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Gypsy Garage Brings Bohemia to 30A

Julia Vijacka Introduces Her Unique Space

Article by Savannah Vasquez

Photography by Shanna Magnuson with DaVista Photography

Originally published in Destin City Lifestyle

There's a new beachside boutique in GulfPlace offering a window into a different era: Gypsy Garage 30a.  Destin City Lifestyle introduces Julia Vijacka, owner and free spirit behind the inspirational space.

Destin City Lifestyle: Tell us a bit about Gypsy Garage and how you came to open this space on 30A?

Julia: The space came together unexpectedly, it wasn’t going to be necessarily a retail store, more like a place for friends and the community, to mingle and create. My idea was to introduce different artists with pop-up events and create a space for everyone to enjoy music, read books and share ideas surrounded by unique treasures. I really wanted something out of the ordinary and eclectic, like a window to the past or future while staying in the present.

DCL: What kind of things can be found in your store?

Julia: Gypsy Garage is a little shop where you can find antiques, and a mix of new items and old things. We have original art and custom portraits by Linda Loomis, jewelry, vintage clothes, wearable art by Carmen of Graffiti, books, candles, games and much more. There is also a cozy room with a 1950’s Drexel Esperanto daybed, 1983 Vivaldi MacKenzie Childs checkered chairs, a vintage bumper pool table with poker face, a record player and old records; all available for sale but in the meantime there for everyone to enjoy. The space is always changing as things come and go.

DSL: When customers come into your store, what is their reaction to your collection?

Julia: Most people come to the Garage and absolutely love it. The vibe, the items, the music, the surprise when they walk in; But my favorite is when I get words from little kids or old gentlemen. When they say how cool it is and they comment on various things and buy something that took them an hour to find. When someone plays the 120-year-old piano 1903 Fischer piano from New York, it just warms my soul. What time would it be if all the clocks stopped? The Garage makes me stop going all directions and be present.

DSL: Was opening a little store always your dream?

Julia: My friends who have known me for over 40 years when growing up in Prague, back in communist Czechoslovakia, tell me that this is what I always wanted, a little shop like this and I was literally surprised! I thought, 'I did?' But then, I thought about it, and they were right. I was always at vintage shops and art galleries, buying books with the last of my money, baking bread, knitting socks, bringing home rocks or dogs, saving people, animals, everything except myself...that came later.

DSL: As a lifelong traveler, or in your own words - gypsy - where do you call home?

Julia: Born and raised in Prague, that beautiful city will always be in my heart. After that, I lived in many places, but the most special was Key West, and it will always be; Island living with no worries, sailing, working and making lifelong friends. For the past 20 years our home has been here, on the Emerald Coast. This area is a very tight community, we stand together, rain or shine. So, every place is special to me in its own way, through what they each taught me, but I guess everywhere I go, I stay the gypsy I am; the Boheme, traveling, changing and finding answers. 

Y’all come check The Gypsy Garage out! Thursdays we are open till 8 p.m. and something is always happening. Until then...Stay wild, Moon child!