November 19, 2009
I had read about the famous bohemian Mignot sisters in the cool coffee table book Gypset Style, but I had forgotten that they live and operate a chic boutique in Sayulita, Mexico. Then I was strolling around the hip little surfer town and stepped into a store to admire the Tahitian pearl necklaces, and it all came together–these are the gypsy sisters and their necklaces that I had read about.
The story about these girls is movie material. The family consists of nine brothers and sisters, some born in France and others in Africa. Their parents raised them in various places around the world, including St. Barth’s, which is where they got the idea to buy a seventy-five foot wooden boat, which they painted the Rasta colors of red, gold, and green, and then sailed around the world for a decade. They accumulated friends, lovers, and children along the way, and soon the gypsy family traveled in three boats, seeking out the best surf towns and forgotten beaches around the world. While the brothers kept sailing, a few of the sisters decided to settle in Sayulita, where they all live together in a building that also houses their boutique, Pacha Mama. It conveniently overlooks the best surf spot in town.
The Tahitian pearl necklaces, which are strung on pieces of leather, are the sisters’ calling card. You’ll likely find them slung around the hottest surfers and the chicest travelers. They seem to symbolize membership to a very cool club. In addition to the necklaces, Pacha Mama has the softest leather fringe purses, gorgeous colorful painted wraps, and Mexican wedding dresses, all handmade. It’s a heavenly experience for any hippie chick who loves great finds and great stories.
Pacha Mama, 4B Calle Delfin, Sayulita Nayarit, Mexico 63732. www.lesgazelles.com