What’s in a nickname

We made it!

You made it!

Velvet Ashes made it!

However you say it, Velvet Ashes reached the launch fund financial goal on Friday afternoon. (For those who wonder, the name comes from the velvet ash flower which is known for thriving in the desert)

Thank you for being excited, for investing, for sharing the news, for praying and for seizing the potential to bless many. It’s humbling and exhilarating the amount of people that threw their hats in the ring.

And the ideas keep pouring in. Just in the past week I’ve gotten excited thinking that we’ll need to create space for teen girls too. I was reminded that life overseas can come with the same challenges for teens as life in their home country (big fat DUH). If we can create connecting points on a wide range of topics like cutting, loneliness, how to connect with God, identity, and the like to teens, all the better as they enter adulthood.

One of the fun aspects of Velvet Ashes making it into the light of day are the nicknames that are popping up! Here are a few clues:

flickr -- creative commons:  meowzas, Amazon, and laradanielle

If you have found yourself excited about Velvet Elvis and then corrected yourself, your name might be Amy. 🙂

Or if you read about Velveeta Ashes because you were scanning and your brain said, hey, wait, go back. Was that a sandwich that landed in a campfire? You’re not the only one, right Jesse?

Or if you’ve read an email about VA and had to remind yourself it’s not THE VA, just VA, you’re in good company.

I am not offended by these nicknames, instead I love them! Unknowingly each one taps into the essence of Velvet Ashes.

Is it going to be a bit quirky like a Velvet Elvis portrait? Yes :). Um, I’m here so we know it’s got quirk factor from the get-go (and hopefully in the best sense, like an Anne Tyler character).

Velveeta seems to be the unofficial cheese of those living overseas. I, personally, hate cheese (yes, I know, I was born in the wrong country. Can I tell you how wonderful it is not to special order food in Asia, the land that lovingly views cheese the way I do?!). But I know I am in the wise minority on this one and many a soul ask for precious mail space to be wasted shipping blocks of this disgustingness overseas. Yet, Velveeta Ashes, that’s a name I can get behind because it is tapping into comfort food and the comfort that will be found at Velvet Ashes.

And “the VA,” where one goes for medical attention. Though we’d all rather never need a doctor, even Jesus said he didn’t come to help the well, but the sick. And that my friend, is you and me. The VA provides a range of services including rather short term medical situations (like antibiotics), therapy after being wounded, and the overall reminder that there are others like me and I’m not a complete freak.




That’s us. That’s Velvet Ashes.

We’ll now move to the behind the scenes work of getting this watering hole set up and hope to launch in October or November. While there won’t be much to report for a while, I’ll let you know when there is.

Again, thank God for placing this dream on Danielle’s heart in such a way she was willing to go down the path of birthing VA and inviting the rest of us along. This has grown SO. FAR. BEYOND. one person.

Have you heard of other nicknames for VA? Do you have a nick name or any good nick name stories to share? I’ll share one of mine in the comments.

What do you think?

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