art business, my background

The Story Behind the Name

As I’ve gotten out to more markets and hung up my sign, I’ve had people compliment the name Fairy Tree Studios, and occasionally ask me the meaning behind it. I realized recently that I haven’t actually explained it here on this site. So I’ll definitely add a little explanation to that on my “About Me” page, but I thought I’d share the slightly longer version of how I came to it here.  

First of all, why a business name? A lot of artists I know and follow just use their first and last name as their professional identity, and in some ways it is easier (fewer forms to fill out when you get started, for example). But I had a couple of reasons for wanting a separate name. One, I knew that I was (eventually) going to be getting married and would likely change my name when I did. I didn’t want to build a business under one name then have to try to find/update everyone after I changed it. (I did give some consideration to sticking to my maiden name even after getting married, but ultimately decided not to.) Second, it was a way to kind of keep my art business as a separate entity – depending on how it grows and evolves in the future, I thought a separate name would give me a little more flexibility if I hire employees or branch out into other areas. I would like to eventually teach workshops and own/operate an artists’ retreat, and having a separate name to do all that with made sense to me.

When I was working to come up with a name, I tried doing some anagrams with some of the letters in my name, Tom Riddle style, but all the good ones I came up with (not that there were many) were already taken (pro tip: when choosing a potential business name, Google it first to make sure no one else already has it).  At one point I was just sitting around my house, brainstorming, and looking at a giant 4’x5′ painting that I’d done in scene painting class, of a lone tree in a field, and thought how it looked like a fairy tree. Then I thought, maybe Fairy Tree Studios would be a good name… 

The tree painting from which I drew my inspiration for Fairy Tree Studios

You may be asking, what is a “fairy tree”? I first learned about them in Ireland, then did a bit more research when finalizing it as my business name. The short answer is, it’s a tree (usually an ash or hawthorn tree) growing alone in a field or meadow, believed to have fairies meeting or living in it. “Irish folklore tells us that the Fairy trees are a [gateway] for the two different worlds to collide, the mortal world and other-world of fairies. They act as an entrance from one world to another.” This was my favorite part of the whole concept, and one I wanted to apply to my art – a place where reality and imagination could meet.

I also embraced the association with Ireland in a broader sense; I’ve been there a few times (including two different 4-week visits for creative study) and it’s one of my favorite places. All of their history as we learned it had a layer of magic laid over it, a mythical element to all the major historical events that makes everything there feel a little enchanted (plus they have buildings standing that were built centuries before the U.S. became a country). There’s a pretty famous story about a fairy tree in County Cork that was in the path of a planned motorway, and the local residents fought (successfully) to reroute the road and spare the tree.  

So, that’s the story behind Fairy Tree Studios. If you have a business (or if you decided to start one), did/would you use your own name, or come up with a business name?

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