Why “Varis”?

My one and only visit to Finland, as a guest lecturer at a college a number of years ago, felt like coming home. Not only are the Finns a hardy, nature-adjacent people (the embodiment of sisu); they are also some of the most thoughtful, considerate, and practical people I’ve met. And, like me, they are by and large a quietly reserved group of human beings, favoring a magical, library-like stillness even in crowded places. If a nation can be one’s collective spirit animal, Finland is mine.

Finns are also, above almost all else, resourceful. This is the legacy of wars and threats of war that forced entire generations in Finland to learn how to re-purpose whatever was available on the fly. And so, when choosing a name for this company, the marriage of arguably the world’s most resourceful creature (the crow) with a language that evoked that quality was a no-brainer. Coaching, if it is anything, is the work of helping another person locate and use the resources they already have in a more skilled and effective way.

In American circles, I say “varis” the way it appears phonetically in English, the same way Americans say “Paris.” In Finland, however, the word is pronounced sharply and with more punch, as if to avoid wasting the warmth of one’s breath trying to make a rounded “R” sound. To hear native speakers say the word, click here.