When I was trying to think up a name for the company, I sat around with friends tossing out names many a late night. Friends and family suggested everything from the generic "Island Marketing" to the goofy "Plungerman Marketing" (courtesy of my 9-year old son). Nothing seemed to fit. I wanted a name that showed my love of the island but was not limited to waves, beaches, and palm trees.
Then we came upon an old photo of my husband's great grandmother, Elizabeth Newkirk Kelso, standing beside the "Mrs. Kelso" Oleander, and inspiration struck. Even though Oleander isn't the easiest word to spell, Oleander Marketing just seemed to fit. Galveston has been known as "The Oleander City" for as long as anyone can remember. When I first moved here in 2001, the Oleanders lined the center of Broadway. Their fluffy white and pink branches would beautify the city every spring. So not only is the Oleander name a nod to the City of Galveston, but it also evokes the image of a bygone era. I always think of the Victorian mansions and the grand ladies who bred their varieties of the famous flower.
Pictured Above: The Mrs. Kelso Oleander
Of course, my more sarcastic friends joked about how the Oleander flower is known to be both beautiful and slightly dangerous. But the Oleander is a tough plant as well. It became popular on the island in the 1800s. It could survive the hot, humid summers and tolerate the sandy, alkaline soil and salt spray in the air. Every time I turned around, there was another reason to love the name Oleander Marketing.