Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Craft Guerrilla does... Faro!

As some of you may know I spent a chunk of my youth in Faro, a tourist town in the south of Portugal. OK... so maybe you didn't and if that's the case then you've just learnt something new about me! Also it's no longer a Town but a full on city with a university and everything... But tourist town sounds better so I think I can just about get away with that one!
Growing up in a predominately "airport" city wasn't easy.  Life in general was based around the tourism industry and finding ways to pass your time in a sleepy sea side city was a chore especially for creative kids like me and many of my counterparts. If you weren't a surfer or a sporty type then you had to make your own entertainment.
I guess in a way I have a lot to thank Faro for... because of living there it made me resourceful and creative so not a bad thing at all. But we're not here to talk about me...
Because I've moved away 23 years ago with every visit I notice the subtle changes which might escape residents but there have been numerous tiny ones and awesome changes too.
On this last one I noticed that some places and not just shops but bars, restaurants, cafés too were opening with a distinctive modern flavour.  Back when I lived in Faro there was a serious lack of creative entrepreneurship but luckily that's no longer the case!!!

In my brief past life in Faro I found most of the city's hand made offerings were mainly tourist fodder and not much else. Shelves filled with painted plates depicting ladies in traditional dress riding a donkey amongst the almond trees, colourful Portuguese roosters and mass produced lace covered doilies seemed to be the norm in every Artisanato (craft) shop. It was all pretty safe and not very exciting!
Now thankfully a few interesting places have cropped up... I get a sense that people are changing their tastes and are finally getting into the philosophy that hand made items are not just a great way to buy original goods but also to help create a sustainable, vibrant and viable local economy.
I so wish Faro had been ready for me all those years ago but alas the next generation have grasped the concept by the horns and are no longer afraid of taking a risk though these new crafty people are smart, talented and actually just doing what they love. They are following their hearts... so hopefully not as risky as you'd expect as it's done out of pure passion!

Rosa Chock:



You can find Rosa Chock on Rua Horta Machado a hop and a skip from the historical centre.
It's a friendly, modern space housed in an old cobblers' shop ("Sapataria Limpinho") which now sells hand made items ranging from mostly children's clothing, toys, home wares and up-cycled vintage furniture. 
We give Ines and her pretty boutique a huge crafty thumbs up and we wish her all the success in the world!!! 
You can look here for further info, address and shop opening times:  

(all photos in this segment are used with kind permission by ©RosaChock)

Sardinha de Papel:

Part of Faro's historical commercial center regeneration scheme this amazing shop is set up to function as a cooperative and event space. Selling hand made items from local designer makers to the general public as well as to craft loving tourists.
The shop I visited in Rua Conselheiro Bívar is situated in a vibrant part of town in a formerly unused commercial space. This area  houses mostly pubs and clubs which cater for night owls but because they also do things a bit differently at Sardinha de Papel it sits harmoniously alongside the hustle and bustle as they offer DJ sets, live music and other interactive activities.

Set up in 2013 to explore and promote the city's new talent and to provide a space where people can shop for original hand made gifts and discover a breathtaking variety of hand made goods ranging from home wares, clothing, jewellery, toys, ceramics and more which are manufactured by small independent creatives and makers. This venture has now opened its second space in the old town centre in Rua de Santo Antonio which is great news! We love to see craft getting onto the High Streets and offering fresh alternatives to shoppers.

I know lots of people already love this shop -most of my friends talk highly of Sardinha de Papel and they all recommended I visited- and they all tell me how much they like having a shop like this available to them in the city centre. With two sites in Faro I can't see how they can go wrong, in fact I hope they continue to grow!
Best of luck to Vera, her team and their awesome shops!!!

To find out more including address and opening times visit: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sardinha-de-Papel

(All photos in this segment used are with kind permission from ©SardinhaDePapel)

So that's our pick of the Faro Hand Made crop -I'm sure there will be more in future as the creative spirit is alive and well!- and if you ever find yourself in Faro, don't be shy... tell them we sent you... I'm sure you'll get a very warm welcome and you'll definitely leave with a bag filled with amazing goodies!

Next visit I'll be reviewing a few antique and vintage fairs which are dotted around the Algarve... can't wait to go back in summer and find some more gems!!!



Clarissa said...

awsome stuff! I know these places in Faro, they are amazing indeed! thank you for showing us nice fresh things :)

Serviced Apartments Guy said...

Some amazing talent there! I love that pink dressing table!