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Monday, August 2, 2021

Community Over Competition

Community Over Competition... This morning, I read an article by Brooke Riley of Re-Fabbed about Community Over Competition. (You can read it here.)

Whew, those words coincided with something that I had made a note about last week and now I have to share my thoughts here. (I may ramble and not write so eloquently as Brooke's article, but I feel compelled to write). You see, in July, I set a goal for my boutique space inside P20 Land & Cattle Interiors and More. 


Our space in Gilmer has been continually growing, with a little dip happening in June. I never set a specific dollar goal, I just set about to take care of business and everything usually takes care of itself. Well, in July I did set a goal. For several years now, I've heard that the "J months" (January, June, and July) aren't the best for retail/boutique businesses and it started out as a "I'm going to prove them all wrong," although I have no idea who "them" is, but that really wasn't the best mindset to have. 

About 2/3s of the way through the month, I started adding up my numbers and I was close to my goal and then I added again and I had hit it, only to realize I had made a huge error in my addition. Boy, did I feel like a fool. I knew I was close and on track to hit the goal, but at that point, I told De Ann that needed to stop focusing on the numbers and instead focus on taking care of business and it would all work out. We kept creating more tees, introduced some new products, launched our school spirit line,  and doing what we know to do. I stopped with continually adding up the numbers. 

Last night, I received my July total and it exceeded my goal by 42%. The "J month" turned out to be my best ever month in a boutique space, but I know that it didn't happen by myself and this is where all this ties back to community. I couldn't have met and exceeded my goals without our community. 

It takes everyone. 
Our community of followers online that encourage us on. 
Our community of friends and vendors at the store, that gives us the opportunity to do this.
Our Chamber of Commerce that pointed someone to the store, when someone inquired about where to find me. 
Live Gilmer for their efforts to promote our town and the businesses in it. 
The community of fellow business owners that are creating a great atmosphere to shop and drawing attention to our town. 
It takes You, who believe in what all of us are doing and come out to support us all. It is so encouraging to see the new businesses in town and the fact that there is still cars parked on the square late in the evenings. 
I love how the windows reflect our courthouse and the downtown businesses. It doesn't always make for the easiest windows to photograph, but it makes the photographs have more depth, story, and community.


When we combined our communities, we grow. 
I used to think I didn't need a space in my hometown. After all, I do local events in our town and community on a regular basis and I have met plenty of customers in local parking lots or make deliveries. I mean, would people still show up to our events or vice versa would they shop the store, because I do events? That thinking was skewed. You see, when we combined the different communities, we grow. The store introduced us to a new circle that wasn't previously a part of my tribe and in turn, my community was introduced to another place, and get this, it was all within the same city and county. Heck, I can be set up on the square at an event and customers shop both our locations in the same day. While much of my inventory is the same, there are some things that are only at P20 or only with me at events/online. 

I still do the Gilmer Farmers Markets, even though I have the space on the opposite corner of the square. Last year, they told me attendance wasn't as good, when I wasn't there. When some of the other regular vendors are absent, I notice less traffic as well. You see, it takes all of us to working together to create a better community. 

I am so thankful for our community of followers. I do look at the statistics from time to time, but I don't dwell on them much. The one time I posted about getting to a certain number of Instagram followers, I had several unfollows and dropped below that number. After that, I sometimes see when I hit a different level, but I just continue doing what I do and not focus on the numbers and that's the same with meeting my July goal. I had to step away from counting the numbers and remind myself that taking care of people has to be my priority. I am so very thankful for each of you who are a part of our online communities. I know that when I started focusing on my daily inspiring, motivational, or funny post, that's when my Facebook page really started to grow. In turn, creating those post, encourages me too. 

So to my community I say thank you for being there for us. Thank you for believing in us and all the others that are striving to build our communities. 

I started not to write about meeting my goal and I don't want to come across as bragging... Instead, I want to encourage you to find your communities (yes, it most certainly takes more than one) that build each other up and focus on doing good work. I have several podcast and business related pages I follow, to gain insights and motivation as well. De Ann at P20 is awesome about building up others - She's the type that shares about other boutiques and events on the P20 facebook page and she even shares when I have other events in town. I nearly said no last fall, when she invited me to join their store, but then I knew it was a place I needed to be and things would work out (the other store I was a part of closed this spring). Along the way, many of you have said you are inspired by me - I hope this inspires you too. Success does not come over night, but when we continually strive to take care of others and lift up our communities. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Let Me Tell Ya About this Texas Tee... and Roots


Let me tell you about this Texas tee - This is one of our original designs and we are pretty, stinkin' excited about this one. We love our State of Texas and everything that makes up this great state. We took graphics along with pictures we have taken, to fill up the Texas collage. It took a while to design, but once I came up with the idea, I had to make it happen! 

