A Nymphery of Naiads
If you’re thinking a nymphery is vaguely pornographic, you might be right—in someone else’s hands. Dr. MDT De Bienville coined the word “nymphomania” to describe women with hypersexual disorder way back in 1771,and sexual connotations have clung to the word ever since. However, centuries before Dr. Bienville’s lexiconic contribution, Nymphe or Nymphai were nature goddesses who ruled over various trees, mountains, and waters. By the late 1500’s, “nymph” more generally referred to a young woman or girl
And a Nymphery is . . .?
A nymphery carries several possible meanings, including:
1. A place where nymphs of the semi-divine variety hang out. In the ballet, Sylvia, the denouement takes place in the goddess Diana’s nymphery. 2. A habitat for insects in the nymph stage of their lifecycle (so basically, a place where nymphs of the insect variety hang out) 3. Accoutrements of a nymph. Darn grass stains! thought Janice. She would have to dry clean her cosplay nymphery—again. Next time Brittany could be the oread and she would be the naiad. Still not getting it? Oreads are mountain nymphs—thus prone to grass stains, and naiads are water nymphs. Also, try substituting the word “finery” for “nymphery.” 4. Magic. “We mixed as we went and did the final mixes in Verdi studios with some Protools nymphery.” -Ian Whitty, on mastering his second album, Will ‘o the Wisp. 5. Finally, a nymphery is a collection of nymphs.
About a year ago I decided to sell my handmade jewelry on Etsy under the name “Naiad Necklaces.” The name was inspired by my daughter, who in turn carries a famous nymph’s name. As part of my registration process, I searched—and found—several businesses containing the Naiad name. I began following some of the more interesting ones on a whim. By no means exhaustive, what follows is my own personal collection—or nymphery—of Naiads. Please note, I do not have affiliations with any of these businesses and have included them solely because I like their products or because I found them interesting. Links are provided for your interest and convenience only.
The Old World
Old World beats New in the number of Naiad-named businesses. However, even within Europe, French and near-French businesses show up on Google and Facebook searches more than any other country. Perhaps French Naiads are just more web savvy than their non-French counterparts.
France and Monaco
Chateau De la Caze. OK, there is no “Naiad” in their name, but Chateau De la Caze was home to the 8 granddaughters of Bertrand de Mostuejouls. The maids were so beautiful they were thought to be part naiad. Rumor has them never marrying, because no suitor could ever choose among them. Today Chateau De la Caze is a luxury hotel backed by “golden cliffs” on one side and the River Tarn on the other. The hotel dining room features original portraits of each sister.
Naiad Jewels Pendant
Naiad Jewels. Colorful handmade baubles are molded into pendants, earrings, bracelets, and rings.
Musicians. Far too many French musicians have taken the name Naiad to mention them all here. They range from the in-your-face rock band Naiad to the hauntingly beautiful Naiad from Mars to jazzy rap Naiad. Take your pick.
Naïade is a free-lance illustrator of playing cards and games, among other things.
Naiad Yachts of Monaco
Naiad Yachts of Monaco (NYM). Lined up your tickets to the Cannes Film Festival but forgot to book a hotel? NYM can rent you your own floating hotel. Charters are available around the world, but you might be particularly interested in the various island destinations in the Mediterranean, Adriatic, or Caribbean Seas or in the Indian Ocean. Want to brush up on your high school Chinese as you cruise the Balearics? NYM can find you a crew that’s fluent.
The Rest of Europe
As you might imagine, oodles of Naiades Villas (Greece), Villages (Greece), and Hotels (Greece); Restaurants (Greece, Italy, and—check it—Romania); Spas (Italy, Spain); and Boutiques (Italy) dot Europe’s landscapes. Here are a couple of additional intriguing Naiads:
Naiad AUV. 18 Masters of Science candidates from Malardalen University, Sweden, hope to build on the success of a prior University robotics team to create an army of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). The Naiad AUVs will be used to locate hazardous objects at the bottom of the Baltic Sea “to secure a healthy environment.”
Naiada Honeydew. Greece. As best I can tell, this online Etsy shop was founded about one year ago and sells bracelets. They have posted only one item, but they have a totally cool wall design and logo on Facebook. What I really want to know is how they got 63 Facebook likes with just 2 timeline posts in the entire year?
Naiad Inflatables (NZ) Ltd. The world's leading designer of custom-designed and built rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RIBs) for commercial use. RIBs are “like boats with a lifejacket” and offer unsurpassed safety per boat size because they can maintain buoyancy even after taking on large quantities of water. Non-swimmers like myself greatly appreciate that feature. The first RIBs were retrofitted inflatable boats to which a rigid flooring was added. Naiad Inflatables approached the problem oppositely by attaching replaceable, inflatable tubing to a rigid hull with a deep V. Different hull and cabin shapes optimize boats’ performances to task (e.g., speed for racing or patrol work; safety for rescue work). The boats are especially popular with various nations’ Coast Guards. The US Navy uses Naiad RIBs for high-speed, extreme weather operations.
Naiad Inflatables (NZ) Ltd.
The New World
New World countries enter the Naiad business name-game with the following:
Naiad Boutique. This Jamaican boutique has the coolest temporary lip tats ever. They didn’t give me permission to use their photos, so check it out on your own here: http://www.facebook.com/NaiadBoutique
The United States
Naiad Daiad. Team USA scores its own naiad musical group with the downtempo, experimental glitch duo “Naiad Daiad.” Guitarist Brandon Maynard, aka “Aquarium” of the digi-funk trio The Malah, fronts with Cooper Howland.
Naiad Entertainment. Based in Seattle, this young video game start-up is working on a turn-based dungeon-crawler called “Sneaky-Sneaky.”
Naiad Inflatables of Newport, Inc. builds Naiad RIBs under license to Naiad Inflatables (NZ) Inc. and constructed 3 of the Chase boats for the US 2013 America’s Cup team (the US won).
Naiad Soap Arts
Naiad Soap Arts. Award-winning, small batch glycerin, cold press, and liquid soaps; sugar scrubs; and lip balms. Also the occasional body crème. You can’t eat them, but you’ll want to. So far, my favorite is the Cardamom Vanilla sugar-whipped scrub.
Naiad Software Fluid Simulation
Naiad Software. Fans continue to mourn Autodesk’s acquisition of Exotic Matter, makers of Naiad Fluid Sim Software. The software had been used to create special effects for the films X-men, First Class; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2; and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, to name just a few. Since their acquisition, Autodesk has issued its own “Fluid FX” App.
Finally, a nymphery is also that space in my head where ideas burble up and get turned into something real. Sometimes you'll read about them in this blog.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my collection, and I hope you’ll consider adding your own favorites to the list in the comments below. There can never be too many naiads in the world!