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The power of your name

Wednesday, 23 Aug, 2017

We all know we have names for a reason, and not just so when someone wants our attention we respond. Names are significant, they are given to us with meaning and I believe carry identity, having an impact on who we are and ultimately become. 

The act of naming is almost ceremonial – it is a significant act. Most parents-to-be look to the baby name books (or Google) to find the meanings of their favourite names before deciding on what to call their child. And when the newborn arrives, family members and friends eagerly await the name reveal. There’s a sense of being connected, of finally knowing who the little bundle of joy is. And just like a bride traditionally takes on her husband’s family name, there is significance in joining forces and becoming part of a new family identity.

But we don’t just name people or living creatures like our pets… we name lakes, mountains, roads, objects, teams, collections, businesses, shoes – you name it (ha, excuse the perfect pun), we name it. And they’re not always just descriptive labels either (like all the Six Mile Creeks out there), they’re often named to honour someone, or to create an emotive response, or make a kind of statement.

I’m yet to reveal the name of my shoe label, but there is a reason why I have chosen a Danish word as the name. Not only is it a beautiful looking and sounding word, it also has meaning. It is significant and carries identity not only for me personally, but also for the brand and I believe those who choose to wear it. My heart is for the women who will wear my shoes, to put them on and feel a sense of identity, knowing and being confident in who they are.

And speaking of names… Z is for Zan. So who is ‘Zan’?

Some of you know me as Zan, however most likely as Alex… but both are short for Alexandra. See, when I was little I could only sound out ‘Zandra’ and my sister shorten it to Zan, so my family have always called me that. Unless of course if I was in trouble or it was a more formal scenario – then it would be Alexandra. ‘Alex’ came about later on when we moved house and I started a new school; Alexandra was too long and it was just easier to introduce myself as Alex, and, well, that just stuck.

So why am I using Zan now? 

To be honest, Zan just feels more me. It’s not some stage name I’m trying to hide behind, or a marketing strategy or something I am particularly precious about – that you must only call me that. It’s sort of like a comfy outfit – well worn with a sense of being at home and not all dressed up – it just feels right. And as I’m sharing this entrepreneurial adventure with you all, I’m wanting to be real – so Zan it is!

Now that all said, if you are used to calling me Alex, you’re free to still call me that – or Alexandra for that matter (especially if I’m in trouble!). But rest assured, I will answer to all three…

Oh, and just for the record, Alexandra means ‘defender or protector of mankind’. I actually feel this is fitting in some ways, although I’m not about to have a career change into the army or police force!

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