What’s In a Name?


When I set off on the journey to open Van Court, my partner and I were building a nameless studio. With women’s empowerment at the core of our mission, we’d employ only the industry’s most talented, licensed nail technicians and the products used would be the cleanest and purest on the market. But we were hard pressed to find the right name that evoked our vision. Using a working name, we spent countless hours brainstorming and conducting market research. After losing hours of sleep and after many months of deliberation, “Van Court” came to me during a five hour drive.

During this short road trip to our family’s beach home, I was desperately missing my great aunt whom had recently passed away. Like my maternal grandmother, her sister, she too left this life after a long battle with metastatic breast cancer. Because I was so young when my grandmother passed (5 years old), my aunt who spent so much time with our family began to fill my grandmothers shoes. She also became my mother’s new maternal figure. As we reminisced about my aunt, a number of spiritual things happened and, as hokey as it sounds, we felt her presence with us.

As I drove with tears in my eyes and goosebumps throughout my body, the light bulb went on and Van Court, the name of the street where I visited her my whole life came to mind. She was always a sassy old bird who always felt too comfortable giving her honest opinion on things. And true to form, as I gave her her last manicure during our last moment before she left this world, she somehow mustered up the energy to critique me, all the way to the top coat.

I pitched the name Van Court to my partner and our family Creative Director. And they loved the name — it had the right ring to it and it just felt right to honor my aunt in this way.

In her legacy, Van Court will constantly strive to achieve the highest level of perfection that would meet her standards (even though she’d likely still squawk about something).

Ruth Kallens