What's up Wednesday

What’s Up Wednesday : Naming process

 

IMG_0949Today, like most weeks, I spent some time naming some of the latest additions to the Gus and Ollie clan. Sometimes a name jumps right off the page and fits perfectly, other times I search and search, trying to find the perfect name to fit those cute little faces.

The questions I am asked the most about my process are How do you name them? And how do you remember which names you’ve already used? Well, the answer is pretty simple.

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A few years ago, out of the blue, one of my delightful customers sent me a book of 5000 names, which she no longer needed and thought would be useful to me. Not only was it my very first book of names – but I haven’t found a better book of names since.

Not only does it include names from a vast variety of nationalities; African, Germanic, Italian, Irish, Welsh, British, Spanish, and Polish to name few, but it’s like a dictionary of names starting at A and ending in Z.

There is no boys section or girls section. It simply states if the name is used as a feminine or masculine first or last name, following with its origin and meaning.

My naming method is to completely finish a monkey, monster or elephant, sit them in front of me on my desk with book and green highlighter in hand, then I look at each face and decide on the first letter of their name. I know it sounds crazy – but most look like a B or an N or I know this one will start with S!

It’s just something that seems to come to me. I then flick to that letter in the book and start reading down the list of names beginning with that letter, stopping at names I think might fit. I look again at the monkey and know instantly if it’s right or not.

If not, I simply continue. IMG_0985

Once I have settled on a name, I write it on their name tag and promptly highlight the name in the book – which tells me at a glance that it has now been used. No two Gus and Ollie toys have ever been named the same. There have only been a couple of exceptions, where I have made sure that at least the spelling is different.

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Their name tags are then punched and tied on to the left side of the handmade fabric bag your monkey, monster or elephant arrives in. I like to call this their Schlafsack – their sleeping bag, which kids love to use to put them to bed at night.

If the monkey has not yet been sold, they are carefully placed in a cabinet or in the window display at my studio – Atelier E-37 – which is changed regularly, with each new influx of my cute critters.

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I hope you enjoyed reading more about my naming process, which only makes each and every Gus and Ollie softie a little more special and personal.

See you Friday!

Love Jess

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