What's in a Name?

When you hear a name like Coral and Calypso, what comes to mind? We hope it's visions of ocean-dwelling mermaids and thriving coral reefs, or maybe even the favorite dress that's hanging in your closet that you kindly bought from us (you know the one!). The question really is, what were WE thinking? How does one decide on a name and what becomes of that choice? In this post, I'll explore a little bit of our thought process and some hidden meanings in our moniker.

If you ever shopped with us at our first brick n mortar, you'll know what I mean when I say BLUE! Our walls were a bright sea-kissed turquoise blue, otherwise named in the master paint booklet as CALYPSO. The color of our walls was chosen not just for it's pretty looks! My mom, the proud owner of C&C, has always loved the ocean. I've never met a more passionate Gypsea in all my life! The color was light, bright, and happy. If you were to soak up everything my mom loves and turn it into a color, it would be Calypso. The name itself is powerful. It invokes images of a sea-ferring witch entombed in Greek mythology, seashells scattered about and a light sea mist in the air. Was the ocean maid Calypso really a witch though? Maybe our girl just got a bad rap.. or maybe it all depends on who you ask!

“Her ladyship Calypso
clung to him in her sea-hollowed caves -
a nymph, immortal and most beautiful,
who craved him for her own.”

(Homer, Odyssey, Book One, lines 14 ff.)

The mythological maiden Calypso wasn't originally a mainstay goddess like many believe. According to Greek mythology, she was a kind of sea spirit, specifically called an Oceanid. The Oceanids were the 3,000 daughters of Oceanus. They embodied whatever waters they dwelled in, whether this was the ocean, a river, lake, or stream. Calypso was said to be the goddess of her island Ogygia, a mythical island estimated to lie somewhere in the Mediterranean, where she was doomed to stay forever as punishment for supporting the Titans in the great war. Perhaps Calypso's biggest role was her part in Homer's The Odyssey. After Odysseus was left marooned on her island, she took him in.. well, sort of. According to the great Greek epic, Calypso kept the journeyman Odysseus lured under a spell. She had every intention of keeping this new man all to herself, but if you remember junior high English class at all, things didn't quite turn out in her favor. Odysseus missed his wife and wished to return home. After being forced to relinquish her spell on the wandering Odysseus, Calypso, having truly loved him, sent him on his way fully prepared for his journey home. Unfortunately for Calypso, not much else is known about her or what became of her after her encounter with Odysseus. Some say she was so stricken with grief that she fell into the waters surrounding her island and now guides wayward sailors safely back to their own lovers, just as she wishes for Odysseus' return.

Yeah, sure, Calypso probably did some things that she's not quite proud about looking back on it, but haven't we all? If a goddess nymph has room to make mistakes, so do we, right? Though she may not be the greatest role model, we appreciate who Calypso is as a figure. A strong, powerful woman who just so happens to frolic with seabirds and sailors. She was the queen of her own ocean-locked land. Running around with salt and sand in her hair, weaving on her loom just because she liked to and for no one else's benefit. A punishment? Perhaps, but we aren't entirely convinced!
As for the other half of our name, coral is just plain AWESOME and it is SO vital to the Earth and her ocean oasis. Coral can be found in many different places, sizes, and shapes. Coral reefs are some of the most beautiful habitats on Earth and house many different kinds of sea life. Coral clusters act as the ocean's rain forests and if it weren't for these ocean communities, the ocean waters surrounding them and the humans that thrive off the reefs healthy upkeep would surely suffer. Coral is more than just one trendy color choice (it's like pink without the commitment!), it's essentially the color of ocean life as we know it, which is fascinatingly diverse! Blues, greens, pinks, and yellows of all different hues across God's given spectrum. Life is beautiful, y'all, and it needs to be protected and preserved for future generations to enjoy.
So, do you feel that Coral & Calypso vibe yet? That soft, quiet beckon to return to the sea? It's not just the perfect vaycay spot. It's sand in your toes, salt in your hair, sun rays on your shoulders. It's that place just before the edge of the Earth. The place of timeless legends and fairytales. You don't have to be a professional beachcomber to understand. All you need is a sense of wonder, that boundless gypsy spirit that resides in us all.. and perhaps some sunscreen.
Just don't forget your sea legs!
"We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came."
- John F Kennedy

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