East Texas peaches and sweet potatoes, pine trees, a sunset over FM 555, barbed wire fences… bluebonnets and Longhorns in central Texas. Windmill and big sky in the panhandle. Dirt roads and cactus in the west. Throw in old barns, pickup trucks, rodeo Cowboys, boots, hats, sunflowers, and a lone star. What's not to love about that? 
Texas graphic tee v neck short sleeve tee

The sunset is a view from the place where Jeff grew up and where we both feel at home  - the 555 Road Sign also comes from there - a curvy farm to market road with a great group of community and family. Side note - Jeff and I grew up on opposite ends of the same mail route and my family baled lots of hay all along the route, so I had driven a truck and tractor all over the area, long before I met Jeff or even had a drivers license. His family also baled lots of hay in the same community and true story - we talked about tractors and hay on our first date! Roots, it's just simply our roots and what we both grew up doing. 
Texas collage tee by GypsyFarmGirl

Sweet potatoes - our town in know for the East Texas Yamboree (a huge fall festival / county fair with a Yam theme) and there is a basket of sweet potatoes in the back of the truck. Our area is also known for peaches and pine trees. The Yamboree was were we set up for our very first event and we even won the Yam Pie Contest a few years back. Jeff and I both grew up showing our animals at the fair through FFA and 4H, although not at the same time. Once again, it's part of our roots. 

I took the picture of the longhorn in the bluebonnets along the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails several years ago. 

We think of cactus in west Texas and that's actually Jeff's mom's horse standing out there. My niece Brenna (who is also a cousin) took the horse picture (which is also on our Support Your Local Farmers and Ranchers Tee) Here's another crazy side note - my grandparents and my niece's Great-grandparents were all from west Texas and all ended up on the opposite side of the state, without planning it. So yeah, I should probably explain that a little more, huh?!? My granddad and Brenna's great-grandmother were brother and sister. Now you should know that Brenna's dad is Jeff's brother. Brenna's mom and I are second cousins that married brothers, but we really didn't see each other much, till we became sister-in-laws. Wild huh? 

Ok, moving on! Big sky moments for the panhandle with a windmill and a barn. I took the sky picture on some of my travels. 

You can't think of Texas without thinking of boots, hats, and rodeo cowboys. Throw in some sunflowers, a horseshoe, and a single lone star and we filled up Texas. 

Texas graphic tees
Oh, I should also mention that I started making coffee mugs this week! The Texas images show up in even more detail on the mug, opposed to the shirt. 

The collage reminds me of high school, when I cut images from magazines to cover my folders and posters. Twenty something years later, I still have my ag folder, where we had to cover it with clippings to describe ourselves. Here it is, describing me in 1998ish. Look at how many of the same type elements made into our Texas collage! I just opened the folder and it has pages of quotes in there, back from our FFA leadership days... on the right side of the folder it says raised to work... roots, I  tell ya, roots. I foresee some of those same quotes showing up on our daily Facebook post in the near future. When I created agendas for our 4H and FFA meetings, there were always motivational quotes included and now we share them daily on our social media pages. 

You can find all three of the Texas tees on our website: www.GypsyFarmGirl.shop
You can also find them when we do our local events, such as the Gilmer Area Farmers Market and the Texas Collage, Home Grown, and some of the mugs are currently in our space at P20 Land and Cattle on the square in downtown Gilmer, Texas. (I haven't got the mugs online yet, but if you want one, please let us know and I can ship.) The shirts are all super soft and the design is actually dyed into the fabric, so you can't feel it on the shirt. 



