As If Covid19 Wasn't Hard Enough, Now This

In the heart of downtown Oakland, my husband and I planted a seed for peace and healing inside our brick and mortar storefront Queen Hippie Gypsy . For nearly two years we've been welcomed and supported by our community. We are both full time business owners. We both left 10+ year careers to be here.

As an Oakland native, I've seen riots and protests. I've heard the shell casings land on my roof at night. I've lost several loved ones to street violence. I've worked my way up from a high school drop out, young mother of three, domestic violence survivor to a business owner.

I named my botanica Queen Hippie Gypsy because I felt called and identified with the name. I recently discovered in a DNA test that it means so much more. I found out that my blood line traces back to the Moken Sea Gypsy’s of South East Asia as well as Scandinavian Gypsy’s and I have the results to prove it. I had no idea of this prior to starting my business. Now how's that for Black Girl Magic...?

On Friday, May 29th 2020 our store was vandalized during a protest. The cowardly action was masked behind peaceful protesters who stood in solidarity for George Floyd. The people who legitimately came out to PROTEST were NOT the problem and we stand with you 100%. The people that vandalized our business as well as other small businesses in the downtown area  were not activists or there to make social change. They were simply there to destroy property. If they were from Oakland or truly about social justice, they would have known that Queen Hippie Gypsy is a hub and an advocate for peace, healing and human equality. 

What you see on Social Media are busted windows, spray painted graffiti and looted small businesses. The truth is that the stories behind our businesses are real. Due to COVID19, our business was forced to shut down. In a state of emergency we soft launched a website and shifted our business focus to online sales. We were also forced to move our residence due to loss wages and an unfair landlord.

In a quarantine status we both celebrated our 40th birthdays, our son's high school graduation while simultaneously making important contributions to our community. We are truly a mom & pop shop doing the best we can to be the change we wish to see. We are full time parents, community activists, entrepreneurs and so much more. We appreciate you for reading and we hope that this message is heard from our hearts to yours. 
With Love,

Kyrah & Lilly
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337 14th St. 
Oakland, CA 94612


Lilly Ayers
Oakland, CA

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