Location: Los Angeles, CA

Meet Christine Mayrina of Gypsy/Hunter



I had the chance to interview Christine Mayrina of Gypsy/Hunter for DISfunkshion Magazine. Christine has an amazing spirit and is a true advocate for life on the open road and living your life to it's absolute fullest. It's hard not to be drawn to her free spirit and her vast knowledge of Native American jewelry and the cultures that produced it.



How did you get started with collecting? I know you said that you get obsessive about things once you become interested in them, but what really set you on this path?

I feel that this path is one I’ve always been on, it was just a matter of putting the pieces together and letting go of my fears of truly committing to this journey. My job is more than a job or career to me - it is a vocation, it’s in my bones. Once I stopped trying to make a life out of what I thought would be a successful, conventional path, everything fell into place. But I always say there are three vastly influential elements that really showed me that this is what I want to be doing.

As a child, I was obsessed with Frida Kahlo. I’ve always been incredibly drawn to her as a person firstly, and secondly as an artist. She truly created the world she lived in. She loved her man, she lived her dreams, and she loved her country. She lived with so much passion and had such a distinct personality- everywhere she went, she was noticed. I think it’s because she was so adamant about being exactly who she was at all times - there was never a compromise. I’ve always felt very connected to that. I remember seeing photos of her with all of her jewelry on and thinking she looked so interesting - that she had a lot of life and passion in her and that it showed in every little thing about her- from her statement necklaces to the rings on every finger. Her jewelry never spoke for her or stole the show, rather it accentuated who she was. I absolutely adore that.

When I was in college, my boyfriend at the time was a vintage buyer for a large retailer. We had such fun collecting amazing vintage, I felt like I while I was going to school for sociology, I was really getting an education in the vintage apparel industry. He and I would go on these long roadtrips, sometimes two months at a time and stay with his family in the Southwest and even in little towns throughout Mexico. We would explore all the little corners of the border towns in New Mexico and down in Chihuahua. We’d thrift every single place in Flagstaff, Albuquerque and everywhere in between. We’d get lost on reservations and buy frye bread with fresh wildflower honey and talk to everyone about all the art and vintage. It was incredible. I’ll never forget those times - especially the first time I saw the red mesas rising out of the desert on our way to New Mexico. It was breathtaking and I’ve been going back and forth from Los Angeles ever since. The jewelry to me is a reflection of the beauty of the natural landscapes in our American Southwest. Every time I look down at my hands, flanked with huge pieces of turquoise, I think of the incredible desert sky…little pieces of heaven on earth.

Lastly, the final push that helped me to jump totally into the antique jewelry business was a woman I met years ago. She is a beautiful, independent passionate turquoise jewelry dealer who is known to have the very best stuff this side of the Mississippi. She inspires me so much. She is probably in her late 60s and works harder than anyone I know - and yet she is always in such great spirits - because she is truly living her dream. She is free and she is her own woman. She truly holds the reigns to her life. She’s taught me a lot about what it means to be a woman who makes and stands by her own choice to be in control and to live by what you love. I see a lot of who I want to become in her. I am so staunchly committed to feeling like I am living my life the way I decide to and when I saw that I could make a life for myself with this, I was all in.

How would you describe your process of finding these pieces? What do you look for when you select a piece? Where do typically go hunting for finds? Do you base a pieces value based on its antiques or its quality?

My process for hunting is not any formula - I wake up between 4 and 5 am, sometimes earlier - and get moving! Sometimes that means I drive an hour, sometimes it means I set off on a little excursion. The early bird gets the worm! Half the process is just showing up at every single place you can think of that may have the goods. Talking to people and gathering details is a big part of it, no matter where I am-  I’m like a detective. I put the picture together and then set off for the hunt.

