Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Why is it called ChinaSprout?

I often get compliments about ChinaSprout's name. A lot of people say it's a cute name, while a few have asked if we sell vegetables! Of course, many want to know who thought of the name and why.

I studied marketing in an MBA program and know how important it is for a company to have a good name. When I was thinking to start the business, I considered lots of names. First I thought we should have a name like Friendship Store or Arts and Crafts Store in Beijing. (They were the main department stores where Westerners shopped in Beijing at the time.) Then I decided they weren't good choices because they don't have "China" in the name, and they don't sound right for a place selling educational products. Since I wanted to help adoptive parents and their children learn about China, I often thought of those children as "sprouts." These "sprouts" from China are growing up in the US. When I asked my friends about the name ChinaSprout, they all liked it (no one thought it meant selling vegetables) and ChinaSprout was born!

Interestingly, a few years later my son started preschool at a place called Beansprouts. When we decided to send him there, we didn't think much about the name. But then we realized it is another "Sprout." And then we also realized my son's Chinese name is Shimeng – sprout of the world. What a coincidence!

Now ChinaSprout has grown up, but we keep the name because lots of things continue to sprout from China, like the Chinese language and Chinese culture. I hope we will always stay fresh, young, and growing!



Anonymous said...

I love your business' name! It has been wonderful purchasing things for my precious "little Sprout" from HeBei for the past 11 years.

I especially love your notes on your son's name, his education, and your thoughts about the similarities and differences of growing up in China and in the United States. Thank you, XiaoNing for all you have done for adoptive families and for our family!