APEX — Julie Sezer used to operate her boutique, Gypsy Jule, out of a 100-year-old house in Apex. But she recently had to make other arrangements, so Sezer did what any follower of gypset would do: She fixed up a vintage camper, packed it with merchandise and took her shop on the road.
Gypset is an amalgamation of gypsy and jet set, combining attributes of those who prefer the carefree lifestyle of a gypsy with the sophistication of the jet set elite. Styles are characterized as unconventional, yet distinctly fashionable.
Gypsy Jule, whose tagline is “a misfit mercantile,” sells everything from women’s clothing and accessories to jewelry and home decor.
“It is a bohemian lifestyle brand,” said Sezer, who tosses around adjectives like “upscale,” “adventurous” and “rugged” when describing her vision of life and the focus of her business. “It’s urban, rustic and contemporary.”
She said customers range from 18 to 65 years old. “Usually we have something that is appealing to everyone in that age group.”
The camper has been customized for the shop and has also found a unique niche as a backdrop for special occasions. Sezer rents it out for weddings, parties and corporate events where it can be set up as a prop in a photo area.
On the shop’s web site, printed pants are touted as the latest craze. A Tibetan horn necklace is suggested as an accessory.
Aside from apparel, one-of-a-kind repurposed furniture is also popular at Gypsy Jule.
“We see people who are a little bit progressive and are looking for something new,” Sezer said.
Those who live the gypset lifestyle tend to be well-read and enjoy alternate ways of travel, she said. Many gypsetters are artists or musicians.
“They might have a high-end job but a desire for travel,” Sezer explained. “It can be an alternate weekend lifestyle. It’s becoming more well known. It involves travel down to areas where people are not as wealthy, that are not as popular, and getting the experience of both ways of life. ... It’s learning to experience things along all paths of life.”
Gypsy Jule launched 10 years ago with encouragement from Sezer’s husband. “He believes in entrepreneurship, although he’s a corporate guy,” she said.
Sezer also had a corporate job when she decided to follow the advice.
“I wanted something less inhibited. ... It evolved into this,” she said. “This represents who I am and my vision of life.”
Although Sezer, who lives in Apex, said she is actively searching for a permanent location for Gypsy Jule, she has no plans to make a rushed decision.
“It depends on the building,” she said. “I have a specific look in mind. We are not a mall brand. It has to have character.”
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