The Word and Idea
I spent the better part of my twenties immersed in the literature, culture and history of the Caribbean, travelling throughout the region and meeting some of our talented writers and celebrated artists. It was one of the most exciting times in my life, making a meaningful reconnection to the place of my birth through the process of writing about it and earning a doctoral degree.
While I don't have a favourite novel or piece of writing, Wide Sargasso Sea stands apart as perhaps the most iconic piece of writing.
The stories of both the writer, Dominican Jean Rhys, and her heroine, Antoinette Cosway, tell the story of the last few centuries on this side of the globe—
we have been caught up in the machinations of commerce, geopolitics, patriarchy, and, not least, love.
Though the story didn't end well for Antoinette, she gave us a fiery starting point with her final act of self-realisation.
The novel, its landscape, and Rhys's modernist yet nostalgic vision, led me to the aesthetic for Sargasso's product offering and projects.
Geography and Seaweed
Crucially, the other component in our name is geographical. Don and I have lived in the Caribbean, the US, and the UK, so we imagine a fluid home and insist on seeing things from all three points of view.
The Sargasso Sea embodies this for us. Adrift inside the North Atlantic Ocean, the Sargasso Sea is the only sea on our planet with aqueous borders. It's a unique space in all the world, so-named by fifteenth-century Portuguese mariners for the sargassum, or seaweed, that grows in abundance there. Quite literally, we aspire to harvesting and using the lovely resources, including seaweed, from our seas and shores.