The story of unoaked.
Alex and I planned to start our own event company for years prior to officially launching in 2017. In the years before debuting unoaked, we planned and executed many events in Orange County. Seeing our passion, close friends and family constantly urged us to “jump ship” and start our own business. After planning our New Orleans destination wedding in February 2017, I left my full-time job in April and launched our company in May! During the months of preparing to launch, we went through many versions of what is now our still evolving company, unoaked. event design & production.
Alex and I have very strong ties to nature, wood, and the earth -so much so we were married under the 800 year old McDonough Oak Tree in the beautiful New Orleans City Park.
We were so taken by the legacy of this majestic tree that Alex actually hand drew our wedding invitations to reflect the exact spot in which we would stand!
Alex and I inherently knew our company would need to embody the strength, grace, longevity, and beauty of the magnificent oak trees under which we were married. Among business mentors, friends, and strangers we threw around company names like
Oaked, Twisted Oak, Tangled Oak, Old Oak, Knotted Oak, Unoaked
Inspired by our New Orleans connection, we initially crafted our company around the soigné French name
Vieux Chene, translating to Old Oak.
As more time passed it became clear that name was hard to remember and even more difficult to pronounce! It was back to the above list of names. unoaked was always the dark horse in these conversations and became almost a joke in the discussions.
Alex and I love to cook nice food and drink sexy wine. I was lucky enough to acquire a New Orleans cookbook from my late Godmother, Aunt Julie, a few years back, and we routinely made elaborate meals from her book. While cooking our way through the Creole Cuisine, we regularly followed the beverage pairing suggestions noted for each meal as well. With many of the seafood entrees, the recipe called for an “unoaked chardonnay” wine pairing.
By this time in the night we were usually delirious, covered in flour or batter, with pots over flowing the sink, and for some reason we always put on our worst pretentious French accent and would say,
“Oh damn. We needed an UNOAKED chardonnay!
Now this meal will be ruined!”
Which later turned into,
“Don’t forget to pick up an UNOAKED chardonnay for the
seafood gumbo tonight!”
As time went on and names for our company were eliminated, unoaked always snuck back into the mix. It became more clear that while indeed “unoaked chardonnay” was an inside joke to us, it appropriately reflected the type of people Alex and I are and the style of company we wanted to run. Like an unoaked wine we are organically transparent. There is no fluff or outside influences. We are honest, direct, and natural, just as the grape is expressed in an unoaked wine. It is simply the purest expression of itself in its truest form. We carry this basic definition with us everyday at unoaked striving to be clear, direct, honest, real, and genuine.
Putting all of these pieces together, we quickly realized the name had been there the whole time. Combining the majesty and strength of the historic McDonough Oak with the honest simpleness of a French unoaked chardonnay we knew that’s exactly the defining words we wanted for our company. With that, Alex began designing our logo.
We knew we wanted to capture the feeling of strength and longevity but also wanted to make it feel more like us. Alex and I are deeply rooted in tradition but like to flip-the-script. We were able to have a traditional wedding ourselves, but did it OUR way. In this same respect we wanted our company to be different and not like the others. Assuming that a company named “oaked” might have a logo similar the one above, we instinctively ‘flipped-the-script’ to create what is now unoaked’s logo.