Hey Y'all! Answering a Few Questions About Us

Hey Y’all! We’ve had a few questions lately and lots of new faces, so let me introduce myself and answer a few of those questions.
•I’m Janice East. 10 1/2 years ago, I started this as a Etsy shop at night/weekends, while I worked at a flower shop. This coming Christmas will mark 7 years of being self employed and this has grown so much more than I ever imagined.
•I was one of the first to make a burlap and lace wedding bouquet on Etsy and that’s all I did for several years. I have 40+ colors of burlap and have shipped to all 50 states and multiple countries.
•I have a 1959 vintage camper, “Miss Gussie” that we use for some of our events. I thought Yamboree 2015 was a one time show, but we left there with an invitation to do another and it’s kept going from there.
•We have expanded to have our own website {www.GypsyFarmGirl.shop} plus our Etsy shop (although I’m not adding much new stuff to Etsy.)
•I knew when I left the flower shop, I would have to diversify beyond burlap and lace, I just didn’t know it would be clothing.
•We make all the shirts you see in our shops. I’ve taught myself about graphics, building websites, and pretty much everything it takes to run my business.
•We have a large selection of our tee shirts in @p20landcattle on the square in our hometown of Gilmer, TX. (check their social media pages to confirm daily hours, as they do fluctuate some.)
•We also participate in the Gilmer Farmers Market during the summer and will have several fall events.
•When I left the flower shop, I didn’t intend to do fresh flowers, but you ask and referred me to your friends, so I do freelance floral design. I don’t keep flowers on hand, but can get them for events, funerals, or weddings.
•Each day, I create motivational, inspiring, or fun graphics for our pages.
•We love to repurpose and have a very rustic gazebo (that was literally pulled from a trash ditch) and garden. It’s how many of you have found us! I did a tutorial on planting in a Rusty Bottomless Bucket and it got featured by some big bloggers and was a hit on Pinterest. Still my top blog post at www.GypsyFarmGirl.net
It’s a lot, my schedule is crazy, and for the most part I’m a one person show, but somehow it all works out!
•Oh, and we have a farm!



We would love for you to follow along on our journey and you can do so at
Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @gypsyfarmgirl 

Friday, May 21, 2021

How to Create a V neck Tee Shirt with Fringe Sleeves from any Basic Crew Neck Shirt

You've been asking for more V Neck tees... I'm listening and have a few colors coming in this week, although, I thought I would show you how you can take any of your basic, crew neck shirts and make it a v neck. With just three items, you probably already have, you can create the v neck, which is perfect for summer. In the video, I also show you how to create fringe sleeves.


cutting a tee to create v neck and fringe




Currently, our options for v neck shirts from suppliers are very limited and I refuse to offer a tee, if I can only get it in a couple of sizes, so this how-to shows you how you can alter any of the tees to create a v neck. The shirt I used, just happened to have a hole in the sleeve seam and be my size, so I experimented and had some fun with it. This would be a fun activity you can create for yourself or a summer project with your children. I believe I even have a shirt that had beads added on the fringe sleeves, so you could raid the craft supply stash (you know we all have a kazillion beads lurking in our craft rooms) and let them string the beads on the fringe and tie a knot to hold the beads on. It's a simple project, that can be completed using things you have around the house. 

If you want to see the really quick version of this, I broke it into two Instagram Reels and TikToks at less than 40 seconds a piece. We would love to see how you transform your tees, so make sure you tag us in your pictures! 

Grab the Plum Crazy Crew Neck Shirt online or in our space at P20 Land and Cattle on the Square in Gilmer, Texas. (I will be restocking all sizes online, as soon as my shipment of blank tees comes in.) The colors of this tee are so unique with the bleaching technique I used! 



Wednesday, May 19, 2021

What's Happening, Y'all!

 I know it's been a while since we've set down to blog. A lot has been happening this spring and we really haven't set down for very long. 

We just finished up with the Cherokee Rose Festival this past weekend and y'all have kept us busy creating tees and flower arrangements. I am so thankful for all of you who support our small business.

We've been adding lots of new tees to our website and our space at P20 Land and Cattle in Gilmer. 

For the Cherokee Rose Festival, we were outside on the Upshur County Courthouse Lawn and we split the tent with my sister in law, Lisa of Lisa's Sweets and Such, so there was lots of shirts and sweets. This is the second event we've done together and I created us a fun, rustic sign that says "The East Girls" with both our business names. We are married to brothers and have a great time working together! 
Tees by GypsyFarmGirl at the Cherokee Rose Festival




This is our space inside P20 on the square in Gilmer. We love, love, love this little shop and it has been great to be a part of this. I think back how I nearly said no, when they ask me to join the P20 family and I am so glad I said yes. It is awesome having this shop in our hometown and we love seeing all the new growth and activities that are happening locally. 



Here's a close up of some of the new tees for summer. 

