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Authored by Dallas-based luxury lifestyle blogger Franki Durbin. Celebrating the very best life has to offer.

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March 11, 2014

Store Tour: Calypso St. Barth...

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We all have our weaknesses. For some, it's a full-bodied burgundy. For others, it's rich chocolate. Moi? A high-ceilinged boutique with an intoxicating mix of home decor, books and impressively crafted clothing. I'm speaking, of course, about Calypso St. Barth. Our Dallas location is not so much a store as it is an experience. Rockstar parking right in the front of this lovely retail hotspot is the first hint that you're in for a treat. But beyond the massive swinging glass door awaits a mental vacation far away from all worries in life other than "do you have this in my size" (and impressively, they always do). 

So let's talk shop, shall we? Calypso has long been one of my favorite brands. It transcends location and lifestyle. One look at a bejeweled kaftan and you are instantly transported to heaven on earth, wherever that may be for you. And yet, for all my years of online shipping with Calypso I see now that I've truly been missing out on the full brand experience.

My trip to the Dallas location taught me many things. The longstanding success of the brand is surely built upon its people. It's the warmth of the team that walks upon the perfecly bleached floors that makes each in-store experience so special. These ladies truly know what works for each client and what doesn't. Notice I said client, not customer. There is never a feeling of being sold.

As I buzzed about the store I witnessed great care being taken of their regular clientele. Personal needs and preferences being listened to attentively. Stories being shared. Items being admired. But it was more than that.. these were friends visiting as much or moreso than outfits being tried on. It's all about relationships... building a brand by building relationships one at a time. That is how great brands are built. I had the priviledge of meeting many of the team members this past Saturday and was so impresssed by their graciousness and - not surprisingly - genuine love of the artisan quality of the pieces in their boutique. 

From beautifully adorned jackets to hand-sewn pillows, quality and craftsmanship is what Calypso offers. These treasures sell themselves, which allows the staff to focus on understanding your preferences and needs. They each had intimate knowledge of every item on the floor in an instant could locate a jewel of an item in just your size. It was magical. As gorgeous as their wares are, it was the quiet passion of the people at Calypso  - their attentiveness and their willingness to listen -  that sets them apart.

So.. who is the Calypso client? Is it the girl on the go about to board a jet? Yes, but it's also her artsy friend who appreciates the handmade craftsmanship of Kaanas shoes or original artisinal jewelry. Let's not overlook the draw of Calypso's home interior collection. Art buyers of all walks can count on finding gallery quality pieces on the walls ready to be hung at home. Interior designers can always count on Calypso's unusual mix of accents to truly finish a space. Pillows, blankets, sofas, tables, rugs, accessories... these are not things most might associate with the brand, and yet they have a standout selection that rivals some Design District showrooms.

The buzzword these days is "lifestyle" brand... but few companies actually embody the meaning of that word. Calypso, in my opinion, is one of the original pioneers of the lifestyle brand. They live it, breathe it and are making every effort to help you infuse their effortless luxury frame of mind into your closet, your home and your mind.

Designers can shop Calypso to discover brilliant treasures like exotic Moroccan wedding blankets, one-of-a-kind Indian daybeds and beautifully framed art for clients that infuse a laid-back luxe vibe to a space. Dress shoppers might find a gloriously sequined maxi to take home and a delicious smelling bedside candle treats their senses to something far from ordinary. While discovering the perfect pair of AG slim-fit white jeans you might also discover a dusty rose Tibetan Lamb pillow that adds a much needed touch of relaxed chic to your living room. The Calypso experience is completely comprehensive... you leave the store feeling optimistic and refreshed.

If you haven't visited your local boutique I encourage you to treat yourself this week. If you can't make it in, shop online. To make it more special you can save by using code GCSPRING2014FB at checkout. There, you'll save $50 on $300, $150 on $600 or $300 on $1000. 

I, for one, found some incredible pieces while in store and can't wait to channel some of that effortless ease into my daily life. Calypso will now always be top of mind when I'm looking for inspiring pieces as well as fabulous classics. I could gush on and on about my fabulous tour of the store, but I really just want you to experience it for yourself. 

If you're in Dallas or the surrounding area, go visit Julie and the team and expect to be wowed by their warmth and their beautiful in-store experience. Tell them Franki sent you... you never know, I might just be there in the fitting rooms trying on more lovely pieces! After all... every girl deserves a "pink bag experience" of her own. Happy shopping

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