Out With the Old, In With the New | Houston, TX Doula, Photographer & Influencer

You might be reading this with a very curious look on your face because what was once Heart + Soul Unscripted has evolved into Charlotte Nicole. Why the change? Keep reading and you will be thoroughly brought up to speed.

If you have been following my entrepreneur journey from the beginning, you have watched me pivot probably over 100 times. Since beginning my journey in 2015, I have adjusted and re-adjusted to about five different business names. I used my legal first and middle name on multiple occasions (Nicole Suzanne), but it never “felt right.” Something always rubbed me the wrong way about the way it rolled through my mind and off my tongue.

In order to understand Charlotte, we need to go all the way back to 1992, the day I was born. My mother was facing the decision to name me and she wanted to call me Charlie, short for Charlotte. The man she conceived me with, however, didn’t like that idea. She didn’t end up having a say and thus “Nicole” I was named. My mom went on to call me Nic throughout most of my life, as long as I can remember. I can’t remember when she told me about this for the first time, but I remember feeling robbed of a name that would have been so much better suited for me, almost as if I had been named the wrong thing. There’s a huge history of pain surrounding the absence of knowing my biological father throughout my childhood, and into adolescence that was temporarily (and awkwardly) relieved in meeting him for the first time. But, there’s no contact now between us whatsoever, and hanging onto something that came from him makes it harder to let go of what could have been.

Fast forward to trying to name my business from the start, I have struggled. Most people use their names in the creative industry, but I chalked up Nicole to being too common and I didn’t want to use it. I tried, and felt yuck. I spent weeks trying to nail something that didn’t have to include my name, and finally landed on Heart + Soul Unscripted. I loved it, but deep down I felt some kind of detachment from it. (I didn’t know why at the time, but I do now.)

A MASSIVE part of my doula training program I’m enrolled in (seriously, Angela Gallo is the BEST and her program will transform your LIFE) is being the truest, best version of yourself to then be able to serve others in the best way humanly possible. I had an “aha moment,” as you could call over the course of a few days following some training content, and I realized suddenly that my business name had nothing to do with me, the REAL me. What did Heart + Soul Unscripted tell ANYONE about ME? What am I offering women, a company? NO. I’m offering so much of myself to every single one of my clients, why am I hiding behind a “corporation” kind of alias publicly. What kind of connection is anyone supposed to feel for that? The services I offer are INCREDIBLY intimate in nature. Intimacy is desired between relationships and people, not companies and businesses.

Then came the next bomb when Angela pointed out something along the lines of, “If you don’t like your name, darling, change it! Use an alias, change your name. You have every right to do that if you don’t like your name.” I have never even acknowledged the fact of how much my name has made me cringe inside throughout my lifetime. Nicole is just so not…..me. I’m ready to own ME.

intrinsic/strong-willed/influential/deeply-caring/justice-seeking/ME

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The final straw that pushed me over the edge though…do you know how dumb I am to not have checked registered trademarks for the all too common “Heart & Soul” grouping of words? Yeah, pretty dumb. It’s definitely trademarked, and I’ve been walking a thin line not being aware of that.

I have already been asked multiple times, “What would you like me to call you from now on?! Charlotte, Charlie?” The answer is I’m not sure right now. I’m keeping Nicole because while I wish it wasn’t, it is a part of me and Charlotte Nicole sounds elegant and lovely to me, and I think it does lessen the possible confusion a bit. I don’t mind being referred to as Nicole, or Charlotte, or Charlie. I don’t know that I’ll ever go through the process of legally changing my name, but who knows what the future holds. I certainly wasn’t expecting this. Also, plenty of people in the Bible experienced name changes in their lives, this has been going on for thousands of years. Shouldn’t be news to any of us, right?

As for the hundreds of changes I have implemented over the years, this one feels the most aligned. This one is a big move, a big shift for me. I will never stop pivoting, growing, and improving. I’m taking ownership of who I am, who I am meant to be, the person that will make waves and leave her footprint of positive impact and contribution to the people she’s encountered when she’s gone.

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