Red, white, and moo! How fun are these rustic, patriotic tees? 

The Summer Vibes tee completely sold out last weekend, so we are planning to make more (blank shirts are ordered, so a major shirt restock is coming.) 

Plum Crazy and Relax and Enjoy the Crazy! 
The "Crazy" tees have been a big hit! I think we can all relate and feel a little crazy right now. 

plum crazy and relax and enjoy the crazy

Just a couple more updates / news / things to remind you about: 
P20 in Gilmer is our only "in store" location now. (The Quitman shopped closed this spring.) Follow them on Instagram or Facebook to get the daily hours, as they do fluctuate some. Located on the corner of the square with the new Live Gilmer mural on the side of the building. You can't miss it, if you are driving down HWY 154 / Tyler St. 

We are participating in the Gilmer Area Farmers Markets again this summer, but they have NEW times this year. 1st and 3rd Saturday (except July, when holidays will affect schedule) EVENING from 5-8 pm (but I am usually set up by around 4-ish, so come early if you wish.) Our next market is June 5 and I believe there are some exciting things planned with live entertainment, etc. If you haven't been downtown lately, there are so many great businesses, restaurants, and things to explore. It is so, so good to see all the new things happening downtown Gilmer.  

New shirts are added to our WEBSITE: www.gypsyfarmgirl.shop 
While we still have our etsy shop, we are adding all the new tees to our personal website, since it allows other features such as being able to tag our products in pictures on Facebook or Instagram, which makes it convenient for you to click on the pictures and purchase easily. Our etsy shop is once again  focused more on weddings, while our website is more about the clothing. 

Make sure you follow along on Facebook or Instagram, so you can get the most up to date info on new releases, events, and all the behind the scenes fun. We've even joined TikTok and trying to share some tutorials and glimpses of things we are working on. 

The Plum Crazy tee released last week and today I decided to do a few no-sew alterations on one. I've received several request for more v neck tees... well, with the current shirt shortages, there aren't too many colors and sizes to choose from, so we decided to show you how to easily convert any crew neck, into a v neck, then we decided to create fringe sleeves as well. So fun for summer! You can find my quick video tutorial reels and TIkToks on all my social accounts above (and I'll work on getting them here on the blog as well). I promise you, it is so, so easy to transform your tees!  

How to cut a crew neck tee, to make a v neck shirt, no sew version


As I mentioned earlier, there is a shirt shortage happening and some colors and sizes are not available to me. But here's the deal, if you want a tee and it is not in stock in your size - message me about a custom order. We can put the graphic on another color or style tee for you. Also, I am starting to stock some styles in 3X - same thing applies here. If you want a graphic on a larger shirt, please reach out. Not all shirts come in 3X or larger, but we do have some options that we can explore, so we can create something just for you. 






Monday, March 29, 2021

Support Your Local Farmers and Ranchers New Tee + Return to the Farmers Market!

So it went like: 

"Hey Brenna, you got an idea for a farmers market themed tee? I want to do something different from last year and put it on a red bleached tee."

"What about something with a red tractor?"

"Yes! Oh, yes, yes!! I have a red tractor graphic."

"Ok!"

We were hanging out at my mother in laws house with my niece Brenna, my husband Jeff, and of course Ms. Karen, my sweet mother in law. We ate supper, hand washed the dishes, played with Sally, our puppy, and finally set down with the computer about 10:00 on a Saturday night. 

I started pulling on some graphics I had on my computer - the vintage red tractor, baskets of produce and flowers. The squash was grown by Brenna's family last year, we grew the cucumbers, the best ever blueberries were purchased at last years farmer's market. The basket of sweet potatoes once decorated the Yamboree band stand (our county fair is centered around a yam.) The sunflowers were some I used in flower arrangements and the wildflowers were grown in our yard and (digitally) placed in my Granddaddy's old well bucket. I grew up driving my Granddaddy's Farmall tractor in the hayfields, when I was a kid and Brenna's Granddaddy had a restored Farmall they played on when they were growing up. Red tractors are definitely a part of our history. 

Brenna "what about adding some animals?"

We tried some of our cow pictures and they just didn't fit. I had some farm animal silhouettes, that we tried and by midnight we were like, Ok, its done. 

Sunday. Jeff: "You need real animals. That's just not right."

Well ok, then. We went searching for farm animal clipart and purchased some. 

