How I Named My Baby: Everett Holston


Kellie Brown is a nurse practitioner living in Tennessee with her husband B.J. and their son, Everett Holston.

Here, she talks to us about how they chose the baby name Everett for their son.


Did you decide on middle name(s) before the first name or vice versa?

My son’s name is Everett Holston! My husband and I chose the name Everett when we were only 16 years old. We loved its timeless charm and had both liked the name for years. We juggled a few middle names after finding out the gender before finally settling on Holston. Holston will always remind him of his roots — the Holston mountains of East Tennessee and more specifically, South Holston Lake! We live on the lake and our family operates a marina.

How do you feel about your own name and how did that influence your choice? 

I, like my mother before me, go by my middle name. KathrynKellie” has a nice ring to it, and I love both of my names. I would happily answer to either. I have often asked my mom, “why? After 27 years, you didn’t realize going by your middle name was a pain?” I hated being teased in school when Kathryn was called over the intercom. Now, as a professional, I struggle with going by a different name than the one on my badge or on my resume during an interview. Calling my child by their first name was #1 on my list of requirements! 


What would your baby be named if it was the opposite gender?

At about 14 weeks pregnant, the bump joined me and a few close girlfriends on a bachelorette trip to the Smokey Mountains. We listened to lots of girl power anthems and called him Mallory the entire trip. Needless to say, I was surprised to see blue at our gender reveal!  


What was your biggest fear related to baby names?

My biggest fear when naming our son was that we would choose a name we would grow to dislike, or that he would dislike. One of my main goals was to choose a name that is cute for a baby/small child but that would grow up well. I wanted a timeless name that worked through all stages of life and wasn’t a trend, silly, or very popular. 


Have any unexpected nicknames come up for your baby?

My husband’s name is Bobby Joseph and he has gone by B.J. since birth. He really wanted our son to have a family name and I was totally onboard for Everett Joseph. We started sharing the name with others. 10/10 people replied, “Awwww… E.J!!!!!” I locked that name up and threw away the key. I wanted him to go by Everett and could see that wouldn’t be the case! 


Was it important to choose a name that ‘matched’ your baby’s older siblings’ — or future siblings’ — names?

Everett is our first child, but I have had a running list of baby names since 9th grade that has changed and evolved over time. I have always thought it is important that siblings’ names sound good together. They don’t necessarily have to match or rhyme or start with the same letter. They just have to flow! I’m secretly hoping our next child is a boy, too because I want to name Everett’s brother Archer!


Was it easier to come up with girl or boy names?

We could not settle on a girl name to save our lives. I like very feminine, traditional girl names that my husband says remind him of his great aunts. I thought for certain Everett would be a girl, just to be stubborn and make things hard on us. Turns out he was just what we needed! We still haven’t found a girl name we both like…maybe a girl just isn’t in the cards for us!


What are the trendy names in your social circle?

We live in the South! Most of my friend’s children have strong, sweet names like Lincoln, Walker, Cooper, Harper, Jackson, and Hadley. Being from Tennessee, Knox and Nash are popular middle names. I love honoring our home but wanted to switch it up a little! 


What advice would you give someone just starting the baby name process?

Names on a piece of paper are hard. You write them down in different fonts and say them over and over until the syllables sound like a different language. Don’t over-analyze it! Go with your instinct and pick the name you love. When your child arrives and begins to grow and develop a personality, it will no longer just be a name, it will represent the most joyous little soul you’ve ever met.

Thank you so much, Kellie!

Newborn photos: A Moment Captured, by Brittany

6 Month photos: Photography by Nikita

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About the Author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top middle names of 2019, the top baby names in each state, and the hottest nickname names of 2018. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at Sophie lives in Chicago.