the idea & translated it into bears.


melissa Honeythorpe Bears
Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 1,789

I'm like Shelli - every place but here I use Honeythorpe - here it's my boring first name.  Every now and then I think about changing it to Honeythorpe on here but haven't so far.

Honeythorpe is a totally made up word.  When I came to naming my bear business back in the late 90s I soon realised that there was a plethora of Mel, Melanie and Melissa's in the bear making world so it seemed that every which way I combined Mel and bears someone had already used it (and I was getting confused between existing artists as it was so didn't think I should add myself to the mix). 

So, I went to the meaning of Melissa which is Honey or Honey Bee which is kind of appropriate for bears but of course any convulution of bear and honey had been used too.   bear_rolleyes  At the time I was creating big bears and each bear had a back story - my sister and I were tossing around ideas for a location for the bears to come from and came up with "the bears from Honeythorpe Street" - well I quickly realised that was way too much of a mouthful and so it was shortened to Honeythorpe Bears.  I'm inovlved in a couple of non-bear forums and sales places and there I go by "Honeythorpe"

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399

I liive in a desert that is surrounded by mountains.  I was driving one day and saw a road sign desertmountain road.  I knew it was the right name

BootButtonBears BootButtonBears
Posts: 2,837

Well, my user name is my business name as well and it came about very simply.  I wanted a name to convey that I make vintage and antique style bears.  I use shoe button or boot button eyes quite a lot, and the name Boot Button Bears just came to me one day.  I also thought it was probably unusual enough not to be duplicated.

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