A Conversation with HDG’s Founders
Why Hello Dean Grey? How did we end up in business together?
Diana: One Friday night, I was filling out my new planner (my 3rd in 3 weeks – I literally have no excuse for this amount of planner consumption), and I started thinking about what I would call my lifestyle brand…if I had one.
I love the sound of my grandfather’s name, Dean, and my favorite color is grey…so, my fictitious brand became Dean Grey (which is kinda a play on Jean Grey, one of my favorite super-heroes). And that was that. I wrote it down in my planner and thought nothing of it.
The next day, while working at a cheer competition, my friend (and kinda boss!), Helene, was setting up her IG account. She found her daughter’s account, turned the phone towards me, and said, “My daughter…”
I interrupted her (as I’m prone to do when I’m excited about something), and said, “I love her shirt ; I want to have…” when Helene interrupted me with “I want to make…”
It was just so weirdly, universe-imposing that we started talking about how we each wanted some type of lifestyle brand – some type of thing that was ultimately about strong women.
For some reason, I pulled my planner (which I had never carried anywhere before) out of my bag and said, “Look, I’ve already thought of a name…”
Helene (without a moment’s hesitation) said, “Let’s do this. Are we doing this? Seriously, let’s do this.”
Helene: …because that’s where I decided that this was the real thing! There were too many coincidences with our lives…your grandpa’s name…my dad, Dean. My mom’s name is Constance, but in Greek, it’s Costadeana (that’s how you pronounce it). All of my brother’s middle names are Dean; my sister’s and my middle name is Deana.
And so the conversation went on. I also remember that you showed me the name “By Dean Grey”, and then you said you did not want to stick with that name because it just wasn’t sounding right…
Diana: …it sounded like Bye Dean Grey, as in Goodbye Dean Grey…I don’t want people to go away!
Helene: …or there was a name similar or the same…
Diana: …the domain name for just Dean Grey was already taken…
Helene: You flipped open your laptop and started saying different words instead of by…you said a few words, and then said hello?
That’s when we both looked at one another, and I am not kidding you when I say this — I just knew that was it, and that’s when the both of us looked at each other and started laughing…
Diana: …and then Helene tried to hi-five me which I turned awkward really quickly when I grabbed her hand in some weird I’m-so-excited-I-have-no-control-over-my-limbs kind of clutch. I admit it, I’m stubbornly awkward at random moments.
I was absolutely certain that the next day Helene was going to text me that HDG was a stupid, impulsive idea, and could I please never tell anyone that she ever went along with this type of insanity?!?
But she didn’t.
Helene: …and now here we are…