Sunday night, after supper again, Brenna and I worked on updating our image with the farm animal clipart. We saved our work and was excited about it all looking more life like.

Our sweet puppy, Sally May, had recently started travelling with us and made a fast friend in Brenna. They played together a lot and Brenna had taken a pretty picture of Sally sitting in the kitchen floor. Sally set in Brenna's lap, while I was designing on my computer. "It'd be cool if Sally could be in the graphic." 

"Oh yeah!" Grabs my phone, pulls up the picture Brenna had taken, removed the background, uploaded it to my file sharing app, downloaded it to my computer, and there she was setting by the produce baskets! 

Save As... again. Then it was time to call it a night and go home. 

About midnight, I text Brenna (we are both night owls) and ask if she would have any goat or horse pictures we could use? Brenna was an award winning photographer in 4H and has a love of photography like I do. She had showed me some of the animal pictures she had recently taken, so I knew she had some good ones.

She sent some pictures and the next morning I went back to editing. I looked through my pictures and found a cow picture to go along with her horse and goat pics. I removed the backgrounds and adding them to the farm scene. 

A few more tweaks and saves and we were tickled with the outcome. We added both our initials to one of the baskets, because we just felt like our work needed signing. We added the Rocking E brand and 2021 to the tractor. (Due to trademark / licensing / copywrite type stuff, I won't use the tractor brand name, make, or model.)


Support Your Local Farmers and Ranchers

So our final image has Opal (our heifer),  Brandy the horse (who belongs to my mother in law and picture taken by Brenna), Tex the goat (who belongs to Brenna's family) and our sweet Sally May. A few chickens and a cute pig also make up the image. 

Fun little side note about Sally - we already have a Hank and Drover, named after the main characters from the Hank the Cow Dog series,  so when it came time to name her, I looked up characters from the series to find a girl name. Sally May was wife of High Loper, chief of the chicken coop, and manager of the vegetable and flower gardens. (according to Wikipedia) I knew Sally May was the perfect name for her as a puppy and that she would in fact be a part of our flower and vegetable gardens! How pretty is she posing in out gazebo?!?

Sally in our Rustic Gazebo

Of course she's loving playing in the dirt, helping get the garden soil prepared for planting. Our goals are to have some extra produce to sell some at Farmers Market this summer. 

We had a great time collaborating on this graphic! It took time and more edits than usual, but we feel like the hard work was worth it and the shirt tells a story.

Last years shirt said "Support Your Local Farmers," and Brenna suggested adding "and Ranchers" so we did. It's a powerful message and we believe it needs to be said over and over again. I grew up watching Horace McQueen on the Farm and Ranch Report. It came on at 6:00 am and we ate breakfast, listening to him, before we got on the school bus. Everyday he reminded us the "if you eat, you are involved in agriculture" and that's stuck with us for many years. 

We will be joining the Gilmer Area Farmers Market again this year! Although, please take note, there are new hours and different days. It will be held the first and third Saturday evenings (except July when holidays will affect schedule)  from 5-8 pm on the Gilmer Courthouse Square (empty lot by Stewart Insurance and Hil-Tex Insurance formerly known as the Roberts Building, on the northeast side of the square, just a block from US Hwy 271 and Hwy 154.)  There are lots of new businesses and restaurants on the square. If you haven't been lately, you should really come check it out. We've also got items inside P20 Land and Cattle Interiors and More on the opposite corner where the new mural is at (at Davis St and 154/Tyler St.) The new speakers are up and there should be music playing and a great time to be had at the market. 

Our Farmers Market themed tee will be available at the Farmers Market or you can order online. If you want to order online and pick up at the market, you can use coupon code LOCALDELIVERY and let me know you want to pick up at the market. Also, for the first time ever, we have YOUTH sizes as well, so we have Youth XS all the way through Adult 3X! 

We hope you enjoy the story and history behind this shirt and as always, we thank you for your support! 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Join us for our First Event of 2021!

We are excited to announce our first event for 2021 is on the calendar! After a long winter, we are ready to get back out and see all of you again! 

We will be at the Spring Vendor Market in conjuction with the Live Gilmer activities and Risk It for the Brisket BBQ competition on April 10. 2021 on the downtown Gilmer, Texas square. My sister-in-law, Lisa, aka Lisa's Sweets and Such will be joining me with some of the best homemade sweets and things. Cupcakes, cookies, cakes - I've sampled lots over the years and it's ALL good! 



