You'd be hard-pressed to find a girl in her 20s who doesn't like something from Nasty Gal. The intensely popular online store has some beautiful pieces, and the few caveats can be overlooked because there aren't many spots like it. Yet there comes a point at which $200 for a little lace dress seems excessive, and not everyone feels comfortable rocking a pair of skyscraper Jeffrey Campbell shoes with that same price tag.
But here comes Gypsum Style, a Garden Grove-based website created by Cal State Fullerton grad Justine Cuenco that serves as the happy medium. "My vision of a Gypsum girl is that she's a little bit daring and loves designers—but can't afford them," she says. Fresh out of college, Cuenco began doing PR at various fashion showrooms, where lines were curated for stylists, celebrities and bloggers. "But I saw them struggling in a social-media sense," she points out, "and I thought, 'I could do this.'"
Cuenco sat down for three months in 2012 and planned out exactly how her resale shop would be. The website launched in October of that year, and the orders haven't stopped coming in since. "I'm able to combine my experience in photography, graphic design, blogging and HTML," she says. "It's just me, with the help of six interns."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Gypsum's name gives away how its style is different from Nasty Gal: a bit more down-to-earth in both manner and price point. Cuenco's confident she'll one day compete with the likes of Nasty Gal and Urban Outfitters. "I'd love to have our own private label and menswear one day," she says. For now, Gypsum carries designs from Rehab, NLP, Gypsy Junkie and Motel Rocks, among others. But Cuenco says her ideas never seem to run out, and she intends for her brand to continue to live by the simple motto she saw on Pinterest: "Work until your idols become your rivals." Sounds good to us!