In Their Shoes: T.U.K. at The Gypsy Bazaar

by April Carpena

The Gypsy Bazaar is a "travelling beauty marketplace" offering tantalizing beauty services ranging from henna tattoos and elaborate braided up-dos to make-up application and nail art. Who's the head gypsy behind The Gypsy Bazaar? T.U.K. fan Michelle B. and her exotic artistry. Under a custom-made tent fellow gypsy souls can luxuriate for a moment on teak benches and embellished cushions from India while Michelle free-hands intricate henna designs.

Mehndi is the art of applying henna dye to the skin in decorative patterns as temporary tattoos. Women in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and other countries wear henna, also known as mehndi, for festive ceremonies. Michelle first fell in love with the art of henna while working at a salon with primarily Indian clientele. She knew her creativity was sparked and she practiced even when she was not working. Despite its exotic origins Michelle sees The Gypsy Bazaar as "something that will fit and interest everyone. I want to keep a mixture of things and welcome everyone." Michelle was a little shy about being photographed but she has no reason to be since her artistic talent shines with inspiration. 

Her creativity is nomadic and T.U.K. suits The Gypsy Bazaar's non-traditional view of beauty. The Gypsy Bazaar is an expression of Michelle's love of other cultures, rich colors and exotic beauty. Michelle explains, "I'm everywhere when it comes to inspiration and that's why I like the gypsy thing. It's an evolving type of creativity. It just happens. I can't pinpoint it. I think Marilyn Monroe is beautiful and I think Aishwarya Rai is beautiful. It's an evolving sort of presence. It's never the same, it's not constant. I wear nothing but black but I love color".

"I pull from different cultures, Thai, Indian, Latin things. It's a blend of everything that tugs at my creativity. Most of the hair stuff I get from runway or editorial. I think of it like muses. I like a lot of vintage stuff and movies. Anything Wes Anderson and Bollywood films inspire me", says Michelle. 

A peek at some of Michelle's inspirations:

In the near future The Gypsy Bazaar will be travelling to Houston, Seattle, Philadelphia, Miami or Boston and possibly Portland. What does Michelle see in The Gypsy Bazaar's not so distant future? "I see it reaching more and more gypsy souls across the U.S", she says.

Wondering where The Gypsy Bazaar will set up her tent next? Find out on her Instagram @TheGypsyBazaar.

Michelle at the Artists & Fleas in Los Angeles - a market for local craft and food vendors to display their wares every third weekend of the month.

City Guide: San Francisco Mission District

by Denitza Leon

From exotic places to hidden gems, travel enthusiast StaceyAnnLoves ventured into the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District to create a guide of her favorite places close to home. See how she walks us through this colorful neighborhood in the vibrant New Balance Luau.  

Guest Blogger:

Stacey Ann Loves

Once a working-class neighborhood, now San Francisco’s hipster's haven. You walk the streets and at every corner you’ll spot an abundance of bearded men, flannel button ups, artisan cafes, street fixies, and overpriced coffee. I love this neighborhood.

FIRST STOP: Grab a cup! Here in San Francisco, green smoothies are rare and that’s because we drink intense coffee. Philz Coffee is a local favorite and the Mission is where it all started. You must try the “Mint Mojito Iced Coffee”.

Get inspired by Clarion Alley. A strip of murals created by the local art community.

Aggregate Supply is my favorite boutique store to find gorgeous Moroccan rugs and items from all over the world. 

Yamo! A super yummy Burmese restaurant that’s so tiny it only fits about 10 people inside, but the food is so fresh and bursting with flavor. You have to order the Tea Leaf Salad, House Noodles, and a Mohinga which is Burma's national dish of Catfish Chowder.

Wallflower Boutique is a cute vintage consignment shop where you can grab your girls for a fun dress up day in the fitting room lounge area.

MUST TRY Bi-Rite Creamery ice cream on 18th and Dolores, then enjoy your treat in the popular and social grassy hill of Dolores Park. 

For a date night out I always find Foreign Cinema enchanting. You instantly feel like you're in a 1920s set and you can dine while watching an old classic black and white film.

Where is your next venture to? Let us know with a comment below!