It sounds like the BBQ competition is a bid deal with $10,000 in prize money up for grabs, so I'm sure we will have some good eating that day! I'm also hearing there will be live music on the square and other activities planned, so it sounds like a great day to get out and enjoy the spring weather! From my understanding, the vendors will be set up on the Upshur County Courthouse Lawn, although I do not know our tent placement at this time. 

Our downtown square has lots of new and exciting places to eat and shop, so if you haven't been in a while, you should check it out!

You can also find our items at P20 Land and Cattle Interiors and More on the square, where they are open Tuesday-Saturday. (Check their Facebook or https://instagram.com/p20landcattle  pages for their hours, as they do fluctuate some.) 

We hope to see y’all soon! 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

News from Kickin' K Cattle Co Boutique

Over the past year, we’ve met so many wonderful people and customers through our space inside the Kickin’ K Cattle Co Boutique. We are sad to announce the owners have decided to close Kickin’ K in Quitman, Texas by the end of March.
We want to remind everyone that our shop is always online (www.GypsyFarmGirl.shop + etsy shop www.gypsyfarmgirl.etsy.com) and we’d be happy to continue creating fun tees for all of you. We also have a space in Gilmer at P20 Land and Cattle Interiors and More, if you would like to make a little road trip to shop in person and we’ll be doing some pop up shows and events (we’ve got things in the works.) Just to be clear, just this booth location at Kickin’ K is closing and not our business as a whole.
Some of our furniture and a selection of things are on sale now inside Kickin’ K. We appreciate the opportunity we’ve had to become friends with all of you in Quitman.
Janice
GypsyFarmGirl







Sunday, January 31, 2021

Celebrating 10 Years of GypsyFarmGirl!

Holy moly, y'all! GypsyFarmGirl turns 10 years old this week!

When I thought about celebrating 10 years, I wanted to do a photo shoot (and create a video). You know how you ask a kid how old they are and they hold up their hands and say "I'm this many!" Well, this is 10 years for us! Who would have ever thought it? Certainly not me! 

In 2010, I had made most of my Christmas gifts, like I always do, and everyone said "you should have your own store," but I didn't really believe them. But a little extra side hustle would be ok and some extra income to help pay for a few things would be nice. I don't like sitting still and needed a creative outlet. Jeff read about this website called etsy and said I should start a shop there. I had sold random things on ebay, prior to that, for some extra income, but it wasn't things I was actually making. 

So on those long, cold, dark January nights in 2011, I researched and read, and looked, and studied, and picked a name. I could get GypsyFarmGirl on etsy, blogger, and an email address, so February 2, 2011, I started this little thing that I was afraid to tell anyone about and doubted would take off. Seriously, Jeff was the only one that knew and online I was simply Janice from Texas. No last name, no town, no Facebook shares, no friends were told. I simply put my items on etsy, my blog, and started Twitter, because no one I knew, used Twitter. I was afraid I'd fail and didn't want anyone judging what I was doing. I still worked some crazy hours in town, but this was all outside of that. I tried making and selling decorated caps. Seriously, I sold a couple, but that was a big, fat flop. While everyone loved the ones I gave for Christmas, they weren't going to be my thing. I've still got a few hanging around that won't even sell at a garage sale!

Some of those first caps... 

That fall, I made a few wreaths and added them to my shop. Along that time, I had a few projects on my blog featured by some big bloggers and that's when things started to pick up a little. Seriously, in 11 months, I made enough to have "Christmas shopping money" and by that, I mean enough to by supplies to make most of my gifts (less than $500 for the entire year.) I made stuffed burlap cross door hangers, so I had scraps of burlap leftover. A month or so later, I heard the words "fabric bouquet" and I recalled my scraps of burlap and a roll of lace I had. I made a bouquet and it sold quickly. I was one of the very first burlap and lace wedding bouquets to be listed on etsy. There was less than 12 at that time, and they all had some other type of fabric mixed in. So I made another. It sold, and I made another. Then I got ask if I could do bridesmaid bouquets and boutonnieres. and what about turquoise burlap. Turquoise, you say? I had no idea burlap came in colors other that tan, brown, white, and orange (the only colors available at our local stores at the time.) Low and behold, I found turquoise burlap and made that custom order and its became my most popular color, even though we've added about 40 more colors along the way! That year got busier, then the next two, I was making burlap and lace bouquets in every spare minute I had. Work 8-5 in town, feed animals after work, get home, work till 10, 11, or 12 at night, answer messages before work, print shipping labels, if we had approval to ship. Days off and weekends were booked solid with online orders, some having a 6-8 week processing time. It was wild! Now we keep burlap in about 40 colors and by it by the yard or bolts! We've shipped to all 50 states and several countries and current processing time is about 2-3 weeks. 

