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trade tales | Jan 31, 2020 |
How did you decide on your firm’s name?

One of the first decisions you make for your company is what to call it. We asked seven designers—Alexia Butts, Kymberlyn Lacy, Ashley June McClendon, ​​​​​​​Courtney McLeod, Chanae Richards, Nina Roché and Lexi Tallisman—how they landed on their firm’s name.

Alexia Butts
Alexia ButtsCourtesy of Alexia Butts

Where the heart is
“Initially, I was going to just go with my name, but it didn’t really click for me. The word apartment makes me think of those super chic residences of some of my favorite fashion icons, like Coco Channel and Halston. Much of my work is inspired by fashion, and I wanted my company to reflect that. The number 5 represents home to me. Apartment 5 is an actual place. It is the real home address of my closest family members, who always encouraged my creative endeavors. To me, it represents warmth, happiness and the beauty of home. That is something I want to always bring to my own projects.” —Alexia Butts, Apt. 5 Interiors, Atlanta

Lexi Tallisman
Lexi TallismanCourtesy of Lexi Tallisman

Scaling up
“When I was starting my design firm, my grandmother had just passed away. The one thing I had always wanted of hers was this bronze scale in the shape of a crane that I would always play with as a kid, balancing coins they collected during their travels. While brainstorming firm names with my husband, with the scale on display in my home office, he suggested ‘Greyscale.’ I didn't really need to think much further. Greyscale suits me and my aesthetic perfectly, running the full gamut from white to black and everything in between. I don’t have a signature style or subscribe to a particular design era or color palette. I like to look forward, but I also relish reflecting on past imagery, art and interiors for inspiration, naturally evolving. And then I wound up hiring a friend to draw my grandma’s scale as my actual logo!” —Lexi Tallisman, Greyscale Interiors, New York

Kymberlyn Lacy
Kymberlyn LacyCourtesy of Kymberlyn Lacy

Eye-catching
“I was crossing the Arkansas River bridge, returning home from work in a neighboring city. During that season of my life, I was teaching special needs children and contemplating a return to school to obtain a master’s degree in architecture and interior design. I remember spending a great deal of time praying and meditating on what I should name my business. In addition, [I was] questioning whether I should forfeit my career as an educator to pursue not only my gift, but my passion to become an interior designer. While driving across the bridge, I ripped the cornea of my left eye. In all the chaos of that moment—trying to get myself out of the fast-moving traffic and dealing with the pain—I heard a small whisper: International Flair Design Interiors. Since hearing that, I’ve carried that name with me since the inception of my business.” —Kymberlyn Lacy, International Flair Designs, Little Rock, Arkansas

Nina Roché
Nina RochéCourtesy of Nina Roché

Easy street
“I grew up in a home located on 6th Street in Louisville, Kentucky, and the closest intersecting street is Ashland Avenue. My love for interior design grew right along with me in this home—it’s where I made 3-D designs, sketched floor plans, rearranged and decorated my bedroom, and played interior design games. It is truly the foundation of my business and holds great sentimental value. It was only right to name my business after the street where it all started.” —Nina Roché, Sixth & Ashland, Louisville, Kentucky

Chanae Richards
Chanae RichardsCourtesy of Chanae Richards

All in the details
“When naming our firm, I wanted to incorporate the most important aspect of my life: family. My last name, Richards, is quite common, so I chose ọlọrọ. In Yoruba, a language spoken in West Africa, ọlọrọ means rich and prosperous. The accents under the o’s are intentional too—without them, the term has a very different meaning. That intentionality and level of detail is what we bring to projects, thus our name is fitting.” —Chanae Richards, ọlọrọ Interiors, Philadelphia

Courtney McLeod
Courtney McLeodCourtesy of Courtney McLeod

Dream job
“It might sound crazy, but the name came to me in a dream! Right Meets Left is a reference to the creative right brain and the analytical left brain. It’s a playful take on my background—having spent 15 years in financial services prior to my design career, I am a perfect balance of the two. It’s one of my unique value propositions and a key differentiator, a quick way to convey who I am as a designer.” —Courtney McLeod, Right Meets Left Interior Design, New York

Ashley June McClendon
Ashley June McClendonCourtesy of Ashley June McClendon

Home team
“When choosing my firm name, I wanted to incorporate my name, but I wanted something more unique than sticking designs or interiors behind it. The essence of House of June is two things: First, it represents my love for all things home; secondly, in the future, House of June will serve as a ‘home’ for anyone possessing the skills necessary to get the job done.” —Ashley June McClendon, House of June, Houston

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