Goodbye “Sarah,” — Hello “Olivia”

Finally, I have changed my name from Sarah to Olivia —or, rather, I’m going by my middle name, but a big change nonetheless.

Goodbye, Sarah! You’ve been a great name, but now it’s time to shed you and become the person that I’ve seen evolving this year.

Goodbye, confusing moments when someone asks “Which Sarah are you?” Goodbye, “Sarah Squared,” though I’ve enjoyed being a Sarah-duo with Sarah. Sayonara, picking from the mug wall of my favorite community, Switchyards, and realizing it’s the wrong mug because there are four of us here. (I’m #332, by the way. Goodbye, feeling more like a number than a name.)

The mugs are awesome — being 1 of 4 Sarahs is not.

Goodbye, lack of originality and feelings of inauthenticity. Hasta luego, wondering if it’s too late in life to change my name. Peace out, feelings of regret that I hadn’t done it up to this point.

Goodbye, name that my mother gave me, the most common baby name that year, but at least it had the “H” at the end. Goodbye, name that has not aligned with my professional aspirations and always felt like a loose fitting glove.

Goodbye: “Sarah Plain and Tall,” common, ordinary, known, familiar, comfortable — it’s been fun.

Hello, Olivia.

Why, hello, Olivia! Hello to the name that my grandmother insisted I be given so that she could call me “Liv” or “Livie.” Thank you, compromise, that caused my mother to name me Sarah Olivia, giving me this opportunity to change and grow. Hello, sense of sophistication I’ve been craving.

Hola, originality! Welcome, authenticity! I’ve been craving you, missing you, not realizing I needed you all along. I’ve been making small changes these past years, framing my profession and even my personal self, in a way that has led to a more mature being, and haven’t seen it until this moment.

Hello: sophistication, uniqueness, four syllables, several nicknames, new initials, new brand.

And, most importantly, hello to being the only person I know in my spheres that is named Olivia.

What now?

Moving forward, I will be going by Olivia. Personally and professionally. There will be mess ups. I imagine I’ll have to correct multiple people several times. I imagine I’ll even have to correct my inner dialogue, and I’ll stumble when I introduce myself as “S-…Olivia. I’m Olivia.”

This name change is the most authentic thing I’ve done to date, and something that’s true to myself, personally and professionally. Sarah Hutto, LLC will make way for Olivia Design + Co, something I’m thrilled and proud to finally announce.

If you’re a friend, I’d appreciate if you changed my number in your phone and looked for “Olivia Hutto” on social media.

If you’re a client, my new site is now, and I’m so, so excited to be continuing doing what I love under this new name.

Always Practice What You Preach

I’m a branding designer—have I mentioned that? My strengths are also in web design and UX design — but as a primarily brand-focused designer in Atlanta, I’m always weighing in on name changes, logo changes, and brand shifts. This is me practicing exactly what I preach to my clients on a daily basis: your brand should reflect who you truly are, who you truly want to be. “Dress for the job you want,” we’ve all heard. This is me donning a new name, a new brand that fits me, and getting rid of what no longer serves me.

I hope everyone will be as embracing and open as my close friends and family have been–and a huge thank you to all of them, and everyone who hasn’t batted an eye when I’ve announced this change. I’ve gotten more “Hey, Olivias!” than I ever could have dreamed for — and many more are to come!

Five years from now, I hope I look back on this moment and say, “Ew, do you remember when I used to go by Sarah?