Behind Our Name

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We get asked regularly about our business name. Sometimes I get asked if my name is “Palah” it’s not, my name is Emily. Sometimes people think it’s weird and strange because of it being different from the usual (First Name) (Middle/Last Name) (Insert Creative Industry) formula. Sometimes people make amusing faces when they hear it vs how it is spelled and some people are just plain curious and ask incredibly thoughtful questions about our business. These questions, and the incredible passion I have for all of you, is why I write this post.

As a teenager I was going through all of the crazy awkward, identity crisis phases of growing up and becoming an adult. Somehow, somewhere in the midst of this time in life God was working in my heart. He was moving and planting seeds of creativity in my mind even then, and I knew it . I knew I’d someday want to start my own business. I knew I’d want to help others with this business, and I knew I wanted to name it Palah.

The name “palah” comes from the Hebrew and means “distinct”, “distinguished”, and “set-apart”. As far as I could understand from my teenage knowledge the word carried with it this incredible wonder, awesomeness, and beautiful magnificence. This word “palah” resonated within my heart at that age. I wanted to be set-apart. I wanted to do something different and wonderful. I wanted to be distinct for God’s use.

As a teenager, I already knew that my hearts desires were vastly different from those of my closest friends and peers. Most of the girls wanted to go into ministry or teaching, I wanted neither. Most didn’t particularly enjoy design, photography, or writing, but I loved them all! Regular core classes meant nothing to me. They were boring and I didn’t feel that I would use them much later on in life. Art classes, computer programming class, and English classes actually left me feeling inspired. I felt like I could use them. They applied to me, personally, not just the ideal private school student. They carried with them endless possibilities that math, history, and religious classes never could.

I write all of this not to get off topic but to tell the girls in high school who feel classes mean nothing to them, that feel they are odd because they don’t exactly excel in school, that feel they aren’t athletic, or smart, or pretty, or popular, don’t worry! It gets better. Those things you thought were important in high school (because they were emphasized heavily by others) don’t actually mean anything. Not popular? Being alone breeds creativity. Not the straight A student? Not always getting the best of grades builds a killer work ethic. Not athletic? Not being athletic makes you appreciate what your body is capable (2 half marathons and a daily walk, run or swim here from Miss non-athletic me). Not being pretty or popular makes you learn that being pretty and being beautiful are two entirely different things and beauty is found from within not from clothes or makeup or the opinions of others.

Teenagers, your smarts and talent don’t mean as much as hard work and hustle. There’s kids that will makes straight A’s and never work for it and then there’s the kids who work late into the night to get B’s and C’s. In the future guess which one is statistically more likely to be working a full time job as a store clerk with no aspirations do anything more? The straight A kid! So dear readers, young and old, whether you’re a genius or a commoner, whether your grades say that you’re above average or below whatever you are, be “palah”. Be “Set-apart”. Be amazing. Be a hard worker. Be wonderful, Be beautiful, and magnificent and most importantly be exactly what God has created you to be.

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