Sunday, May 24, 2015

Meet the Maker: Gypsy Soup

Our current featured maker is Sara “Gypsy Soup” Hunsaker.  She is the owner of, you guessed it.. Gypsy Soup!   You know that with a name like that she's going to be an interesting person to get to know.  Recently  Handmade in Kansas City maker,  Tania Marg from Ivory Isis sat down with Sara.  This is what she learned. 

 Sara GypsySoup Hunsaker's photo.
Sara tells us… I am the youngest of 10 children, with a twin brother, Sam. So standing out was something I did quite by accident and necessity!

My grandmother called me Little Gypsy because of the way I dressed from about 8 years old on.  I learned to hand sew with paper and a large embroidery needle as my grandmother, auntie and mother all made their own clothes for various occasions.

I later was allowed to use the sewing machine again using paper, as soon as I could sew all of the curved,  square and straight lines, that Mother had drawn on the paper, perfectly without error - she let me sew on my own. I was about 12 when that happened!

The name comes from my Grandma calling me Little Gypsy, and Soup was added because I knew my garb would be an amalgamation of various materials and designs - it reminded me of a large pot of lovely soup, full of lots of yummy goodness.  GypsySoup was born on June 3, 2011.

What Sara sells:
Using 90% repurposed components that typically begin with neck ties, then adding a variety of other hearty materials, recycled buttons with whimsy, antiquity, and one-of-kind flair, my garb inventory consists of wrist cuffs, across body pouches, Aunt Fannys (fanny packs) and larger Satchels (new messenger bag designs coming soon).


I also do a lot of custom designs, which are requested by families that have lost a loved one. they will bring me an item of clothing or neck ties, to make them something to use and keep forever, rather than the item sitting in a box somewhere. This design and staging process envelopes the client and we often cry together, it is cathartic for all parties involved, as I have lost my Mother, Grandmother and my Aunt. So I tend to become quite connected to these particular people forever.

I also take concert t-shirts and make custom pouches and satchels.

I implement the designs in my heart, I transfer those impulses to my brain pan, I then cut or rip (this part is fun) the fabric to stage said design.  I personally machine construct all items.  I hand sew every button with a knotted button stitch.  I maintain an extremely high standard of quality control. I also produce, print and distribute all matters of marketing collateral (digital and paper) and control sales and custom orders.

Do you have another job or is this a full-time commitment?
I have a full time job as a General Liability Investigator - I specialize in wrongful death, bodily injury and product liability.

I am also a Mark Kay consultant and a die hard fan of the product - I am 4 1/2 years away from 50 and Mary Kay is my cage match coach against age!

I volunteer with the Kansas City Doberman Rescue, Kansas City Public Television and Habitat ReStore.  Habitat ReStore has used my re-purposed furniture in their commercials!
My additional work is costuming when I can - lots of work in costuming!

What makes your items unique?
I think GypsySoup is unique because 90% of the garb is repurposed and it is quality constructed - it rings true the meaning of your trash my treasure! It is also one of a kind - I have only made 3 exact matching cuff sets for myself for costumes. I will also mention that on each piece as I construct it, I wish love, light and healing over all of the components and as they become one piece, I hold it for a moment and finalize these wishes for whomever walks away with a piece of GypsySoup.

Do you have a creative motto or slogan?
Conserve. Create. Recycle Everything.

Favorite quote about creativity or creating?
A human believes somehow that creativity is a brain born creation, when truly its nature and origination is of the heart. - GypsySoup

Any famous last words?
I exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
And if each and all be aware I sit content.
One world is aware, and by the far the largest to me, and that is myself,
And whether I come to my own today or in ten thousand or ten million years, I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness, I can wait.”
- Walt Whitman

Links to websites or social media and where your items can be found locally
My creations can be found in Primary Colors Gallery on the Independence Square, Independence, MO and online at:

A big THANK YOU to Tania Marg from Ivory Isis for writing this blog post.

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