What's In A Name?
Pet Health News

What's In A Name?

Thank you for checking out Haarstad Veterinary Dermatology's first blog post! The first question I had before writing this post was...What do I write about in my first blog post?!  Then, I remembered that I have wanted to share the story of how I named the business with everyone.  A blog seems like the perfect place to explain.

Haarstad Veterinary Dermatology officially opened on November 20th, 2017. Leading up to that, there were about 5 weeks of prep work.  Some really exciting things, like how to register a business with the state of Minnesota, how to track expenses to make my accountant happy, and which practice management software to use?

I knew I needed a business name.  I wanted it to be something unique and related to dermatology.  There were words I could use and put together as a name specific to what I would be doing.  For example, veterinary, dermatology, allergy, and specialist.  That would definitely explain what I did.  

I did internet research looking for words that were related to skin, hair, or allergy. Surely, there must be some Ancient Greek or exotic foreign language word that would sound really cool and summarize all things related to dermatology or allergies in animals.  Well, nothing stood out.

However, one day I was in a meeting with a local marketing and advertising guru.  He asked if I had thought about using my last name in the business name.  I told him I would need to think about it.

I wasn't born with the last name Haarstad, but I've had it almost as long as I had my maiden name.  My husband's last name is Norwegian.  I knew that but never thought more about it until recently.

The question about using my last name in the business name started my brain wheels turning. I had a very serendipitous conversation about my last name about six years ago.  I was at a veterinary dermatology conference where veterinary dermatologists from around the world come to learn the newest information in our specialty.  

One such dermatologist was from Norway.  We met briefly, but just long enough to exchange names.  As you do at conferences, I was wearing my name tag.  My new friend noticed my last name and said, "Did you know your last name means hair in Norwegian?"  I said, "No, but that's so neat to know now that I am specializing in hair related diseases in animals. Thanks!"  

Fast forward six years, when I am searching the internet for ancient or exotic words that are related to dermatology to help me choose a business name.  I remembered the conversation about the meaning of my name.  

I started to look into the meaning in more detail.  I confirmed with some more internet research that haar- (hår in Norwegian) really does mean "hair"!  I also found out that -stad means "city".  There is even a town in Norway called Haarstad.  I wonder if they all have great hair?! :)

So, Haarstad = Hair City.  How could a name be any more unique and related to dermatology than that?!