Anyone who knows me at all knows I love to shop– probably a little too much for my English teacher budget. Actually, probably a lot too much. I won’t deny it- I’m a certified shopaholic.
There’s nothing I love more than sifting through shops in a new city and finding something that will help me cherish a memory. I mean, what true shopaholic would pass up an international wardrobe?
During my travels I’m always on the lookout for a unique piece, something that I can’t find at home. The thing my friends are bound to ask about. A “conversation starter,” if you will. More and more I find myself avoiding the “Made in China” crap that most tourists gravitate towards and instead, I seek out local designers and independent artists for a truly special keepsake.
Lucky for me, Barcelona was chock full of local artisans. As our last stop on a 3-week long journey, my little cousin Sierra and I were determined to get in our last shopping fix. We dragged my parents along and began our treasure hunt.
While wandering around Barcelona’s “Born” neighborhood we stumbled across a little area called L’esquirol- Zona Artesanal- a treasure hunter’s paradise. This area is a little hub for clothing and design from the Catalan region of Spain. With every corner we turned, we uncovered pure gold. Boutique after boutique of unique handmade items by local artisans. Exquisite displays, stylish goods- we had died and gone to heaven. If only we had saved enough space in our suitcases and enough money in our wallets for a real spree.
Local Shops in Barcelona:
C/ Vigatans, 2
Kino Barcelona is an adorable little boutique right across the street from the Jaume I metro stop. They sell elegant woman’s clothing and accessories, shoes, handmade jewelry and even home décor, mostly acquired from local designers. The girl working the shop was extremely helpful, friendly and didn’t hesitate to share information about all the shop’s designers. Against my will, all I left with was a perfect little brass bar necklace by local designer: Sybille.
What caught my eye? All of Sylbille’s delicate brass necklaces!
C/ L ‘Esquirol, 4
Just around the corner from Kino is El Calaix. This shop has a great selection of frilly pins, girly jewels and vintage patterned clothing. There was also a section dedicated to do-it-yourself featuring “Handmade in Barcelona” guidebooks and DIY crochet.
What caught my eye? The cute little creatures made of yarn!
C/ de L ‘Esquirol, 1
Across from El Calaix is Weavings Barcelona. This small but extremely bright and inviting shop sells items entirely woven by hand. Here you can find woven scarves, shawls, shoes and even woven jewelry, all in fun bright patterns and colors.
What caught my eye? The collection of vintage-inspired woven purses with brass kiss locks!
Bon Vent Barcelona
Bon Vent was one of the bigger stores we visited. When we first entered it seemed more like a stylish gallery than a shop- the perfect balance between fashion and decoration. The beachy displays showcase everything from modern home décor, to patterned shoes and handmade greeting cards.
What caught my eye? Silbando Bajito’s hand-painted ceramics collection. Especially the pastel party plates!
C/ Brosolí, 5
This little Born boutique is a bit pricey, but fun to explore all the same. The word “colmado” means “full of” and this shop sure is full of some eye candy- modern, chic items from artists all over the world. The shop prides itself on the quality, exclusivity and originality of its products, featuring fashion, footwear, jewelry, art and music from a range of artistic disciplines.
What caught my eye? The geometric displays made of wooden hangers and Vaska handmade leather bags!
La Tercera is a showroom for the two Barcelonan brands: “Name:” and “Lubochka.” It serves as a shop for these two brands as well as other locally acquired items. They sell a range of subtly exquisite items from ceramic jewelry to fashionable children’s clothing.
What caught my eye? “Working in the redwoods” wooden Asian rice bowls and chopsticks.
C/ Mirallers, 7
As we walked down Mirallers, Labicha Creativa’s funky hippie-ish vibe snagged our attention. The store is overflowing with alternative patterned bags, charming character prints and captivating statement jewelry. Labicha’s unconventional earthy style and inventive textile designs definitely make it unique from any of the other stores we visited. It is the perfect place to uncover an unusual locally-made gift for someone at home.
What caught my eye? The bold printed Spanish fans.
Ivori-Made in Barcelona
C/ Mirallers, 7
Carola Alexandre, shop owner and designer of the brand Ivori, has brought her dream to reality. She has opened a shop emphasizing the beauty of “made in Barcelona” goods. Everything in the store has been gathered from the Catalan region of Spain, if not made in Barcelona itself. She has brought together many key names in the local design scene such as Srta Bolitas, Alexandre Neddermann (her own with friend Alba Neddermann), Lubochka and Name, among various others. From these talented artists, she collects simple, elegant items of impeccable quality and pure Catalan style.
What caught my eye? I have to say my favorite jewelry collection of the bunch- both original and incredibly wearable. A fantastic collection of thin stacking rings!
C/ Brosolí, 8
Hidden away deep in the district of Born, you’ll find The Box. The Box is quite literally a white box-shaped space showcasing exclusively local independent designers. The shop is owned by three of Barcelona’s very own designers, Elena Gallego, Nerea Lurgain and Olga Prat, who focus on highlighting their products through simple décor and minimalistic displays.
What caught my eye? Hand-sewn fashions, edgy costume jewels, unique patterned bowties and colored-block clutches.
Do you like to support locals when you travel? Do you think supporting local vendors and designers is important? I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments below!
Support Local Series: In my Support Local Series I share all about the local experiences I have during my travels! Wherever I go I like to uncover the “off the beaten track” hidden gems including restaurants, artists, designers, craftsmen, farmers, vendors and more! If you’re someone who likes to shop small and bring home unique gifts, seek out truly one-of-a-kind souvenirs & experiences, or simply loves to support the locals, you’ve come to the right place! Have a local story you’d like to share? Shoot me an E-mail at Lauren@laurenonlocation.com
Like to support local? Pin this post and save it for later!
This post first appeared on Lauren on Location on August 13th, 2014 and therefore some of the information, especially the stock in the photos, may vary.
Welcome to Wanderful Wednesdays!
Consider yourself a wanderer?! Well then, this Blog Hop is for you!
Meet your hosts: Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World.
Here on Wanderful Wednesday we hope to promote an open and supportive community for like-minded bloggers- expats, travelers and all kinds of wanderers!
The linkup will take place every Wednesday at 8AM GMT.
Wanderful Wednesday Guidelines:
- Link up a wanderful travel related post below! One per blogger per week please!
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**Wanderful Wednesday Announcement- Facebook Group- add to our community with open conversations. If you would like to be added message me on my Facebook – Lauren Bonheim or Lauren on Location and I will add you 😀 .. Been having a hard time finding everyone by name on Facebook..