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Through the years, we have developed long standing, personal relationships with artists in India and Thailand as well. We are honored to be able to share their handiwork with our customers, helping ensure their traditions continue to enrich the lives of people around the world.It is a strange road that brought us from a life in the Himalayas to a shop on Pearl Street. Back when I was a teacher in Kathmandu, I never would have believed that one day I would be running a shop and discovering, to my endless surprise, that shopping would be my greatest skill in life.
We lived in Nepal. Our house was virtually a village, with Nepali staff living on the premises with their families, and usually at least one of my students camped in the living room. Every morning, the old woman from the village down the lane would come with pails of warm buffalo milk for my daughters, trailed by a little ragged band of children. We had a small rice paddy in our front yard, which the villagers cultivated. I traded them the rice for our daily milk. It was an idyllic life, one I would have wished to last forever. But nothing does. Nepal slowly began to change and slide toward civil war, my beloved cook was poisoned by his evil wife, and the portents foretold it was time to go.
Knowing I would need to keep a connection with my spiritual home, and having no idea how to make a living, I brought a few things back with me. Some jewelry, some textiles, bits of local art. And so a fledgling business was born. Wholesale at first, then I shared a space with the local bead store, until finally the day came when I resolved to open my own shop.
Now my daughters and I have our own family business, and once again I have the sense of living in a village. I go back to Nepal and India every year. I treasure the time I spend sitting for hours with the jewelers, sifting through silver and gemstones and old gold. I treasure the hours of hard travel, the feeling of coming home when I finally reach the heart of the Himalayas and the house of my favorite weaver. I treasure coming back to the Gypsy Jewel, with Ganesh presiding over the magic fountain in the corner, and laying out the beautiful things I’ve brought back, watching my daughters weave the gems and gold and silver into amazing necklaces. And I treasure my customers, who come into the Gypsy Jewel and tell me their stories as we play with the jewelry, discovering new things about ourselves and each other as the pieces speak to us and the stones reveal their particular magic.
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