Former Loose Women star Lisa Maxwell's daughter Beau Jessup has opened up about the unusual business venture that has helped her pay her way through university.
Speaking to News.com.au, Beau, who is 19 years old, revealed that she kick-started a business aged just 16, after a trip to China with her father sparked a unique idea.
Beau revealed that her father Paul had introduced her to a business colleague of his, Mrs Wang, who asked her if she could suggest an English name for her three-year-old daughter.
She confessed, “I was surprised by this because having the responsibility to name a child is quite important. I wanted to take it seriously.
“She was so happy with it and took the name suggestion straight away.”
Lisa’s daughter Beau eventually landed on the English name Eliza – inspired by Eliza Doolittle – for the woman’s daughter, after asking her to describe a series of characteristics she wanted the little girl to grow up to have.
After the conversation, and some research into the topic, Beau realised that there was a market for an English baby-naming service for the Chinese community, and asked her father for a short-term loan to help set the business up.
(Beau and Lisa back in 2011)
In a recent TedTalk, the former Cheltenham Ladies College student revealed that there was a reason why Chinese families didn’t give their children Western names by themselves.
She explained, “On the internet in China, a lot of it is censored and restricted. So even if they were to gain access to a baby-naming site, they’d have to be able to read English.”
Beau also revealed that the lady she met in China actually explained to her why babies in China will eventually need a Western name.
She said, “Chinese babies are given a Chinese name, which contain around two or three Chinese characters. This is fine if you live in China. But these names don’t work outside China. You can’t read them, we can’t pronounce them, and we can’t remember them.
“Chinese characters, also, can’t be used in email addresses, so if you don’t have a Western name you can’t email, purchase online, or essentially function in the 21st century.”
Beau also explained that an English name is needed for university applications.
Since setting up her unusual business venture, Beau has named more than 677,000 babies, using the name generator on her website, which is accessible in China.
It is now a multi-million dollar venture, and has allowed her to fund her own university degree; she’s currently studying social anthropology at the London School of Economics.
She joked, “My parents are really proud but probably because they don’t have to pay for my uni fees.”