We have been full time expats for a couple decades and are currently living in Shanghai. We’ve lived in southern China, on a small island in the middle of the Pacific called Rota, in Qatar, and in Tanzania. We have visited more countries than I can count – from Morocco to Nepal, from Oman to Vietnam, all over the place. In the end, my perspective is that most people mean well, and are sincerely interested in helping me whenever I’m in need.
In terms of the stuff I spend all my time rescuing and uploading – I’m a scavenger. I’m always, always looking for the beautiful and forgotten. I find it in the modern world and in digital archives. If I can, I collect it. Or at least I take a picture. I have tens of thousands of matchbooks, little bottle caps, labels – all of these. I have little doll heads, old slippers, pieces of fabric, just remnants, things that still hold the heart of the one they used to belong to. I love the way ephemera smells, how it feels in my hands, and I love making it available to you.
My favorite novel has this line – I set that book down in my lap and cried the first time I read it –
“He had a cupboard full of men and women about whom the newspapers wrote almost every day, on the table was the birth certificate of an unknown person and it was as if he had placed them both in the pans of a scale, a hundred on this side and one on the other and was surprised to discover that all of them together weighed no more than this one, that one was worth as much as a hundred.”
That’s why I collect these old things. Because in here, in these archives are the passions and loves and lives of the people who started these businesses, designed and loved these things enough to wrap their lives around them, and now, 50 years later, a hundred years later, they are still important, those people, their hearts and choices. GypsyFaith is about that, about human importance and beauty.