Our Gypsy Halos story starts with Emily's artistic beginnings
in her small town of Gardner, Massachusetts.
Her first creative business endeavor resulted in a collection of handbags that she sewed together using her mother's sewing machine. She called them "Em Joy Bags" short for her name Emily Joy Tenney; At the time she was working at a children's clothing boutique and between her part time job there, delivering pizzas, & making/selling Em Joy bags, Emily gathered funds and through an interest in W.W.O.O.F.ing (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) she made her way out to Hawaii.
After volunteering for a year on several farms in Hawaii, Emily returned to Massachusetts and was serendipitously offered the opportunity to nanny for a newborn baby in Brazil to help an American husband and wife working at the U.S embassy. It was there in Brazil where Emily learned what it truly meant to "live by your art". She became close with a local hippie artisan who taught her many things about living a free spirit lifestyle. She learned to make macrame jewelry and observed as her new hippie friends carried their handmade items with them wherever they went. She loved her time in South America but longed to return to Maui and wondered if she could sell her jewelry in a similar way along the beaches there. Half a year later, Emily would return to Maui to incorporate everything she had learned.
Her macrame bracelets were not a huge hit but they led her to make her first Gypsy Halo. She began selling her braided flower headbands on her favorite Little Beach on Maui in 2009. The following summer she traveled cross country hopping from festival to festival with her Halos and this is when she realized just how magical they were. Through trial & error, and with support from her loved ones, Emily discovered that with her dedication, focus and vision, she could live the life she had dreamed about... traveling, exploring and learning while using her creativity and joy as a means to provide for herself; It must have been something out of a Stevie Nicks lyric, but that's how Gypsy Halos came about, living a life of travel and commitment to her art...
A personal note from Emily...
In March of 2013 I flew out from Maui to Miami with a close friend to attend the Ultra Music Festival. Although I had never been to Miami, my mind was set for new adventures and, as always, ready to share my handmade headbands with the world! Two days after arriving, it seems as if fate had planned for me to meet my perfect match. After the first day of Ultra, we were invited to a local birthday party, and while standing around a bonfire, Alvaro was the first to approach me. He had watched us walk in with bundles of halos thrown over our shoulders and knew we were "definitely not from around Miami!" His outgoing personality, positive vibes and hysterical sense of humor hooked me instantly. I quickly learned much about Alvaro Ramirez III: he grew up in the culturally diverse city of Miami of Colombian heritage. He remembers loving the spotlight at a young age, starting with preschool plays. Alvaro's love for music began to unfold as he "played on pots & pans next to his dad's fax machine" and at age 7 learned to play the piano. When he was 12 he played an electric guitar for the first time and hasn't stopped since.
When Alvaro and I started to fall in love it was easy to see that his dreams matched mine. His desire to travel, spread positive vibes, and play music complimented my own desires to travel, spread positive vibes, and handmade wearable art. Hand in hand we set out on an adventure, traveling to festivals around the U.S playing music, making love and making halos. It's hard to believe there was a time without Alvi: he adds so much spice, humor and happiness to the world of Gypsy Halos. His commitment and devotion to me and our mission of spreading peace love and flower power bring me so much joy. He is my best friend, my business partner, my lover and certainly my greatest adventure.
Together, we hope to make a small difference in the lives of the incredible people we meet. Sharing our handcrafted accessories and music is our way throwing a little sunshine and a lot of flower everywhere we go. We hope you enjoy your moments shared with us and would love for you to check out our music video, visit our Tumblr hangout, stop by and share some good vibes on the Gypsy Halo Instagram and Facebook.
See you at the next festival!
Peace & Love,
Emi, Alvi & the Halos ☮