Liz Vaknin and Shelley Golan both had no idea that what began as a video blog would be the seed that would grow their business. “We never thought of opening up our own company,” says Vaknin. “We’re incredibly grateful, every day.”
Our Name Is Farm is a New York–based digital media and event production firm owned and operated by both women, who met in Israel while in college and began working together in 2013. Vaknin had worked as a chef in fine-dining restaurant kitchens, and Golan as an executive assistant in fashion marketing along with social media and post-production in video.
They bring together the local food movement and technology by using digital media storytelling, providing services in everything from design to digital marketing to public relations. Golan is the partner who handles most of the post-production on projects, and they intend for their reach to go beyond building user-friendly websites and creating videos.
The company works with sustainable farmers, producers, distributors and more, helping clients grow their brands and encourage sustainability. “We’re placing focus on the great work of the farms,” Vaknin says. “I lean into the statement that: ‘If you are what you eat, then do you know what you are?’”
“The best outcome has been creating a network that’s built friendships in a top-shelf greenmarket—being part of a community and engaging one another, says Golan. “We’re hoping to start a continuing dialogue between farmers and consumers alike. It allows expansion and brings brands together.” Vaknin adds, “No community can be made by shutting people out. We’re here championing the message of inclusiveness.”
I worked with the two of them when I was just beginning my own venture into a food and arts education business, and can attest that they truly do exercise this claim to welcome in new people. Their long list of collaborations makes their philosophy just as evident. They’ve partnered with several local organizations and businesses in and around Brooklyn for fundraising and events: Agritecture, Food Loves Tech, AgTech-X, Food + Enterprise Summit, Brooklyn Roasting Company, Local 61 and Kings Country Distillery, to name a few.
Vaknin and Golan hope to push even farther than New York City. As Golan says, “If we can continue to strive toward getting people to realize that fresh food is a human right and shouldn’t be a privilege, on a global level, that will be our greatest motivator.”