AloeRoot: What’s in a Name?

I’m often asked why my business is called AloeRoot. It may seem quirky for a web design firm, but since my last name is Van Doleweerd, I’ve got a longtime understanding of the nature and power of an unusual moniker. There’s not much competition in Google, for starters, and the company lands near the top of any telephone listing. The “can you spell that for me?” factor makes it memorable.


“AloeRoot” has a couple of layers of meaning, all of them personally significant. The “Root” part is for Jean Paul Racine, my late partner (in both the business and in our home life).  Racine is, of course, French for “root” – and J.P. was a systems administrator, commonly known as the person who has “root” access to the hosting servers on which we work.


When we were starting out, we tried and failed to work my last name in alongside his. Van-Root sounded too Dutch. Dole-Root sounded like it had something to do with pineapples.  Nothing fit,  so we turned to plants for inspiration.


There’s a rare type of incense called “aloeswood” that is uniquely earthy, relaxing and grounding – something that we felt resonated well with the way we work: simply, honestly, and in an easygoing manner.  Aloe and Root sounded good together, and we really wanted to be able to create a logo that incorporated the idea of being both rooted and growing.



AloeRoot Web Services was born, and the tree logo soon followed. The roots were J.P.’s design (he was an avid, talented gardener with an deep understanding of plant biology) and the tree part was my creation.


Recently, a family member who wanted to memorialize Jean got our logo as a tattoo.  It was flattering to be asked, and a fitting tribute to such a lover of nature.