I always base a piece’s value on antiquity, craftsmanship, quality of material and rarity. I try to buy pieces as old as possible- nothing after the 1970s. My favorite eras of jewelry production are the 1900s, 1930s, 1950s and 1970s. I love a good patina! I always buy sterling silver and try to find the highest grade turquoise I can find - the more matrix in the stone, the better! I love finding pieces that are made with stones from turquoise mines that have been cleaned out of production long ago - the rarity is so special to me. You can tell when a piece has been masterfully and lovingly made, it totally shows in the detail of the silverwork and stonework. They just don’t make em like they used to!

I don’t think there is a “typical” place that I go hunting- my ears and eyes are always open to a good find. Everywhere I go, I talk to people about jewelry, listen for any tips and follow any leads. Obviously the American Southwest is a hotspot for the kinds of pieces I buy but I try not to buy typical pieces - I love a good dig - if you could see how deep I dig for a find, you’d be amazed - I’m talking literally middle of nowhere in seemingly abandoned sheds with cobwebs and overgrown weeds everywhere (with permission of course!). Those kinds of places are a goldmine for me. I always talk to elders. They have the most incredible stories and pieces. Sometimes I am lucky and they are willing to work with me. I am basically on a never ending treasure hunt with no map - I go into every corner I can get into. The good stuff is always what I’m after, even if it means getting over a lot of hurdles to get to. It’s a ton of work but I couldn’t see myself doing anything else!

What do you hope to accomplish with Gypsy/Hunter? What are your goals or dreams?

I hope to take Gypsy/Hunter as far as it can go. I’ve never set a limit or said “this is exactly how it’s going to be run” because I want for the business to grow organically and authentically. I’ll always find amazing old pieces, but the natural progression of things is to start creating my own collections. I’ll take what I learned from the old and incorporate it into my own pieces. They will be an extension of the eye I have when buying vintage- big, bold and beautiful. I’ll never quit the vintage, though. My dream (that I am actively working toward) is to have an amazing studio full of American heritage vintage and also my own collections. Big things in the future!

Who is your target audience when it comes to buyers?

I don’t have a target audience! My client is anyone from a young, wanderlusty woman to a lifelong collector with beautiful white hair and anywhere in between. My pieces speak for themselves. I think I’ve curated a bold collection, and whomever they draw in is exactly whom they are meant for. I don’t need for Gypsy/Hunter to be something for everyone- rather, I love that G/H draws in people with a shared commitment to beauty, age and craftsmanship. These pieces are not fashion, they are American heirlooms and they just so happen to make very fashionable statements!

Quotes to live by, or what is your mission statement?

I don’t have an official mission statement. If you look on my website, the Manifesto that I wrote out is what I try to live by every single day. I am fully committed to finding and creating the best pieces and work that I feel proud to stand by. Besides all that, I just want to live life on my terms and appreciate every last bit of it.



Be sure to check out her store and follow along her open road adventures via InstagramImages via Christine Mayrina

Tourner La Page


While I was in Cannes I was exposed to different cultures, music and food. It was one of the most exhilarating and liberating experiences and I can't wait to go back. I first heard Zaho on the radio and I was immediately hooked.        



Not only is this a visually stunning video, but the lyrics are so deep and heartfelt. Zaho is an extremely talented Algerian R&B singer. The video is absolutely breathtaking and I hope you feel both uplifted and inspired just by watching it. The song is entirely in French, but if you want the complete translation go ahead and click here.


Location: Houston, TX

Another Lazy Sunday


Today has been a really good day. I've been marking things off of my to-do list, and making plans for the future. I was in a real funk earlier this month. It was super hard for me to find the inspiration to do anything, but after some really good news coming in (I'm officially attending How To Make It In LA) and some potential collaborations I'm finally feeling invigorated.



