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This young teen never suspected she would turn her far-fetched idea into a million-dollar business…naming babies.

Beau Jessup was just a regular sixteen-year-old teenager when she took a trip to China with her father that would change her life forever. While accompanying her dad on a business trip, Beau had the idea of helping Chinese families choose culturally appropriate English names for their new babies, and has since helped name over 600,000 children.

From Little Things…

Once in China, Beau’s dad introduced her to a business colleague who asked Beau to suggest an English name for her three-year-old daughter.

“I was surprised by this because having the responsibility to name a child is quite important,” she told news.com.au. “I wanted to take it seriously.”

After being given a list of characteristics that they would like their daughter to have, Beau did some research and chose the name Eliza after the famous character from Pygmalion, known for her strong personality.

“She was so happy with it and took the name suggestion straight away,” she said.

Being able to speak, read and write Mandarin after studying it at school proved to be a huge advantage for Beau as she set about creating a company that filled a gap in the Chinese market.

Fitting In

Prior to launching Special Name, Beau put together a database of more than 4,000 names with each name attributed to five characteristics. Parents using the site then select the characteristics they would like their child’s name to reflect and pay for the three name suggestions that it generates based on their choices.

“When I was at school, a lot of the Chinese girls had English names, but some were very odd… and it’s a shame because people would take the mickey out of them, which isn’t nice, and I didn’t want to perpetuate that.”

Beau is using the profits from her site to fund her degree in social anthropology at the London School of Economics and has plans to further improve the service and invest in property.

“It’s probably the most sensible thing to do,” she said. “Probably a bit too sensible!”

Would you use a baby-naming site to help name your child? Let us know in the comments.

  • That’s just lazy to pay someone to name your baby. But kudos to her fir a successful business so young

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  • I love finding names but I wouldn’t use a generated website to choose one. Great idea though, I wish I had of thought of it. Glad she’s putting her money to good use.

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  • This is so hard!

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  • It makes a lot of sense, the Chinese tend to go with certain English names and because it is easy to pronounce and share with others, but the meaning behind a name is so important

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  • Wow that’s amazing that this is such a thriving business.

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  • This is lovely. She came from a place of kindness :)

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  • Um, no thanks. Picking a name, whilst hard, is very important. Happy to take that on myself.

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  • Wow good on her. Great business at such a young age.

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  • What a clever young lady. I wouldn’t even think of using a site like this but it’s definitely a great idea for parents who need inspiration.

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  • Although I have never bothered with child naming sites, I can understand where the Chinese were coming from in their wishes, and say three hearty cheers to this young lady for her entrepreneurial efforts and making a good go of it.

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  • Very businesses savy at such a young age. I would possibly give it a go if I was looking for a particular name to match particular characteristics

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  • I wouldn’t use this service but good on her for coming up with such an innovative idea.

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  • Good on her. What a great way to help and save some embarrassment. I think this could be good for some other countries too as I found a lot of people I work with from overseas change their names to fit in and can make some funny choices

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  • No i would prefer to pick my own name for my own baby.

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  • No, I wouldn’t but good on her for coming up with such a great idea.

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