Why am I rebranding and why have I chosen to go this route? A lot of you have been wanting to learn more about this big leap, so I wanted to take a moment and chat with y'all!
When I first started my business in 2017, the focus of my art revolved around woven wall hangings. Over time, I have made several pivots and have changed my company name from Saffron Soul Tapestries to Saffron Soul Textiles, to Saffron Soul Collective, and now, Meesha Farzaneh. The sudden leap from Saffron Soul to my own name has raised a lot of questions!
I want to feel proud about representing my fashion jewelry line with more confidence and ownership. I want to put more of a face and a name to the art that people are viewing and wearing! During this name change brainstorming period, I came to a really interesting realization. My entire life, starting in grade school, I have associated a certain level of anxiety and dislike towards my Iranian last name. The problem is, that the name Farzaneh (Far - za - nay) is not a common name like Smith, Jones, Miller, etc. Therefore, it was almost always mispronounced and butchered by anyone who attempted to read it out loud.
Being a young first-generation Iranian American in grade school, I started experiencing anxiety about my name being mispronounced in front of the class. It always started with a break in the flow of names being called out for attendance with a long pause. I knew it was coming, and I knew it was my name up next. I eventually just said the last name out loud before the teacher could even attempt to make a strange interpretation of the sound. This continued every year through each graduation from grade school to college. I realized when thinking back that I had chosen all these variations of Saffron Soul name changes, in an attempt to hide behind Meesha Farzaneh. This preconditioned response of feeling anxiety towards the thought that it would be hard for people to pronounce, was preventing me from being able to proudly stand next to my work using my own name. Instead, I was choosing to hide behind a company name that I had invented to protect myself from potential embarrassment and discomfort.
But, as Bob Dylan once sang, "For the times they are a-changin'". Well, it's 2019 now and his lyrics are still ringing true! I notice so much more positive awareness and respect from peers for being a minority. I feel a strong sense of pride to have such a beautiful culture and rich history behind my name. So starting from this point forward, I am so excited to stand tall NEXT to my name and be able to represent my brand the way I have always desired to. And you know, it really isn't a big deal if my last name is being mispronounced. I am totally fine with whatever feels most comfortable for y'all to pronounce! What matters most to me is building that strong connection between myself and my customers. I want y'all to get to know the person behind the brand because I truly care about creating a product that makes you feel both comfortable and fabulous!
Photo by Chelsea Francis