| All Images from Caeresa Richardson unless otherwise noted |
I remember walking into Gypsy Freedom for the first time on a snowy day a few months back. It was cold outside, but the second a stepped in I saw the warm blush walls and the radiant smile of shop owner, Caeresa Richardson, and I was just so so happy to be there. Looking around is a visual treat from floor to ceiling. No nook un-styled. No moment un-curated. It’s just delightful. But I have good news if you’re not a fellow Syracusan- the shop is also online! Here’s a little look at the brick and mortar space.
And now for the Q&A:
- What inspired you to launch your business? As an engineer in corporate America I was intrigued with our impact on the environment and on the world as a whole. I started taking personal steps to be more connected and kind to myself and our world. My husband and I transitioned our home to smart energy management tools, we started eating cleaner by shopping organic, I also started getting more interested in the organizations that we supported as shoppers and consumers and the values of their owners. I felt personally responsible for elevating brands and organizations when I supported them with my hard earned dollars. As this responsibility grew it became more important to me to support brands and organizations that align with my values.
- What is something that your followers and customers seem to be surprised to find out about you? While I studied engineering in college I took up a minor in fashion design. I have always had an eye and interest for style and the fashion industry. By studying it formally during my undergraduate years in college I got exposure to the business of fashion and the many ways that I might be able to contribute to the industry.
- How do you find community in the small business world among peers? Collaborative. Even more so now during the pandemic. I have noticed that Small business owners who are willing to be flexible and energetic about their ability to experiment and collaborate have been better off while navigating through the challenges of this pandemic.
- Can you describe a challenge that you faced with your business? How did you work creatively to solve it? Managing cash flows has always been a challenge in my business as a retailer. Currently I try to introduce a diverse mixture of revenue streams to offset and balance areas that may be down during specific periods. For example last year I introduced a mixture of events and services in my business model to compensate for loss in product sales revenues during slower retail months. I learned this from my days working for large corporations. I noticed that the global companies that I worked for in the past always focused on diversifying their markets and revenue streams. Even though I own a small business I try to think big in this way.
- What can we look forward to seeing from you in 2021? Any hints? 2021 is going to be another interesting, challenging, and fun year for Gypsy Freedom. I am testing out a few new business concepts to grow in different areas of my business. One area that I am most excited about is testing out Popups in other locations around the country. I started Gypsy Freedom as a Popup shop in 2019 and intended on popping up in different cities and states. The pandemic put a pause on this in 2020 and I’m excited to pick this up in 2021 working with some of the partnerships that I cultivated last year.
- What’s your favorite room in your house? My bedroom. I am naturally an introvert and like to spend down time in my room curled up with a good book or with my daughter watching movies.
- What does a typical day look like for you at the moment? On a typical day I am in our Gypsy Freedom showroom doing a mixture of virtual and in person shopping and styling with our beautiful customers, meeting with our brands to curate a steady flow of new items, and loving on my daughter and husband when I get home. Somewhere in between that I do still manage to dream with a journal that I keep near me to jot down thoughts and aspirations.
- What hobby/ies are you enjoying through COVID-19? This past summer I really got into gardening and am looking forward to picking that back up this year.
- How do you intentionally create memories with loved ones? I value international travel and spending quality time with people I care about. So I am well known among my friends and family to plan a fun getaway. The pandemic has made that difficult but I still try to curate fun arrangements. For example I like to set up video lunch or coffee dates with friends and mentors who are far. Recently I organized a fun virtual get together for my sorority sisters to celebrate the recent inauguration.
- What’s your favorite texting GIF or emoji? 🤦🏾♀️
- Read a book OR Listen to a playlist
- Keep your style classic OR Let your style evolve
- Go on an adventure OR Stay in and relax
- Rewatch favorites OR Search for a new show BOTH
- Flats OR Heels
- The more the merrier OR More fun with fewer
- Cleaning is my love language OR Cleaning is my nightmare
- Here for Humor OR Please be serious Humor although when there is a time to be serious I take that seriously (see what I did there 😉)
- Recent read: Percy Jackson & The Olympians
- Favorite garment of the season: My faux fur jacket
- Quote to live by: “If someone doesn’t invite you to a seat at the table bring in a folding chair” Shirley Chisholm
- You’ll never see me______: Cooking…I love to eat but genuinely am not a good cook
- Amp song: Real Love by Mary J Blidge
- Favorite 3 Items at Gypsy Freedom:
I hope you enjoyed the Q&A with Caeresa! I also want to share a couple of my favorites from Gypsy Freedom. AND I want to invite you to follow along with her on Instagram as well as bookmark her shop! Plus, for sure stop in a say hello if you’re local or visiting.
- I have this body oil and it is a dream for post bath!
- How cute is this sweatshirt for Valentine’s Day (but also every day)?
- These plant dyed scrunchies are adorable– one in every color, please!
- Perfect neutral casual lace ups.
- The sweetest necklace with a beautiful message.
- My absolute fav thing is also a sweatshirt, ha! But it’s a stunner.
Feeling inspired? Check out more interviews with amazing female business owners here!