"Why Callisto Design Co.? What does Callisto actually mean?"
This is a question I get asked a lot, so I thought it was about time I offered a more detailed explanation. Buckle up, it’s story time!
Callisto is actually the name of a nymph from Greek mythology. According to legend, she was a wild and beautiful huntress, companion of the goddess Artemis, and she chose to take a vow of chastity. This meant she would never be given away by her father in marriage to a man, and be forced into domestic life – instead, she could run free in the woods, living the life she chose.
Unfortunately, Callisto’s beauty quickly caught the eye of Zeus, who disguised himself as the goddess Artemis and seduced Callisto in this form. When Hera, the wife of Zeus, found out about her husband’s infidelity, she was furious and turned Callisto into a bear as punishment. Tragically, Artemis then mistook Callisto for a real bear while hunting, and killed her. A grieving Zeus took Callisto and set her among the stars as the constellation Ursa Major, or the Great Bear. You might recognise the most well-known part of Ursa Major, usually called the Big Dipper or the Plough. So if you’ve ever wondered why my logo is a bear, now you know!
I chose a name inspired by Greek mythology because I’ve been a huge classics and mythology nerd for as long as I can remember – I studied Classical Civilisation at A Level, wrote my degree dissertation about Homer’s Iliad, and taught Latin and Classics during my time as a teacher. I’ve inherited a love of stars and constellations from my dad, and Ursa Major has always been a favourite of mine – I wore a necklace of the Big Dipper for many years, and it’s next on my tattoo list!
As a fiercely independent woman who has chosen a bit of an unorthodox path in life, I really connect to the story of Callisto. I admire her independence, her unashamed love for other women, her desire for freedom and her determination to follow her own path and choose her own life rather than doing what is expected of her. Although I hope I don’t get turned into a bear and accidentally killed by my sort-of girlfriend…fingers crossed that bit of the story isn’t in my future!
And why ‘Design Co.’? As you might know, until recently my business was called Callisto Cards. I chose this name when I hadn’t the slightest inkling of how the business would grow and develop. As my business has grown, so has my ambition – so it was time to get rid of the name which suggested that all I make is cards. This new name gives me freedom to design anything and everything under the sun. There’s going to be an awful lot of hard work involved, but I’m so excited to see where I can take my business next!