Monday, November 21, 2011

{what's in a name} SOLO THAIS

WHY SOLO THAIS? Here is the short{ish} version:

Part 1 {solo} Almost two years ago as the blog wheels began to turn, I had to come up with a title or a name for my soon-to-be creative outlet. I wanted a catchy name that meant something special to me, and because I wasn't sure if blog was going to be solely devoted to interior design, I thought I should leave those two words out of it {but really, who am I kidding}. My name, Solana, had never been shortened into a nickname until moving to Portland in 2001, in fact, after a few months at my new restaurant job, Solana was a name of the past, and Solan, Solio, and Sol all became a part of my new life out on the west coast. I found it very endearing {although I still love my real name}. 

At this restaurant job I met my good friend and fellow designer, Crystal of Chic Antique.  While working together we discovered we were both attending the same school, majoring in interior design. We'd discuss school projects, quiz each other for upcoming exams and dream about future goals all while frantically typing drink orders into the computer, trying to make it through another hectic "happy hour" rush. As our friendship grew, the nickname Solo was born. 

Part 2 {thais} I'm so honored to share a name with my late Grandmother, Thais {Thais being her first name and my middle name}. I'm inspired every day by people who surround me, but she was someone who influenced me from the beginning. She was also that special, long-distance grandparent we visited once a year, so our week together was dear. From the moment I'd pick up that crayon, she'd admire my color selection and gush over my ability to stay in the lines {even if all the faces in my coloring book ended up green}. She never stopped complimenting my attention to detail, and true or not, hearing those words of encouragement as a little girl can really make you want to continue to create beautiful things. 

When I began taking dance classes at the age of 4, she shared with me her love for the ballet and took me to see the San Francisco Ballet perform the Nutcracker. She would tell me stories about her ballet classes as a young girl...her arms gracefully flowing around her while seated in her leather chair, elegantly describing the beautiful movements of dance with her little white Ked tapping away to the beat of Swan Lake in the background. Her passionate stories always ended with a tear in her eyes and a smile on her face. It felt only natural to dedicate the title of my inspirational blog to someone who encouraged my many creative expressions. 

San Francisco, 1985




  1. Solana - Thank you for sharing this! I've wondered where the name came from and it's fun to finally find out the origins! We miss you in Portland.

  2. You're welcome! I've been meaning to share this story for quite some time now. I've always loved my grandmothers name and new I wanted to use it in some way.

    I miss Portland all the time!!! It's definitely a second home to me.