If you didn’t know better, when you walked into G St Gypsy boutique, you might think you were in a store in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco during its heyday in the 1960’s. Whether it’s the many re-worked kimono shawls, imported Turkish and Pakistani silver jewelry, yarn-art on the walls, or Hamilton, the Vietnamese pig wandering the store — just because — the vibe of this new East Village clothing store is a throwback to another era but all in a good way.
Owner of the store, Megan Costa completed a certificate program in design at Mesa College, but never worked in retail. “I felt dead doing other jobs, like waitressing, before opening the store. I knew I always wanted to start this business,” Costa says.
After running her store as a pop-up for a three months last July during the opening week of Comic-Con , Costa says the reaction from customers was so good, she decided to put a business plan together to set up shop in a more permanent brick and mortar style—G St Gypsywas born. Costa says she used her savings of less than $15,000 to get the store going, and it continues to evolve as she makes money. “We add to the decor and get pieces for display, and add new lighting fixtures, but it’s still pretty simple and humble,” Costa says.
Much of the merchandise is re-constructed designer vintage clothing, vintage bags and shoes, and a large collection of imported and locally-made jewelry. “We keep our prices really affordable because we don’t spend a lot on rent or other decorations. The display pieces are from castoff wood blocks made by my dad. The art on the walls was given to me by my mom. Retail prices start at $5 and go up to $150, but the higher-end pieces are few and far between. The average dress costs about $40,” Costa says.
The store is situated on G Street in a highly trafficked block, between the restaurants Zanzibar and Neighborhood.
“We don’t spend any money on PR or marketing. It’s a kind of guerrilla-style format, using Instagram, both Hamilton the pig’s account (@city pig) and the store’s account (@GSTGypsy). We’re really lucky. People come in all day long to visit the pig and then shop. We cater to many of the local women who work in the neighborhood,” Costa says.
Costa describes the store as eclectic, fun, and free spirited. “It’s boho-aesthetic with great prices and rare finds,” Costa says.
G ST GYPSY
Where: 677 7th Ave. San Diego, 92101
Hours: Tue-Sat. 11-8pm and Sunday 12-5pm
Phone: (619) 501-5611