About Our Name

{That which we call a durian By any other name would smell as stinky} What\'s in a Name?!


The name durian & the Lyon
is a personal representation of Kelly and her family. 

Both of Kelly\’s parents, through nature and nurture, have gifted her invaluable qualities for a creative business venture. The name durian & the Lyon is Kelly’s way of honoring family names and showing gratitude for these gifts. 

Just like the durian fruit and the lion referenced in our name, our company has a unique balance and blend of traits:

quirky, strong, classy, independent & whimsical. 


Kelly\’s last name, which she inherited from her father, is Durian. The durian fruit exemplifies unique hidden delicacies inside a tough (and stinky!?) exterior. Kelly has always enjoyed the personal metaphors the durian fruit offers. By embracing the fruit in our company name, she is paying homage to the quirkiness and creativity that she got from her father, her own weirdness, and the interesting traits of this odd fruit: 

  1. It\’s not for everyone, and that\’s okay! If you love it, you love it. If you don\’t, you don\’t. The same principle applies to bow ties. Or Kelly. Or maybe YOU. 
  2. It has some intense defense mechanisms at play. But if you put in the work, you get the hidden delicacy.

Kelly\’s father, now helping out from the other side, was a very smart, kind, sensitive, quirky, and creative person. He would go buy 20 little chairs, repaint and reupholster them, and then give them away. He liked to (literally) cut and paste pictures and his writing over real articles to create fake news stories. And he also loved to send hand-written letters covered in scrapbook stickers. Good man. 

Brutus is sporting our big makeba dog bow.
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& the Lyon 

We draw inspiration from the lion for a couple of reason:
1) Kelly is a LEO (July 29, you may send presents).
2) Her maternal family name is Lyons (which is why we spell it with a \”y\”) and there are a bunch of important characters from that family. 

Kelly\’s mother, whose maiden name is Lyons, is a colorful and ambitious woman who gives Kelly strength, inspiration and artistic skill. And so much help! She\’s the one who encouraged Kelly to go make stuff, pointing out again and again that Kelly was happiest when she was doing something with her hands. She also makes the most amazing quilts! 

Grandpa William \”Bill\” Lyons (known in the family as Gramps Gramps Gramps) had a business called the Lyons Group that made metal racks for computers (the 90s!). Before that, he had an art gallery called Lyons Gallery. He was a strong, ambitious, creative man. He passed away when Kelly was 10 and she has continued to hold on to the connection they shared. She considers him an angel on our side, giving guidance and help from above. (Is that what an angel investor is?) His portrait hangs in our studio to remind us to GET TO WORK. And to say \”Yes!\” not \”Yeah.\”