Our Story

Your name, even when shared by scores of others, is your own private one-word poem. It contains multitudes, and it cannot be defined by its meaning alone, but by the spirit it gains through its historic evolution.

We mine and explore the essence of names through rigorous research that traces their linguistic origins, meanings, context and relevancy through time. Part science, part art, our process is intense, scholarly, and driven by our insatiable passion for the curious words human beings call themselves. After all, every name is full of life. Telling its story keeps it alive, and helps us learn not just about each other, but ourselves.

Our products celebrate the essence of our identities by showcasing namely narratives in a beautiful, artistic rendering that's worthy of being treasured for generations. Each represents years of study and countless travels through history as we trace names that span time and geography, from Judeo-Christian narratives in the Old and New Testaments, to the incredible survival of Celtic and Slavic names, to the spread of Germanic names and the historical context of names of Arabic and Sanskrit origins.

Our work has taught us that nothing about a name is accidental. Their significance and survival through history is fascinating. When we pay close attention, we discover a story of beauty.

Julie Hackett

founder & chief storyteller

As the Young Daughter of Jove, Julie received a divine calling to spread the gospel of names about 10 years ago.  Rabid reader, exhaustive researcher, passionate historian, demander of accuracy and name-nerd extraordinaire, no stone is unturned in her search for the beauty behind every name.  Keeping each story to 175 words or less, while capturing the key elements of its origin and survival, is something that keeps her awake at night. Prior to this obsession, Julie spent over 10 years as an Advertising Sales executive in the digital space and still later as a successful entrepreneur, having sold a company to LendingTree.  Julie holds a BA in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley and a PhD from the School of I Read A Million Books So You Don’t Have To. When she’s not obsessing about your name, you’ll probably find her on the golf course spoiling a good walk.

Roland Tanaka

Head of Growth Marketing

As Head of Growth Marketing and Strategy, Roland’s primary role at Name Stories is to explore and implement creative marketing techniques and strategies to promote our awesome products. He is passionate about online marketing and has extensive experience in various aspects of growth marketing and customer acquisition. Roland has spent his digital advertising career in various high level roles in sales and marketing, and business development. Roland lives in Marin with his wife and two children. In his spare time he enjoys playing golf, traveling, and following his favorite Bay Area sports teams.

Catherine Hall


As Catherine’s Name Story suggests, she is on a far-reaching quest to roust out errant commas and semicolons, delete double negatives, reunite split infinitives, wrestle with gender pronouns and cut run-on sentences down to size.  After inhaling grammar under the tutelage of nuns for 13 years, Catherine went on to earn both her graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.  A retired insurance broker, she now happily devotes time to her avocation.  Catherine lives in Moraga, California with a potted plant.

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