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Downtown, Cairo, Egypt.
Gypsy Gems: Online Store for Quirky Accessories & Natural Gemstones
Instagram-based stores are spreading like wild fire and changing with them the whole online shopping experience. From imported, as well as locally designed, clothes, shoes and handbags to accessories and makeup, one can almost do all their shopping on one of the busiest social media platforms today.
Gypsy Gems, owned by Heba and Alia Emad, sisters and young entrepreneurs, sells unconventional jewellery that is mostly silver-plated and features natural gemstones. From bullet-shaped pendants to quirky rings and chokers, Gypsy Gems offers all kinds of pretty, non-mainstream accessories. The store came about as a personal project and it reflects the sisters' love for boho accessories.
Our favourites of those offered included the Galaxy Crescent necklace (140LE), the Opal ring (120LE), the Geode Stone necklace (160LE) and the Titanium Dipped Quartz necklace (80LE), as well as the colourful bullet pendants (130-150LE).
We opted for the Sandstone pendant (150LE) and placed our order through direct messaging the account. You can either have your ordered delivered within a day or two by paying an extra 30LE or pick up your order in an agreed upon spot. We managed to make an arrangement with them and picked up our necklace a couple of days later.
Our necklace looked pretty much exactly like the picture, with the sandstone pendant being a glorious black-purple colour with tiny glittery particles. The necklace, itself, was a little shorter than expected but still a flattering length all the same.
All in all, we thought Gypsy Gems' take on jewellery to be quite refreshing, as well as their service to be top notch. The prices are also quite affordable, given the fact that the jewels used are mainly natural stones.
While Cairo has a lot to offer in terms of shopping, especially in more recent years, there are still certain items that don’t have a specific outlet and one would have no idea where to begin looking. If that item happens to be a curtain tassel, a zipper or a feather boa, El Nomrossy in Zamalek is the place to go.
Located at the end of Taha Hussien Street, just across from Yamama Center, the shop is easily identifiable with its huge name printed on the glass exterior; the colourful feathers and endless titbits seen from the outside are likely to attract your eye as well. The interior of the shop is nothing noteworthy; it is as basic and simple as the merchandise requires it to be.
Filling the walls from floor to ceiling, El Nomrosy stocks quite a random collection of things that there is no way to label it other than a knickknack shop. They have a large choice of beaded necklaces in all sorts of colours, as well as glittery ones. There are larger beads and smaller ones, longer ones and shorter ones; some are more unique, made up of a strand of different coloured skulls or peace signs. The cheapest of them is 15LE while the most expensive ones, which are the largest of the beads, go up to 50LE – with everything else falling somewhere in the middle.
El Nomrossy has quite an extensive choice of ribbons. Wider or more narrow, they come in black, white, all the colours of the rainbow, gold and silver; their patterns include floral prints, Indian inspired designs and a range of lace ones, with the latter costing 8LE per metre.
Other items one would find in this little shop are buttons in all sizes, colours and shapes, bright feather boas (30LE per metre), faux jewels that go for 3.50LE to 6LE per piece, sewing boxes in a variety of designs (45LE), and sewing accessories such as thimbles (4.50LE) and needles (1.50LE).
A perfect stop to go to if you have a costume to decorate, jewellery to make or an art piece to accessorise, El Nomrossy has jars and jars of sequins and tiny beads on its upper floor. In every colour imaginable as well as copper and crystal finishes, these beads are sold as a jar at either 50LE or 100LE.
The overall atmosphere isn’t particularly charming, the neon light leaves no room for a feeling of comfort inside the space, but at low prices and with a healthy collection of useful, random, not easily locatable items, El Nomrossy has upheld its importance among the neighbouring stylish boutiques.