Rosie Pope Talks To Name Candy: Choosing Baby Names Should Be Fun, Not Stressful!
In the first episode of Bravo’s Pregnant In Heels, designer, maternity concierge and newly minted reality TV star Rosie Pope was tasked with helping two parents-to-be select the perfect baby name. Assembling an expert panel, the unflappable British dynamo established the couple’s ground rules, which included a name that was easy to spell, wasn’t too popular, wasn’t a decorative name, didn’t start with "J," didn’t have an “e” or “r” in it or end with “s.”
Yep, that’s just your average day in the life of the pregnancy guru!
Name Candy recently caught up with the mother of two “wee ones” -- J.R., 2, and Wells, 5 months -- to chat all things baby names. Read our exclusive interview below.
NC: What advice do you give your clients when it comes to naming their children?
Rosie Pope: Pick a name that you love. I think a lot of people get caught up in fashions of names and whether their friends have given their child a certain name. They just get into the politics of names. Ultimately all that really matters is that you and your partner really love the name. I think people forget about that.
NC: What is your baby naming process -- and was it difficult to agree on the perfect name?
Rosie Pope: It wasn’t. Both times my husband, Daron, and I got the sealed envelope from the doctor with the baby’s gender and went to the [New York City] hotel bar where we met to open it. Our policy is not to talk about names until then because we obviously don’t know if we’re having a girl or boy. My husband has a few drinks -- and I sit there and drink orange juice -- and we think of names. Each time we came up with the names the same night. We didn’t use books or anything -- we just talked through it.
NC: Talk a little about each name. Let’s start with James Roderick (J.R.)…
Rosie Pope: James is a family name [for] my grandfather and Daron’s grandfather who both passed away. As for Roderick, we do have a rule: the middle name is always a street we lived on. I grew up on Roderick Road in London, so it’s James Roderick. There are a lot of Jameses in our families -- and they’re all called Jim. We didn’t want him to be called Jim or Jimmy or anything like that, so we decided ahead of time to call him J.R. And that got us over the Jim thing -- people call him James or J.R., never Jim.
NC: And Wellington Reade (Wells)?
Rosie Pope: Wellington is named after [the late New York Giants co-owner] Wellington Mara. Daron’s father has been a Giants coach for 25 years. Wellington Mara was very influential in his life -- and Daron and his brother’s lives as well. The Mara family was very sweet when we selected the name Wellington. His middle name, Reade, is the street my husband and I first lived on in [the New York City neighborhood] Tribeca. Like J.R., we knew ahead of time his nickname was going to be Wells. Wellington is a big name, so we wanted him to have something that was a little easier.
NC: Were there any names that were hard to part with during the naming process?
Rosie Pope: It was more names that were sentimental. A very good friend of ours passed away of cancer almost two years ago now. So we talked about whether that would be a name that we used and in the end we decided not to go with it. When you have a lot of emotion associated with a name, it’s a difficult decision.
NC: Would you share your short list of other names you were considering?
Rosie Pope: We were considering William. The thing about our names is we really wanted either James or Tyler. Going in the second time, you think you might want to use the other name -- in this case Tyler -- and by then I was like: “Absolutely not. That makes no sense to me.” It’s funny how your taste changes and you rethink it. Later with Wells, it was always just Wells and nothing else.
NC: What do you love about each name you selected?
Rosie Pope: For one, they’re meaningful to us. I also like that they’re real solid traditional names but that there is a short cute version that isn’t traditional at all.
NC: Does being from England influence the types of names you like?
Rosie Pope: Generally I think I like more traditional names – James, William, Charles and that type of thing. So that definitely played a role.
NC: Do the names feel different in reality than they did in your imagination?
Rosie Pope: Yeah. With Wells I was a little concerned -- Wellington is such a big name and Wells ending in “s.” But now that it’s a cute little baby called Wellington it totally fits. With J.R., honestly, I had in the back in my mind a little image of J.R. Ewing from Dallas that I couldn’t get out of the back of my head. But now I don’t think about it at all.
NC: What would you have named a girl?
Rosie Pope: We would be totally up the creek without a paddle [laughs]. That’s something me and my husband totally cannot agree on. We’re totally in sync when it comes to boys names. Girls names? No. That’s why we wait to find out the gender before we start arguing.
NC: Are there any girls names right now that you just love?
Rosie Pope: I really like Francesca. I can’t tell you why but I just do. I met a little girl they called Frankie and I thought that was really cute. I think Francesca is so feminine and Frankie is a nice little version of that.
NC: What about boys names?
Rosie Pope: I was actually saying that to my husband the other day: What happens if we have another boy? We’ve run out of boy names! I quite like Wyatt. But the thing is our next child has to have the middle name Madison because of where we live -- Madison Avenue. So we have to go with that. Before we lived on Madison Avenue, we lived on 79th Street, which wouldn’t exactly work as a name [laughs].
NC: What about your own name -- did you have any issues growing up Rosie?
Rosie Pope: There was nobody else called Rosie when I was growing up. And people always asked if my real name was Rosemarie, but it’s not. It’s just Rosie. Because of that, I always wanted a bigger name. As a young child I always felt like I was somehow inadequate. Then I got over that pretty quickly once I graduated high school [laughs]. I’d say the one thing that annoys me today is when people spell it with a “y” instead of “ie.”
NC: Any final thoughts on names that you’d like to share with Name Candy readers?
Rosie Pope: I think the thing with names is that it’s a really fun thing. People sometimes get stressed about it and it can be the source of a lot of arguments between couples. But people should just remember that it’s an amazing thing you get to do. You get to give birth to this amazing baby and you get to choose the name of what they’re called and it’s a huge part of who they are. You should take a step back and remember what a privilege and exciting time it is to be able to pick a name.