Insights / Business

The Unexpected Origin of Southleft’s Name

Discover the unexpected and amusing origin story behind the name of our digital design and development agency, Southleft.
2 min read

Have you ever wondered how companies come up with their names? Some are meticulously crafted through focus groups and branding agencies, while others have more serendipitous origins. The story of how my agency, Southleft, got its name falls into the latter category.

It was around 2011 or 2012, and I was living in New York City, working as the Director of Front-End Development at Martha Stewart. I loved my job and the amazing people I met there, but after a while, my wife and I started to feel homesick for New Orleans. We knew it was time for a change, and I began considering my next career move – either jumping into freelance work or starting my own small agency.

During a trip back home for the holidays, I found myself at my mother-in-law’s house, engaged in friendly family conversation. My uncle Bobby, a true salt-of-the-earth kind of guy, was on a call using his old Sprint Nextel phone with the walkie-talkie feature. Everyone in the room could hear his side of the conversation.

Uncle Bobby, a blue-collar worker and jack of all trades, was trying to direct one of his co-workers to a job location. In the process, he kept interchanging compass directions like north, south, east, and west with gestural directions like left and right. At one point, he said something to the effect of, “Head southbound on Airline, then take a left on [some street].”

After hearing “south” and “left” together a few times, it struck me as funny, and I started repeating “Southleft” to myself. That’s when it hit me – Southleft would be a great name for my new agency. I’m not one to dwell on names, as I believe it’s just a necessary step to move forward. So, without giving it too much thought, I went with it.

Now, 12 years later and in our 13th year of business, we’re still Southleft – driving forward, doing cutting-edge front-end design and development work, and loving every part of it. Uncle Bobby, unbeknownst to him, played a crucial role in naming my agency. So, thank you, Uncle Bobby, for inadvertently pointing me in the right direction with “Southleft.”

And that, folks, is the unexpected origin story of Southleft’s name.

Uncle Bobby with a big ol’ fish.