A gypsy is defined as a nomadic or free spirited person so there is something to be said of the kindred spirits I`ve come across in Sarah Kearney of Gypsyjacket, and Kate Ruggiero, the self-confessed daydreamer behind her line, Made By Gypsy. One peek at the imagery on Kate`s site and you`ll be whipping out your Visa and booking a flight to any place you can pitch an upcycled teepee in the sun. Perfect for out-of-the-water-action, these are delectable undie-wears ladies: handmade with love and passion in Hawaii. yes. please.
In her own words….I wanted to get into sewing bikinis and was given a sewing maching as a gift from a few close friends last year. Everyone warned me how I may want to ease into working with bathing suit material since it`s tricky fabric to work with. Around the time I was given the sewing machine, I went back to New York for a vacation and went fabric shopping. I found some really beautiful stretch fabric. I had 2 pairs of undies that I loved. I cut them up and basically redesigned them so together they would be the perfect pair. It started out just for fun, making them for myself and friends but friends started asking for several pairs so I decided to keep hunting for good fabrics and to try selling them. I am always searching for cute, comfy and sexy undies. I wanted to make something my friends and I would love.
Each pair is one of a kind. Designed and made locally. I try to keep my personal taste in mind, so keeping the styles and fabrics really unique and beautiful is really important to me.The feeling of gypsy is modern vintage, unique but classic.
On her inspiration….I have worked in fashion photography for the last 8 years. In NY I worked for a fashion photographer for 5 years and have always loved being involved. I lived in the East Village and Brooklyn for 5 years and loved every minute but always dreamed of living on the beach. It felt like something I may never do if I didn`t take the chance at that moment. I was leaving my job and was ready for something new in my life. I came out to Hawaii and it just felt right so I took a leap and moved here 3 years ago.
I feel like living in Hawaii has allowed me the time and room to think of this idea and to try sewing for fun, moving out here, was the first time I really felt like a travelling gypsy. Leaving my home and everything comfortable for something completely unknown, without knowing a soul here. I also have tons of amazing friends in my life who embody this idea of being a free spirit and following what you love without questioning why. I live by the saying follow your heart and somehow the word gypsy evokes that to me.
Be your own person and love it.
I am inspired by Hawaii, my dreams, travel, my notebooks and journals from previous travels and by my peers and friends. I am inspired by the idea that I can have a positive impact on the world and that there is constant room for growth and improvement. I find that re-reading my journal writing from travels and looking through photos helps my mind to start thinking the right way again and expands my thoughts, while getting me centered and giving me the space to really start brainstorming. My surroundings help tremendously. When I get to stuck or feel uninspired, I can go to the beach and be revived by the ocean. I can float on my back, under the sun and come out feeling anew. It always brings me back to myself and creating again and helps me remember why I began this journey to begin with.
On living your dreams….Most of all, though, my brand started from one small little line that inspires me every step of the way:
FOLLOW YOUR HEART
Growing up, my mother raised me through all difficult decisions using that phrase. And ironically, when I began Gypsy, a very close friend reminded me of the phrase as the only way to live and conduct my business. No matter how much you doubt yourself or what your fears or hesitations in life are, things will work out if you simply listen to your heart and believe solely in what you want. I believe that business can create social change, especially when it is born from a place of need, inspiration, and re-investment in a community. That is how this whole adventure began. I followed my heart to Hawaii. Then, despite all fears, I followed my heart to begin Gypsy. It has never failed me. I am grateful for every step of this exciting adventure.
Not only is Kate producing some fine lingerie pieces, she`s also started to include some salty swimwear into her range. Yay!