Get All Access for $5/mo

Baby Naming Is Big Business, With Consultants Charging Up to $10,000 to Find the Perfect Name Parents want their children to stand out with unique identities and consultants are cashing in.

By Lindsay Dodgson

Key Takeaways

  • Baby naming consultants are increasingly popular, offering tailored services to parents.
  • These experts use social media platforms to attract clients and earn significant income.
  • Unique baby names are becoming more accepted, influenced by celebrity trends and social media.
Getty Images via Business Insider

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Baby naming isn't what it used to be.

Gone are the days of picking a name for your new baby from an index in a book.

Now, there are baby naming consultants who rifle through popularity lists, analyze trends, and recommend the right fit for families. They can charge up to $10,000 for their services.

What was once deemed a quirk of the super-rich and famous is now becoming commonplace, with parents wanting their children to stand out and have their own unique identities.

Normalizing the unusual

In May, influencer Francesca Farago, who became famous for appearing on various Netflix reality shows, shared some of the baby names she and her partner were considering for the twins they are expecting.

They were all unusual, including Heart, Orca, Afternoon, Lyrics, and Baby.

The response was mixed, with some thinking the names were too "out there" and that Farago was stretching the definition of what names should be.


I forgot so many of my faves, lmk if I should do a part two?

♬ original sound - Francesca Farago

Unusual names are for everyone now, not just celebrities. When Gwyneth Paltrow named her daughter Apple in 2004, many considered it bizarre. Now, there are plenty of children with names that are nouns or adverbs and once considered "just words."

The consultants who spoke with Business Insider agreed that there's been a shift in the last few years that has both widened the criteria for what a name can be and helped boost their businesses.

"There are things that are even too extreme for me," Steph Coffield, aka Names With Steph, told BI. "But I also listen to the client, and if they're like, I want ancient Greek mythology-inspired names, I want super uncommon word names, I get so excited about that."

Embracing originality

Morgan Timm, from Illinois, started her baby naming consultancy in 2022, finding her way there through her interest in collecting vintage yearbooks, spending time on the subreddit Name Nerds, and scrolling through baby name forums.

She said many of her clients had popular names in the 80s or 90s and didn't want their child to be known as "Jessica L," "Matthew R," or "Hannah S."

"I think that's where a lot of people got their interest in having a more uncommon name," she said. "Just with their experience of having a common one."

Jessie Paquette, another consultant, was also always fascinated by names, watching YouTubers talk about popularity lists and speaking to her friends at school about what the No. 1 names for boys and girls were that year.

Unusual names were more of a "luxury" 20 years ago, said Paquette, for the rich and famous who "care about appearance and care about status."

"As TikTok and social media came into the picture, it became more for the common person," she said.

@dreambabynames #greenscreen @Babylist babies born this week! Baby name announcements this week were taken over by the girl names! #babynameconsultant #babynames ♬ original sound - Jessie @dreambabynames

Colleen Slagen, who helps parents find their babies' names through her consultancy Naming Bebe, told BI there is a "cultural trend towards embracing individuality."

As well as out of the ordinary names, she has also noticed that parents are leaning towards names that are "traditional but uncommon," such as Margaret, Ingrid, Eugene, and Bernard.

She also considers the names of any other children and surnames to avoid awkward rhyming disasters.

"People really want to get it right," Slagen said. "They want to choose a name that represents them but also sets their kid up for a lifetime of success."

A lucrative career

Baby naming is an "extremely lucrative" career path, Paquette said, but if you go into it to make money, you won't be successful.

"It has to happen organically," she said.

Making content on TikTok also provides income, Paquette said. She has just over 100,000 followers on the platform, while some of her peers have 200,000-300,000.

"Certain creators in this niche are making upwards of thousands of dollars a month just off of views," Paquette said. "It's become a multilevel stream of income for people."

Slagen's consultations start at $250. During these, she has couples fill out a detailed questionnaire about the kinds of names they like and how popular or rare they want the name to be.

@namingbebe ****2023 stats for some of your favorite girl names! #nametok #babynames #nameconsultant #topbabynames #girlnames #babies ♬ original sound - Colleen

Some of the better-known baby namers can charge hefty fees. One consultant, Taylor A. Humphrey, has services that range from $1,500 for a list of names to $10,000 for something more bespoke, The New Yorker reported.

Humphrey also offers a "baby name branding" service for $30,000, according to Vox, which "helps people in the public eye choose a name that reflects their personal brand."(Humphrey didn't respond to BI's request for comment.)

There are companies that specialize in baby names, too. Nameberry, for example, offers a naming session with resident baby name expert Sophie Kihm for $350 or a package called "the name concierge," which comes with "nine months of on-call name advice, with unlimited meetings and name suggestions." That'll set parents back $10,000.

Coffield said she knew she could make a living from baby names when she started talking about it on TikTok. She had previously focused on educating women about how to be empowered while giving birth and casually spoke about baby names a few times.

That "really took off," and her inbox was soon full of people wanting her advice.

@nameswithsteph Frey and Rennick are my top picks! #nameswithsteph #nameconsultant #uncommonbabynames #vintagebabynames #babynameconsultant #babynameinspo2023 ♬ original sound - Steph | Name Consultant

Coffield, who is from Minnesota, started by charging $60 for 10 names on Fiverr. She has since moved off that platform to her own website, where a personalized list costs $140, a list plus a video costs $200, and a luxury service, which includes three phone calls with her to help with the decision, costs $700.

The biggest way to build success in the baby naming business is to make sure people find you credible, Coffield said. There are some accounts that use ChatGPT and other AI software to come up with lists, but these aren't likely to find as good a match as a consultant can.

Consultants aren't an algorithm, so they are limited by how many clients they can take on, Coffield added.

Timm said she "severely undercharged" her clients when she started but has since figured out her worth.

She said that while she thinks there is "less pushback overall" with unconventional names, there is still some sort of exclusivity gap when it comes to celebrities.

One recent client of Timm's made her sign an NDA so she couldn't share their name, or even the fact that they had hired her at all.

"That was a really cool moment," she said.

@hellomorgantimm super rare baby nsmes used only a handful of times in 2022! I'd love to know what you think of these, and if you had to choose one of the baby names which would it be? i think i might go with Afton or Lew for a boy, and Clancy for a girl. #rarebabynames #nametok #babynameconsultant #creatorsearchinsights ♬ original sound - Morgan | Name Consultant

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

How to Be a Billionaire By 25, According to a College Dropout Turned CEO Worth $1.6 Billion

Austin Russell became the world's youngest self-made billionaire in 2020 at age 25.


Taylor Swift Has a Lucky Number. And She's Not the Only High Performer Who Leans Into Superstitions to Boost Confidence.

Even megastars like Swift need a little extra something to get them in the right mindset when it is game time.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.


SEO Trends You Need to Be Aware of Right Now, According to a Seasoned Pro

Navigate the future of search engine optimization to elevate your online presence and drive meaningful engagement.