Teen Has Made Almost $65K Naming Chinese Babies
Her website idea is strange, but apparently it works
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2016 6:45 PM CDT
A nurse cheers a baby at the Shibalidian Township Hospital in Chaoyang District.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

(Newser) – A 16-year-old British girl came up with an odd, but apparently very good, idea: Start a website designed to help Chinese parents choose an English name for their babies. Her specialname.cn asks parents to pay a small fee, input their baby's gender, and choose five personality traits, out of a dozen options, they hope their child will have. Teen entrepreneur Beau Jessup has assigned those personality traits to English names, and three are chosen, shared with the family, and printed on a certificate along with their meanings and a famous person who shares the name. Jessup has offered up more than 200,000 names and has made nearly $64,000 from the venture so far, the BBC reports. The website also offers a photo gallery where parents can add pictures of their babies, the Independent reports.

She came up with the idea while on a family vacation in China, when she learned that Chinese parents make sure to give their babies English names in case they later study or work in the UK or the US, the Telegraph reports. Jessup was asked to pick an English name for the newborn baby of a family friend while on the trip, and after hearing some "embarrassing" English names that had been given to other Chinese babies, she stepped in and later came up with her website idea. "Being exposed to luxury items and things like Harry Potter, Disney films, and Lord of the Rings means [Chinese parents] use those for reference," she explains. "I once heard of someone called Gandalf and another called Cinderella." Jessup, who is studying Mandarin, is saving the money she earns for college tuition. (Here's why a 61-year-old just became China's second-oldest mom.)