Hard to believe it… We had no idea that our little biz would turn into this wonderful entity we have today. There we were peddling our wares in the concert parking lots right around the same time that the Good Ol’ Grateful Dead were actually getting airplay on the radio with a new hit single “Touch of Grey”! I bet they had no idea that would happen either. As the “Dead Scene” grew so did we. We started with just our family & friends. We soon welcomed a long list of fellow “Gypsies” into the Gypsy Rose world to help us as we expanded. The world was changing in major ways at that time with the fall of the Berlin Wall & the Soviet Union. The quest for peace was growing along with us.
Gypsy Rose could not operate in the parking lots alone so we found a home for us on a peaceful farm in rural Bucks County, PA. We set up our “warehouse” in a red metal building that was once home to the farm’s pigs! Babies were born, presidents were elected and numerous Grateful Dead tours occurred. It wasn’t always easy when the majority of the Gypsy Rose work force wanted to take days off to hit their favorite venues on summer tour but somehow we found the time to work & play. We saw the Dead “break out” songs they had not performed in years & at the same time embrace new technology & ideas as they trekked onward. Old & new, past & future, they moved in both directions much like us. And they shared our commitment to peace & environmental concerns. The Grateful Dead echoed in our products, the stories from their shows and of course on the radio in the barn. On a summer day in early August 1995 Gypsy Rose was busy packing up all of our goods in preparation to move into a new warehouse down the road. As we applied packing tape to the cardboard boxes we heard the song on the radio go silent that morning and the DJ cut in with some dark news. The Dead had lost their lead guitarist & singer Jerry Garcia. It hit us pretty hard but like the Dead themselves we knew we had to “keep on truckin’”. There were doubts out there as to whether we would survive but we got by. In fact we grew bigger than ever spreading the “word” all over the world as the 1990s rolled on.
Our new home allowed us to reach all of you in a much easier & efficient way. Friends old and new came aboard to join us in our new digs. Our catalogs went from 10-20 page pamphlet size booklets of black & white newsprint paper to the bright shiny full size issues we put out now. We watched the digital age grow as the internet became such a large part of everyone’s lives. We were shocked as the horrible news of September 11, 2001 unfolded. We listened intently to the details & updates for weeks afterward. As purveyors of peaceful products we were extremely saddened to know that something like that could happen in our world let alone our own country. And we did the only thing that we could do which was to continue to spread the message of peace, tolerance & environmental awareness. We saw our old friends from the Dead reunite in this new century & felt that old spark fill our hearts once again. Our country elected an African American president for the first time. The world’s and our own economy presented us with great challenges as the decade came to a close.
So many things have changed in those 25 years. But as we look back we must not forget that there are even bigger concerns in our world today. The “tour” is not over & the last show has not been played yet. We can all work together to make this planet a better place. You have been with us and made us strong for a quarter century. We will continue to be there for you as this bright blue ball we call our home spins free. We hope that you will join us in our efforts to keep the message alive. Get involved, communicate, volunteer, vote, donate, smile, recycle, reuse, share, read, listen, understand, research, know, question, help, hug and get out there and enjoy the great outdoors sometime! Enjoy the next 25 years and many more after that,
John & The Gypsies
Gypsy Rose Idealogy
Women’s Co-op Ecuador & Nepal
Organized co-ops in Ecuador and in Nepal hand make most of Gypsy Rose’s wool & crochet products. The co-op in Ecuador is a combination of multiple villages who have come together and successfully created a grass roots cottage industry. Wool is divided among the families who will then make the products in their own home. The income that they receive helps them live a sustainable lifestyle in a difficult economy.
The co-op in Nepal is a women’s shelter in a remote mountain village. The shelter houses women and their children who, for different reasons, are without a husband. Offering a sanctuary in an area with limited opportunity the shelter provides a home, community, food, and income through work for these women. The opportunity to provide you with these products not only allows unique groups of artisans to continue their art and spirit but also helps to support a sustainable community. We are proud to support these co-ops and hope to keep expanding the product line that they produce.