A British teenager is making £48,000 a year after setting up a website to help Chinese parents choose English names for their babies.
16-year-old Beau Jessup from Gloucestershire, England, came up with the idea of the baby-naming site after she was asked to name friends’ children during a family trip to China.
The website now earns £16,000 in sales per month.
Chinese parents often give their children English middle names in the hope of them working in the UK in later life, but a cultural disconnection can often result in “embarrassing” names being chosen, including Gandalf and Rolex.
“When I went to China I kept being asked to name babies for my parent’s friends,” says Jessup.
“They explained an English name is vital because you can’t use a Chinese name on email or a university application to the UK. Your English name stays with you for life.”
Limited internet access in China means people can’t use baby-naming websites that English-speaking families may use, which results in parents using inappropriate names they have heard from films or read online.
The student realised there was “an opportunity to help Chinese people get it right from the start,” and has now suggested names for more than 220,000 babies through her website, SpecialName.
Beau Jessup charges 60p for every baby she names, and sends three possible suggestions to the parents via We-Chat, the Chinese version of Whatsapp.
The chosen names are based on the child’s personality traits which can range from insistent, to reliable, to optimistic.
After choosing a name, parents are presented with a naming certificate to celebrate the occasion.
Jessup says she’s happy to have played a part in the lives of so many families and intends to use the money earned to help pay for her university tuition fees.
“I have a target to reach which will allow me to pay for my university fees and writing the text was really good practice for my Mandarin GCSE,” she said.
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