It gets really hard sometimes to continue listening to negative feedback or criticism, and usually I don't care what people say or think, but this last month has been especially rough. That on top of personal problems has really made this a particularly trying time. People usually describe me as constantly positive and happy and typically I am, but people should realize that even the most up-beat of us fall down at times. I've finally gotten back up after reaching out and getting help, and I'm excited to move past the darkness and step into the light. And for those of you that do read, send emails, or leave comments I thank you. It really means a lot. Stay awesome, and Happy Sunday ♥

shirt vintage
sunniesray ban
smudge stickfree people
whole living magazinehere

J.Cole & Wale

The concert was epic. Irma and I were singing along and dancing the whole time. J.Cole has some really good energy. The show was insanely exciting, it stayed hype throughout, it didn't lose any momentum. Funny thing is he moves around a lot when he performs, and he kind of looks like a little cartoon character. Like a little dancing Sim, I think it's because he's so tall haha. The coolest part was J.Cole saying thank you to all of us. Humility is so beautiful to me. I cannot stand arrogant people, because in my mind there's really no need for it. He told us all that we were "friends" and he appreciated all of our support. He was like "some of you have been with me since day one. Some of you hopped on on day ten aaaaand some of you hopped on on day ninety-five. But no matter when you came to join me on my journey I appreciate you."  He also told us a little about his life before he"made it big." The one story he told was about this flight attendant who was so sure he was a basketball player. She kept telling him that she knew he was a basketball player, but she just didn't know what team he played for. He was like "you know what bitch? I don't even like basketball. I like soccer. I like hockey. So there." I dunno. It was hilarious at the time. 

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Freeb!rds


Took Irma to Freeb!rds for the first time. Man, I love exposing people to new things. The food is one of the main things I like about living in Texas. We didn't have a Freeb!rds in Indiana, but the people there were pretty awesome. Oh. And we had a Meijr's too. Best store ever. Anyways, Im getting off topic. Freeb!rds is kind of like a more artsy version of Chipolte if you've never been. The best part is that you get to make awesome foil art out of your burritos, and they have these amazing badass brownies. Yum. 


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What Dreams May Come

So, I'm taking my friend Irma to her first concert ever! I love going on little adventures and I'm always down for firsts. We got these tickets for $40.00 each (steal!) and neither of us have been to a rap concert before. I think the main reason I was down to go was because I actually find J.Cole to be really interesting. Just because he's a recent college grad and I can really relate to a lot of the songs he makes. So many rappers rap about stupid/pointless shit that I can appreciate the ones that actually say something. Plus I think it's awesome that a portion of every ticket sold goes towards The Dreamville Foundation. Anyways I'm wicked excited! I'll post later to let you know how it goes.


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I'm Attending! How To Make It In L.A.


I am insanely excited. For the first time ever I'm attending the How To Make It In LA conference! Fashionista is putting on a conference where all the top designers, stylists and bloggers can come together to talk about their experience in the industry and how they got to be where they are today. The best part is that they offer a one on one mentoring session with a fashion industry insider of your choice. They'll sit down with you and look at your portfolio, they'll help guide you on what you should be doing and give all kinds of advice to help your career. I really want to be one of those people that follow their dreams. Not the ones that settle just because they have a decent job. I want to be able to say that I tried my damnedest to make my dreams a reality. I'm really hoping that this conference will open some doors for me and allow me to formulate a more concrete plan on what I need to do to break into the industry. And it doesn't hurt that the conference is taking place in the exquisite W Hollywood Hotel either. I can hardly wait for November to get here!


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Words of Wisdom #89

Location: New York, NY

Mini Public Library Project


John Locke is an artistic genius. He's not the infamous philosopher you're probably thinking of, but he comes pretty close. He's found an ingenious way to reinvent phone booths. Not that many people use phone booths, they've become almost obsolete with cell phone's being so affordable, but he's converted many of them to serve a dual purpose. He's managed to turn these "relics" into min public libraries. He installed his first one in New York City around 96th street. All of the books in the booth were donated by local residents. Within six hours of the first booth being set up, all of the books were gone!

The project is a part of John Locke's Department of Urban Betterment program. The goal is to improve urban spaces and encourage sharing. You take a book, you bring a book back. He hopes to challenge people to engage with their street surroundings. To open your eyes and look around, instead of looking down or meandering mindlessly without seeing what's right in front of you.

