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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


A groovy walk through 4th Avenue treasure

Tyler Steffen
Customers walk out of the Hippie Gypsy, a store located on 4th ave in Tucson, on March 13.

A building painted from edge-to-edge with murals of the classic Beatles album Abbey Road and other dream-like images, the Hippie Gypsy, located on the corner of 351 N. Fourth Avenue, attracts all walks of life to take a glance at ‘hipster’ clothing, see locally made glass smoke pieces and experience the laid-back environment that this 60s inspired smoke shop has to offer. 

This location is one of three Hippie Gypsies that are found in Arizona and Louisiana. 

The business has been running for 20 years here in town, making the store one of many iconic buildings in downtown, according to manager Mary Thorell. 

“We attract all different types of generations of people, and I think that’s really cool that it can bring everyone together that way,” said Amber Younger, an employee who has been working at Hippie Gypsy for over a year.

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Hippie Gypsy sells locally made glass pipes, some of the most popular brands including Glass Finger Studios, Zombie Hand Studio, Frog Beard and Grimglass. 

Hippie Gypsy recently expanded their backroom to accommodate more smoke accessories for customers, according to Younger. 

Not only does Hippie Gypsy offer smoke-shop trinkets, but they also are known for selling 60s inspired clothing, complete with tie-dye shirts, dresses and even baby clothes. 

Hippie Gypsy also sells an array of glow-in-the-dark posters, in line with the very psychedelic feel that Hippie Gypsy wants to provide. 

The back room of the Hippie Gypsy, located on 4th Avenue, is filled with racks of tobacco pipes as well as bongs.
The back room of the Hippie Gypsy, located on 4th Avenue, is filled with racks of tobacco pipes as well as bongs.

What makes this shop stand out among other smoke shops in Tucson is the “hippie” aesthetic when customers walk through the door, according to Younger. 

Incense, which is the most popular item that customers buy at Hippie Gypsy, fills the store and bright tie-die colors and tapestries decorate every wall of the building. 

“[It’s a] sensory overload; people kind of like that psychedelic feeling,” Younger said. 

Hippie Gypsy draws people of all ages to come check out their more “off-the-wall” merchandise, according to Younger, including students and older generations who are drawn to the 60s, psychedelic vibe of the store.

Providing an environment for everyone to enjoy and feel welcome is what Hippie Gypsy aims to do, according to Thorell. 

“We’re selective, we want the combination of the sweet kind faces, and the little rough-around-the-edges so that we have someone to cater to every customer,” Thorell said. 

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Hippie Gypsy sells creative and funny merchandise including a bright yellow gas-mask pipe, an in-your-face item for customers to gawk at, according to Thorell. 

Many out-of-towners have come in to take a look at all the bright and “weird things” that only Hippie Gypsy has to offer.

“[It’s just] good vibes and good people,” Thorell said.

Other businesses down Tucson’s historical Fourth Avenue agree that Hippie Gypsy is an all-around good time for the downtown scene. 

“The building itself is really colorful — all the art on it is definitely an eye-catcher,” Tucson Thrift Shop employee Audrey Balda said. 

Hippie Gypsy continues to be one of the most iconic shops down on Fourth Avenue, leaving its mark on the community for many years. Many other shops recognize that Hippie Gypsy is iconic, according to Balda. 

Offering warm, welcoming faces to anyone who walks in the door, this Fourth Avenue shop makes a statement and will continue to thrive and vibe with the Tucson community.

Follow Briannon Wilfong on Twitter

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