One of the new business owners in downtown Langley has some unusual gifts.
Although Giavonne Mitchell opened Kalypso’s Gifts a few months ago, some Village by the Sea buyers – including this journalist – are just discovering the existence of his metaphysical boutique, which sells candles on the theme of zodiac signs, tarot cards, sage packs and knits. witch hats, among other products made by local artisans.
True to the laid-back nature of island life, news from Mitchell’s store has spread slowly through word of mouth.
“I love coming back to slow life and slow life, this island way of word of mouth,” Mitchell said. “It’s my kind of thing.”
Born and raised on the Virgin Islands, Mitchell only recently moved to Whidbey, a much cooler and less populated island.
“I traveled for two years in search of the coast in search of the right island which reminded me a lot of the qualities of my home without the sun,” she said.
Kalypso’s Gifts is the first store that she owns. As a metaphysical store, she said, it all revolves around “mind, body, spirit, connection and community.” The products sold are intended to improve oneself and one’s own spiritual connection, whatever form it may take.
The Mitchell store is named after the witch featured in The Odyssey.
“Kalypso itself is the story of a goddess whose story has been told by a man, an ancient story,” Mitchell said. “A lot of goddesses back then were sort of relegated to a certain scenario. And so this story for her is almost like her home.
The irony is not lost on Mitchell that the cafe down the street is named after the hero of the Odyssey whom Kalypso helped and fell in love with.
Since childhood, Mitchell has felt an attraction to the supernatural world. She said she had the ability to see deceased people, which her parents discouraged her from speaking with anyone.
“On the Virgin Islands it’s a very different kind of culture,” she said. “There’s a lot of superstition, there’s a lot of fear and maybe some negative stuff that comes with the manipulation.”
She learned to suppress her talent over the years, but eventually slowly felt brought back to her origins. She began performing tarot and psychic readings, and helped friends start their own metaphysical stores, including the only one in the Virgin Islands.
“It opened up a world for me to be just me, and I wanted to be able to provide it to other people,” she said. “They know in their hearts that they want a deeper connection to their spiritual connection, whatever their religion, whatever their religion. And that’s what this place is.
Mitchell currently runs Kalypso’s Gifts with his daughter Bijan. The store may have gotten off to a slow start, but business certainly hasn’t moved at a freezing pace. Shoppers looking to purchase personal items for loved ones for the holidays were seen frequenting the gift shop in December. Some Oak Harbor residents even made the descent.
“There is a deep silence in this place. It’s very quiet, ”Mitchell said of the building in which Kalypso’s Gifts is located, which offers stunning views of Puget Sound.
Mitchell likes to joke that his store is better painted and has more furniture than his own house. There is a wide variety of items on display, including countless jewelry and items from Whidbey artisans, such as handmade soap bars.
Kalypso’s Gifts is located at 302 First Street in Langley and is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.