Creation Always Comes From Somewhere
I have always suffered from severe metal allergies. I spent many years not wearing any jewelry at all, not because I didn't like jewelry, but because it just wasn't worth the itching, redness and scabbing, not to mention how self-conscious it made me. I was always jealous of my friends and all the fun earrings and necklaces they were wearing. So began my quest, I knew what I wanted I just needed to find it. For a long time I struggled to find quality pieces of jewelry that fit my style, my moods and my budget. So I began making jewelry out of my need for self-expression, a desire to wear beautiful pieces that I knew were sensitive skin safe and that were affordable. In the beginning it was just for me. I had no idea of how much joy the process of discovery, design and creation would bring me. As I learned more techniques and honed my skills my friends began requesting pieces for themselves. I knew how much I loved making jewelry but when I began making jewelry for my friends I discovered a completely different emotion which took me by surprise. Taking someone’s ideas, expanding on them and bringing them to life, each piece becoming a reflection of them and at the same time each piece contained a piece of me forging a bond between us that words could not describe. I knew this would be my path I just didn't know when I would take the leap and make it my life's work. It wasn't until all my children had grown up and moved out on their own that I decided that it was finally my time to follow my dreams.
The Pirate + The Gypsy is not just a business, it is 2 sides of a coin which represent a whole. The Gypsy is a reflection of my free spiritedness and beliefs, as well as who I am as a Greek, Polish and Romani woman. I was always taught to be proud of my heritage and family history. My mom is Athenian and Roma and my dad Polish Roma. I personally believe, that like a coin, the word Gypsy has two sides.
When the Roma people left India in the 11th century, the Europeans mistook them as Egyptian. Gypsy became a word used to describe the Roma people through centuries of oppression. To me, the word Gypsy reflects pain, a difficult journey and the resilience of the Roma people and my own family.
As a Romani woman, I have not forgotten where the word Gypsy came from and I will not ignore the oppression and racism my ancestors faced. But I have chosen to flip that coin. I want to embrace the new meaning of this word. How wonderful it is when we can change how future generations will came to understand a word. The word Gypsy once meant something hurtful and now it is a word that word represents freedom and inspiration. I will continue to share the story of the Romani people, but I will also inspire others to follow their dreams and discover their free-spirit.
My creativity, love of life, music, dance, stories and storytelling was passed to me from both my parents. Who I am today, the way I live my life is all born of that very foundation and it is this that drives the direction of my designs and business. As for the Pirate, that began the moment I laid eyes on my husband Joel for the first time… surprised by the unwanted setup I spent the evening trying to ignore him hiding behind my hair, giving one word responses and glancing at him with one eye. Who knew that would be the start of an amazing adventure. Dates at the Pirate Pub, our First vacation to the Bahia de Banderas (The Bay of Pirates) where we eventually ended up getting married. The pirate side is a belief… a way of living based on freedom of spirit and freedom to choose your own path, freedom to be who you are no excuses or explanations, freedom to live life and express yourself truly and fully. I am so very blessed to have an incredibly creative husband who not only loves and supports me but who as of 2019 joined me in the designing and creation of the jewelry.
We believe that everyone should have access to beautiful, consciously made jewelry at affordable prices. From the classic to the eclectic, each piece we make is infused with positive energy and love for our craft. The Pirate + The Gypsy jewelry is not just something you wear, it's a feeling.
We believe that how we dress and jewelry we wear is an outward projection of who we are or even who we wish to become. We create jewelry that allows you to be your own expression of freedom and beauty… and that is what bohemian beautiful is all about.