One of the very first burlap bouquets I made.

We rescued a gazebo from a trash ditch, completed a rustic makeover on it and have only used recycled and upcycled containers in our year, ever since. My tutorial on How to plant flowers in a rusty, bottomless bucket has been my top post for years now. The bucket and gazebo have been featured by several blogs, "gone crazy" on pinterest a few times, and still gets shared by gardening pages on Facebook. Our gazebo even made it to the Country Living website last year! The gazebo and garden post have introduced us to many of you.

The gazebo and the rusty bottomless bucket hanging on the left spring hook! 

In 2014, I found an old camper, just days after I deposited what would become my very last Valentine's overtime pay into my savings account. I had known for years, an old camper would be a part of my future, but I just didn't know exactly how. I once dreamed of setting up at Canton Trades Days and thought I'd sleep in the camper (dreams change!) Later that year, the shop I had worked at for 15 years sold. I had been loyal to our job and didn't advertise in town, because I didn't want to compete or take anything away from my florist job. It was time for things to change and I worked 4 months after the shop sold to finish up some big things on the books up there. The Friday after my birthday, I nervously turned in my resignation letter and by Christmas I was self employed. 


How we found our camper... took a little time, but she got all Gussied Up! 
From one of our fall photoshoots - this also made Mary Jane's Farm! 

2015, was our first year that GypsyFarmGirl was my full time business and led to more that we ever expected! We continued to make lots of wedding bouquets and the wait list went from 6-8 weeks to 2-3 weeks, since I could work on them during the day and not just after work. We also started adding more items to our line up, like pillows and more decor items. 
I've learned there are so many different color combinations for making a wedding personalized and fitting to a couple's theme

The turquoise burlap and lace bouquet. 

We were able to fix up our camper and work on some fun projects that we hadn't had time for. Lunch with a few friends from town, led to us deciding to set up at the Yamboree (our county fair) in October of that year, with everything staged around "Miss Gussie." Oh my word, that was fun and what we thought was a "one time deal" saw us leaving there with an invitation to do another event. That camper I knew would be my future, became the stage for our shows. I jokingly call her the "world headquarters!" 

Our very first event at the East Texas Yamboree in 2015!
First Yamboree - conquering a fear, in pursuit of a dream 


A couple months later, we had the invitation to another show and it just kept going. We still made wedding bouquets, but in 2016, we added our first bleached flannel shirts and upcycled clothing to our lineup. 

By the end of that year, I kept saying "I need a storage building" and Jeff said "no, you need a full time booth, so your items can be seen all the time and not just a couple times a year." So, we started a booth at Uniques and Antiques in Mineola. That lasted a year and a half. After announcing we were closing that space, we got the invitation to join the Mineola Antique Fair, which was a monthly, 2 day event - we were actually working that booth and got to meet our customers in person, so that was fun. We were there from June 2018 till the spring of 2020 (we didn't go back after the pandemic shut down things down in the spring.) Pivot and Shift has long been part of our process - I knew burlap and lace bouquets wouldn't always be as popular as they once were plus the competition from all the others who are creating them now, so we are continually evolving, growing, and adding new things. 

First space in the triangle corner booth at Uniques and Antiques
A little bigger space at U & A 


In the fall of 2018, we invested in a printer, so that we could offer t shirts, in addition to our upcycled clothing. That laid the foundation for more opportunities to come. It was also a major improvement on our print quality for the graphics on the flannel shirts. 
Brenna (my niece) and I modeled some of our tees. 

We've participated in the Yamboree, Backwoods Marketplace, Christmas Bazaars, Vintage Market Days of East Texas, Fall Y'all Fest, Yulefest, and Farmer's Market events. We love getting to do these events and get to meet our customers in person. One of my biggest fears about working from home was that I wouldn't see my friends. Good gracious, y'all! I have met so many new friends and acquaintances along the way. There have been some wonderful people come into our lives, through our business. Our tribe has grown and we couldn't be more thankful for all of you! We aren't sure about what all events will happen this year. I do know we have one planned for September and hope to participate in the Farmer's Market again. For most of our events in the past, Angea with Rooster Tails, partnered with me on the booth spaces, but she has decided to retire and we are going to miss her fun laughter and our shenanigans as we do future events. We each had our own items, but displayed them together for our shows. 

