Name / Location
Christine Mayrina (most people call me Chrissy)/ I like to think of myself as LA based but really a lot of my business takes place on the road.
Tell us a little bit about your background / how you started Gypsy Hunter?
I’m a born and bred LA native with an immigrant upbringing, so the idea of pulling yourself up by the bootstraps and personal freedom has always been important to me. I started Gypsy/Hunter almost on a whim one afternoon having beers with my best friend on her rooftop- I said out loud that I wanted life to be in my own hands and I wanted to be on a treasure hunt with no map. I said it with complete intention but no idea of execution, and somehow I made life happen so that it was possible. I really take to heart the idea that my family made so many sacrifices and I want to honor them by blazing my own trail while thriving and doing what I love. To me, there is no other way to live.
What’s a day in your life like?
No day is really the same… there are so many aspects to this gypsy life- the best days always start with hitting the road either with a specific hunt in mind or a general destination. Sometimes I get into a town, talk to people and then take on the hunt by leads. Some days are spent waking up at 4 am preparing for a show, merchandising out a booth. Other days I really try to get ahead of emails and website stuff- not the most fun but still totally necessary. On those days, happy hour comes early and vinyls are always spinning in the background.
What was your first piece of turquoise?
I bought this amazing ring in the shape of a paisley that has four or five stones inlaid, the middle was a piece of turquoise. It’s a handmade heirloom from the 1920s, it was never made to be sold so it has kind of a rough craftsmanship to it but I’ll never get rid of it.
What makes authentic turquoise pieces worth collecting?
The world of turquoise and silver is so huge- there are so many mines across the southwest that were in production for certain periods of time. I personally love really old unstabilized turquoise that has absorbed a lot of natural oil. Stones from mines that are no longer in production are the best. The matrix these pieces have are just beautiful to me- it’s like looking into the DNA of our universe. The natural forces that joined to create this vibrant piece of earth that we get to wear daily is a thrill for me. It’s almost like any collector world- rarity, antiquity and historical legacy are all a part of value, as well as the craftsmanship of the artist. Can you imagine that you get to wear a piece of stone that was cut nearly 100 years ago?! Plus, silver is a hard value commodity. You can always take a piece of good silver to the bank. You can’t say that for a lot of vintage!
Is there any kind of mythology behind turquoise you find meaningful or fascinating?
Someone once told me that some of the Pueblo Indian tribes believe that when you lose a stone, it goes on before you to collect your blessings. Turquoise has always been ascribed talisman qualities across cultures and throughout history- blessings, protection, peace, good luck, strength. I believe that all of the energy that went into turquoise being formed, then cut and set into jewelry, and finally worn for generations accumulates and can be felt. It’s a beautiful thing to have such a tangible piece of spiritual and creative wealth. For what it’s worth, when I am decked out in a lot of turquoise and silver, I feel like I am in the most beautiful armor. You’re a woman on the go – tell us a story from a Gypsy Hunter roadtrip?
I am a woman of a secretive tribe- the hunter’s tribe! It basically means that I’ve always gotta be able to hit the road and think on my feet. If someone called me up with a lead in the middle of the night, it means I am up and running and back on the road. That kind of life calls for a little bit of craziness. What I love so much about this is that everyone in my business is a character with a lot of grit and a ton of stories. It really feels like the Old West a lot of times- complete with saloons, cowboys and shootouts. But I can’t get into details…
Can you style a look with a Gypsy Hunter and Moss piece for us? (preferably one of the pieces we’ll be carrying so I can post the photo of it in the interview)
I love when brides wear squash blossoms. I love the white sacred heart dress for a wedding and a big beautiful squash blossom on top. Pure perfection! Is there a rare Holy Grail type of piece you’d love to find one day?
I’ve been lucky enough to see some pretty incredible personal collections, I think that my holy grail is to amass a collection full of incredible pieces I’m excited about rather than one specific piece. The older, the more secretive and undocumented the better! It’s hard to say that I’m looking for a specific thing when so much of the fun of this business is the unknown! That’s what we all live for- the ideas of where the pieces came from and where they have been before they found their way into our lives! What’s on the horizon for Gypsy Hunter?
Finding more beautiful pieces than the next, putting some of my own ideas into production, and growing in the business side of things. I’m doing my first solo show on November 7th in Portland, which is so exciting to me. I’m cutting way back on selling at flea markets and sticking to doing more curated shows like A Current Affair and Inspiration. I’ll be getting back into the swing of a fully operating website, and in between, lots of travels and adventures! “”