Choosing a name for a business is often a complex task. Is the legally name available? Can it be easily pronounced? Are you able to snag a URL and social media handles that are on brand?
Coming up with the name Meridian was not easy. For a long time during our planning stages, I used a word in a foreign language that was difficult to spell and pronounce. I also found myself frequently justifying its use, telling prospective business partners and team members that the name meant something else in a different language. I knew it was not the right name, but I struggled with figuring out what was more appropriate.
Just Look Up
The name Meridian came to me one day when I was deep in thought and staring off into the space above my desk in my New York City apartment. Above my desk, I have hanging a family heirloom: An antique map of North America that displays the short period of time in history where some cartographers thought California was an island. The misconception caught on in the 1600s, and it wasn’t until 1747 when Ferdinand VI of Spain issued a royal decree declaring that California was, in fact, a peninsula.
As a traveler, I love this map. It is special to me that it came from my family home, and that it has such a rich history – especially a history that is essentially wrong!
In the lower left corner of the map there is a title design, which is called a cartouche. The title of the map says NOVUS ORBIS, which means new world in Latin. Beneath that title, it says MERIDIONALIS.
I’ve had this map in my home growing up in Minneapolis, and it’s been hanging above my desk in since the day we moved into our apartment here in downtown Manhattan. Essentially, I have been looking at this map for YEARS. No, DECADES.
But one day… It just clicked! The word Meridian was staring at me from about 12” above my face the entire time.
What Meridian Means
A Meridian is any circle or longitudinal line on the globe that passes through the poles. I love what the word symbolizes, and that it bridges together parts of the world through one single, unifying line. The concept and symbol are perfectly aligned with our mission to bring artisans working in traditional crafts to the larger marketplace. I couldn’t have asked for a more kismet moment in the young history of this company!