Candace Alper: Name Dropping


The Business of Baby Names

It's Time To Start Name Dropping

You know that feeling you get when you are completely sure that you have arrived in the right place but you didn’t always know that that is where you were heading? That’s me, right now. Welcome to my new blog—I am the resident Baby Name Expert for The Yummy Mummy Club.

Baby Names are always on my mind—they are my business. I am the Creator and Executive Producer of Name Your Tune, Personalized CDs for children.  We have made more than 100,000 personalized music collections for babies and children since it was created in 2003. Name Your Tune began with recording the top 700 names for its catalogue, which has grown to more than 5000 names that are added due to trends and by customer request. Name Your Tune has made CDs for little boys (and yes, some little girls too) named Aiden—spelled a dozen different ways.  

On a daily basis, I hear from proud mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends, who are eager to celebrate their newest family member with a personalized, made-to-order gift. I love to hear the stories of their names—traditional and avant-garde. I have had conversations with bewildered grandmothers that begin with "Can you believe they named by new grandbaby that?" and the excited explanations from a father about naming his son after the ballpark that is home to his favourite baseball team.

My designation as an expert does not come to me just from studying reports, statistics and census records (which I do!), but it is also from my experience through my business and customers. I listen to stories, I look for trends, I ask questions and love to hear the answers. 

On a personal note, because the names that we give our children are exactly that—personal, I’ll start by sharing a bit about the names that I have given.

My daughter, Hannah James, is named after three special people who influenced my life. My mother’s best friend Heather Anne sadly passed away 12 years ago. She was dynamic, thoughtful, kind, generous, funny and warm. My mother always says, “to know Heather was to love Heather.” To have named my daughter after her was to honour her life and memory with the hopes that the qualities that we loved in her will shine through my daughter. They all have. My paternal grandmother’s Hebrew name was Channa—in English, Hannah. My maternal grandfather was James. For me, my daughter’s name is rich with meaning, stories and legacies.

On a lighter note, my dog’s name is Indigo. When my husband and I were ready to get a dog, we searched far and wide for a female Shih Tzu so that I could name her after my favourite band—The Indigo Girls.

I’m looking forward to sharing my baby naming tips and advice, trends and exploring the reasons and meanings behind the names that we give our children. I would love to hear from you about the choices that you have made or are in the process of making—it’s the first thing that we give our children that will stick with them for the rest of their lives. I want to hear your questions, and help give you some answers. There's so much potential for this space—polls, naming advice, birth announcements, your stories. Let me know what you'd like to see around here. Email me anytime!