As you may already know we now have the Gypsy East range in store. Handmade by three creative and free thinking girls; Olivia, Sylvie and Emily. Not only is the jewelry beautiful but so is the story of how it began. Stylists, photographers and visual by trade, they formed a friendship group that gave them freedom to look for treasure and start a new adventure. We caught up with Olivia and Sylvie to find out more…
So tell us where Gypsy East all began?
We all met working in Topshop as Visual Merchandisers. We all planned to escape and go travelling for a long time as well as putting all our creativity in one place and work for ourselves instead of a huge company.
So how did the name Gypsy East come from?
Well we wanted to start a street style blog, Olivia had the idea but asked Emily to describe her look, and Emily described Olivia as gypsy east, living in east London but with gypsy finesse about her. And that’s where it started!
What made you start making jewelry?
We just started playing around with old vintage jewelry, taking it apart and making a couple of pieces, friends started getting interested in what we were making, it’s almost as if the brand grew before we even knew what we wanted to do. We were living on the road, travelling around Australia, making money by braiding hair, selling nose chains and selling dinners to travelers and at the same time creating a buzz on social media and doing photo shoots. It’s almost as if we had a brand before we had developed a full range of jewelry.
So what was the next step from being on the road in Australia ?
After 18 months of being on the road we ended up in India knowing exactly what our brand and product range needed to be so by the time we got to the markets it was easy. As soon as we got home we had sold out straight away because everyone had been following our journey and we had created such a buzz.
So are you looking at other places to source your stock or is India still your main focus?
Well at the moment it is, but we get stuff from all over, Emily is still in Australia so she sources a lot of stuff from their and also from Thailand . We are never limited; we would love to go to Guatamala next. We are always on the lookout for new things we can take apart or transform, there was a point where we made headpieces a box of doilies, we love to car boot shop and route around as if we are looking for treasure.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps, creating their own brand?
Personally we love the way we did it, a lot of people do go in and invest a lot in a product, but for us the most important thing was projecting out the image and the lifestyle, we love and embody everything we do. It’s really important to believe in your own brand and make it something that you can represent every day.
Also just take risks, anyone can do what we are doing, we have never had money and never had investment , for us it was just taking the risk to quit your job and that’s the scariest thing. Travelling for us made us have freedom; we learnt so much and embodied that so we could work for ourselves.
Who does your collection appeal to most?
We don’t think there is a main customer type, someone who can wear one piece wouldn’t wear it necessarily the same as someone else. Our customers range from our mums, who love it, to our friendship group, who I guess we do model it on, but then our friendship group is so diverse too.
Even men are also starting to really like it, at a festival we always sell pinky rings and crystal necklaces to them.
What’s the next step for Gypsy East?
For future plans, the next is launching a website, this is the first time we are going to be based in London until winter, and being in blitz makes us so excited, so now we have a base and a flagship which can co inside with the website.
Then we plan to hit the winter markets until we go to India in January and design an entire new range, and hopefully start working with some gold pieces.