Neon Gypsy first opened its doors six years ago on Mount Maunganui’s main strip, but Carole Jarrett’s days of selling bohemian goods can be traced all the way back to the 1970s. She sourced traditional Balinese lace dresses from Indonesia and brought them back to sell at Auckland’s Cook St markets.
“We always had that affiliation direct to the customer,” Carole says. “We’re salespeople through and through, it’s in the blood.”
This passion for selling at markets continued with her daughter, Chloe, when the two began designing and manufacturing their own clothes in Indonesia and selling them at markets across the country.
Customers at the Coatesville Farmers Market and the Little Big Markets in Mount Maunganui were scooping up the designs with such vigour that the mother-daughter duo couldn’t keep up. They were also constantly being bombarded with the question: “Do you have a store?” “We were like, ‘We think we need to open a shop’,” Chloe laughs.
Neon Gypsy Mount Maunganui was born, with the name being a take on a modern woman who likes bohemian-inspired clothing. It’s also in reference to the Jarretts’ routine business trips to Bali to create their garments.
“The gypsy name comes from us going offshore to source our fabric,” Carole says. “We actually travel to source it all, we don’t just look at a catalogue. Every fabric we produce we’ve actually touched.