Hopefully the project can catch on and spread to more cities. In my opinion there can never be too much human interaction, or too many libraries! Technology will always evolve and its up to us to make sure that our surroundings don't become victims to our neglect. Just because phone booths are considered to be "obsolete" doesn't mean that there is no other purpose for them. Upcycling - the concept of taking something old and turning it into something new - is something we should all try to incorporate more often.


images via Graceful Spoon
Location: Sydney, Australia

How-to Make Fantastic Flatlays


So a lot of you may not know this, but in my spare time I love to look at flatlay's. There's just something about the way everything is laid out that I find so appealing. I can't get enough of them. I've literally combed the internet for hours searching for the perfect flatlays. My tedious journey ended once I ran across the insanely talented Steph Kramer of watermeloncrush.com. I managed to get the courage to email her and ask how she creates these masterpieces. She was insanely nice and managed to give me some great tips on how to create a flatlay of my own! 



"Never use a flash. Shoot in daylight and get as much of it in as you can. 
I have never used a flash, it's...very harsh and artificial light makes the image very 'fake'."


"Edit as little as possible. I rarely change anything other than a bit of leveling / curves and might up the saturation slightly on a key colour… The more you edit, generally the worse you picture looks. 
Rather spend time on getting the physical layout perfect."

 

"Shoot on a white background. A white table, an ironed sheet, a big piece of paper. 
Avoid shadowing, this just makes your work harder."


"I hope that's a little bit of an insight anyway. 
Remember, if the flat lay looks good in real life, it most likely will on camera too. Less tricks = better picture." 

I've been working on some flatlays of my own. Once I get everything figured out I'll be sure to post them. I'd like to thank Steph Kramer once again. She is one of the most talented bloggers I follow and I really appreciate her taking the time to help out! If you're needing inspiration check out her fantastic blog watermeloncrush.com

Words of Wisdom #42

When I was out this weekend I ran across this adorable quote. <3


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Happy Friday

Got so many exciting things planned for today! I'm finally getting to catch up with some old friends. So many times we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life that we forget to take time to check in with our favorite people. I'm off to go grab some lunch and then maybe shoot with a friend. Happy Friday everyone!


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Meet the Artist: Carter Matthews

I got the chance to interview the extremely talented Carter Matthews. He's bringing a new spark to the music scene and his laid back personality makes it easy for fans of all ages to appreciate and enjoy his music! He's got a lot of potential and is currently on the path to doing some amazing things in the future. Check out the interview below! 

Singer/Songwritter
Los Angeles, California

How did you first get introduced to music? What made you start writing/playing?  
I got my first drums kit when I was a little kid, and when I was fifteen I started singing and writing music because it was an outlet to let all of my creativity flow. 

Where do you find your inspiration when you start to write music? Do you come up with the melody first, or the lyrics? 
It all just depends on the type of song. If it's something more heartfelt and slow I usually start with lyrics. When it comes to a fast dance song I usually focus on the melody first. My inspiration usually comes from past experiences in my life or just stories I think would make for a nice tune. 

How would you describe your typical day?
I don't think I know what a "typical day" is haha. 

What has been your favorite performance or tour so far? Why?
I think it was when I played this festival with Wiz Khalfia. There were people everywhere and things got real cray... Haha.

At this point in your life what would you say is your greatest achievement?
I don't think I have a greatest achievement yet. I just try to live everyday with the intentions to do something amazing.

What's on your iPod at the moment?
I have so much music on my IPod but I've been really jamming Active Child, Passenger, and The 1975

How would you describe the music scene in the South in comparison to other major cities or music capitals?
The majority of the South's music scene is pretty bogus... But there are always people in every city that keep good music alive and they are so important! But I love the south, it's home.

Best advice you've been given?
Don't Quit!

What current projects are you working on? Is a new record in the works?
I'm always writing new music and new songs will be dropping very soon :) Be sure to look for my face coming to a stage near you!

If you could be a character from any movie, who would you be and why?
I'd wanna be Jack Sparrow! It's a pirate's life for me!

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