Yamboree

Backwoods Marketplace


Mineola Antique Fair

Vintage Market Days of East Texas


Yamboree

Yamboree 
Mineola Antique Fair

Farmers Market

Farmer's Market



Holidays on the Farm at Prairie Creek

Holidays on the Farm at Prairie Creek 

Fall Y'all Fest 

Yulefest



Along the way, we've also got some of our bluebonnet pictures published in FOLK magazine, was part of the Junk Gypsy Book Launch Team, and Miss Gussie was featured in Mary Jane's Farm Magazine! I still remember in those very early days, when the Junk Gypsies responded and retweeted one of my burlap and belt buckles projects shared to Twitter! I was giddy with excitement! Shares / features from Funky Junk Interiors made a big difference in my life as well. 
Meeting the Junk Gypsies as part of their Book Launch Team



We've expanded to have our own website, in addition to etsy, so even if you aren't local, we can always ship things to you.  We are focusing more of our time on our website now and that is where you will always find the newest shirts and things. With the website, we can also have the items in our Facebook and Instagram Shops and can make our pictures taggable (you can tap the picture and it'll bring up a direct link to the item on our website.) 



In January of 2020, we got an invitation to have a space in the brand new Kickin' K Cattle Co Boutique in Quitman, Texas. In just 2 weeks time, we got a booth space ready for their grand opening! 



Kickin' K booth in Quitman, Texas


Kickin' K 

November 2020 brought about an invitation to join the family at P20 Land and Cattle Interiors and More in Gilmer, Texas (our hometown.) So by the end of 2020, we had two booth spaces plus online. We aren't sure what all will happen this year. We know we have a few things potentially lined up, but we shall see how the year turns out. 

P20 Space in Gilmer, Texas 

When I left the flower shop in 2014, I didn't plan to do fresh flowers any longer. That was my past. I didn't publicly announce my departure, but you started calling me, wanting me to create flowers for your loved ones funeral or for weddings. I don't advertise (other than sharing pictures of what I have created for others) and y'all have referred your friends and family to us. We don't keep fresh flowers on hand, but we can get them for special events. 

A few flower designs. 
 

I walked in somewhere recently and they said "there's the crazy flower girl" and I instantly thought, that needs to be a tee! It's fitting! 

Somewhere along the way, you became inspired by me. It still seems unreal. I just feel like an ordinary girl, making things from my small home along the country backroads. You've travelled anywhere from several hours to several states to attend our events. 

We would occasionally share some quotes or inspiration on our social media pages, but about two years ago, I started a daily post on Facebook (and have only missed a couple days since then.) Those post help me, as much as they help you. I am committed to sharing positivity and encouragement, even if things are going crazy in the world. Searching for the words to share with you, helps me maintain a positive outlook as well. I continue to listen to podcast and business advise and everyone says consistency is the way to grow and I can attest to that. In the last two years, we have grown more than in the last 10 years. Recently, a couple business friends and I have have been discussing and sharing our tidbits of knowledge about growing our brands and this is the one thing I can't say loud enough: show up daily for your people and be real, authentic, and tell your story. I want to see all the small businesses and creators succeed and do good! 


To Jeff, you are the one who believed in me and encouraged me to start this thing. You were the original junker, thrifter, and repurposer and turned me on to your ways! 
You're a vital part of the behind the scenes: the IT guy, helping with shipping and receiving, helping build the props and set up our booths, sewing awnings when I say I can't do it, encouraging me when I don't think I can do it. You can fix anything you set your mind to do and usually without having to go to the store for supplies. Sometimes you operate on your own time frame and drive me crazy, but it always works out, as it should. I love you more than going junkin'! 


What a ride it's been! I set out to sell a few of my creations and it's turned into a pretty great thing! We truly couldn't do this without all of you! We thank you for riding along on this journey and letting us make pretty things for all of you. 

Looking forward to helping you for many years to come!! 







The important links and where you can find us:
We have spaces inside Kickin’ K Cattle Co in Quitman, Texas and P20 Land & Cattle Interiors and More in Gilmer, Texas (our hometown.) These places have an assortment of our tees and things. (All the tees will not be in both stores, all the time. If in question, message us!)