Since setting up my business, the thing I get asked most is “Why PA Polly?”. Well, apart from the fact that “PA Michelle” is a terrible business name, I wanted to choose something that meant something personal to me. I wanted to give a little nod to my family, without whom I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Growing up I had lots of nicknames. Baby, Chelle, Shelly-drops, Sinners (my maiden name is Sinfield, I am not, hopefully, going to hell) and Chris Bonington (as a toddler, I was apparently quite a climber…. people under the age of 40 can Google him). But none of these could be made into a professional sounding business name – you try! “Sinner Assistance” sounds pretty dark.
A new nickname
When my oldest nephew was born, I fell in love with him instantly. I made every effort to be his favourite person. As he started saying his first words, “Mummy”, “Daddy”, “Nanny” and “Pops” all came easily to him. However, he just couldn’t say “Michelle”. I was devastated when he pointed at the television one day, at a middle-aged man and said with perfect clarity “Arsene Wenger”.
I used to sing a nursery rhyme to him about someone called Polly putting the kettle on. Whenever I saw, he would jump on my lap shout “Polly” at me very loudly. It was his subtle way of requesting his favourite song. Despite my best efforts to teach him “Michelle”, he started calling me Polly and the name just stuck. 18 years on and he still calls me Polly, as do his brother and sister and all other little people in the family.
PA Polly started off as a working title for my business. However, when it come to committing to a name and printing my business cards, I couldn’t think of anything that represented me any better. Yes, I am a professional PA and have worked in very corporate environments for some very senior people. But I am also personable and I encourage open, honest working relationships. So thank you Patch for the inspiration. The name PA Polly is dedicated to you sunshine.