July 7, 2010

Kivalo Photography and the Tulip

This post is long overdue as I launched my new brand without properly introducing it.  As my name was very challenging to say for most (Takacs-pronounced Ta-Ka-Ch the Hungarian cs makes a ch sound in english) I decided I wanted to move away from using my name as my business identity.  I also wanted to have an image to go with my business name, a more formal logo.  Choosing my new name was a long and difficult journey. Finally with the help of friends and family I decided maybe a Hungarian word would be appropriate.

I am very close to my parents in particular my dad.  I am very proud of my heritage and how much he has accomplished in his lifetime.  He came to America when he was 16.  That was 7 years after the Hungarian Revolution in 1963.  He didn’t speak any English and he only had a suitcase.  His mom, dad, and my dad were the last in his direct family to come to America the others left Hungary just days before the revolution broke out.  My dad is the baby in the family and has three older siblings.  He doesn’t talk much about coming to America or Hungary but once in a while he will tell of the terrible stormy weather they encountered on their trip to America.  He said the trip that was suppose to take only 5 days took nearly 10 as they had to shut off the propellers because the waves were so big they were coming out of the water.  My dad was very sick the whole time even though it was a HUGE boat.  Anyway, my dad has seen some terrible things, waited in bread lines, and still managed to become amazing.  As I often have worked with my dad over the years I thought it was fitting to name my business in honor of my heritage.  While I have never been to Hungary myself I have big plans for traveling there in the next few years, hopefully able to convince my dad to come as he still speaks fluent Hungarian.

Back to the rebranding…my dad thought and thought and we wrote names down and scribbled them out.  Finally he thought of Kivalo a word that has a slash over the a and a slash over the o in Hungarian.  It means rare, prominent, or outstanding.   I fell in love with it.  With the name problem behind me it was time to focus on an image to use.  Throughout the years when my dad and I have made things out of iron or wood (he is an architectural iron worker/blacksmith) we have always put a simple tulip on them.  He said this use to be his dad’s trademark in his machine shop.  So the tulip seemed fitting as my logo.  There apparently is no real Hungarian National Flower but many say the tulip is the flower of choice.  This probably comes from Hungarian Folklore.  There is a famous legend that tells of a handsome prince named Farhad who was stricken with love for the fair maid, Shirin. One day he heard that she had been killed, and in his grief, mounted his favorite horse and galloped over a cliff to his death. It is said that from each droplet of his blood, a scarlet tulip sprang up, making the flower an historic symbol of perfect love. The tulip is also often used on traditional folk clothing.  Interestingly the tulip motif was often seen in bright colors on Hungarian wedding dresses.  These dresses often had many layers.  The tulip was believed to represent fertility and general good fortune.  Which makes sense because in the 17th century tulips were a symbol of status.  They were very expensive and in high demand.  Also in taditional Hungarian weddings the bride would give the groom 3 or 7 handkerchiefs on the wedding day that were often hand embroidered with patterns like these.

These have tulips in them and have been the inspiration for my tulip you will see on all of my custom made furniture in my new studio.  Tulips have many meanings but love and good cheer are commonly associated with them and that is defiantly appropriate for my business.  Finally I will conclude with a random fact about tulips is that the petals are edible.

{Hungarian culture is very mixed with Turkey even though on todays map Turkey is a pretty far distance as well as Russia.  Hungarian culture also seems wrapped up with the surrounding countries modern day Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria, and Czech-Republic.}

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