What’s in a name? How Little Field Birch came to be

A year ago I opened a shop on Etsy, which was a milestone for me considering that I’d been thinking about it for years before that. Yes, really, for years. Part of the reason that it took me so long to get there was because I didn’t really know what I wanted to put in my shop. However, the other part, which probably took me longer to figure out, was that I wasn’t sure what to call it. It seemed so daunting, creating a name. I wanted it to reflect something about me and still be cute and fun. I brainstormed, I made lists, I talked to friends and family, and in the end, I came up with Little Field Birch. It’s kind of a funny story…

My father, my daughter and I wandering one of the little fields.

My father, my daughter and I wandering through one of my dad’s little fields. Notice the birch trees along the edge of the field. [Photo courtesy of my husband]

A lone birch in the field across from my parents' barn.

A lone birch in the field across from my parents’ barn.

Although I’ve been living in Europe for 20 years now, I grew up in the United States on a small farm on Littlefield Road. I think I spent most of my high school and college years dreaming of traveling to Europe and visiting the world. I learned a foreign language (my school only offered two options and I chose French), my family hosted an exchange student from Europe for a year, my friends and I joined the foreign language club and hung out with the foreign exchange students each year, dressing a bit like them and soaking up all of the cultural differences they had to offer us. Eventually this interest led me to Europe and I ended up settling in Amsterdam, where well into my post grad studies, I met my husband who grew up on a small farm in Ireland at Boolabeg. Now as I understand it, this translates loosely at small grazing pasture, which sounds pretty darn similar to little field to me. From the time we met, we pretty much knew we were meant to navigate this life together. Despite growing up an ocean apart, we had a lot in common and the fact that we both grew up both literally and figuratively on our respective “little field” just cemented the deal. Now more than a decade later, we are raising our young family in a city, but we draw extensively from our upbringing in that rural setting which has formed and continues to form who we are. It seemed only fitting it should be an ingredient in the name I was looking to create. The “birch” came after – partially because I have a serious soft spot for trees and partially because of how beautifully delicate and fairy-like birch trees seem to me. Funny thing is, though I know and love how those trees spot my parents little farm, I only noticed the little grove of them a few years ago as I walked out the back door of my in-laws’ farmhouse in Ireland. Hmm…fate indeed.

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Little birch tree grove outside my in-laws’ farmhouse in Ireland.

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Another few birch trees behind my in-laws’ farmhouse in Ireland.

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