Prefiero Chileno: Local Shopping Guide

This year, I made a conscious effort to buy local, and I would say that about 80% of my Christmas shopping this year ended up being gifts made in Chile.  This drive to support small has been all over the internet lately, particularly on Instagram, where a whole movement has started using the hashtag #prefierochileno.  To read why to support local, read my Directory of Local Businesses where I whip out a few facts to convince you.

Check out websites Bendito and Creado en Chile to browse an assorted collection of locally made gifts, and don´t forget to use the hashtag when you share your photos!  You can also visit markets such as Mercado Mastica and places such as Barrio Italia (my favorite place in the world) and Pueblito Los Dominicos.  The following list of my favorite businesses are either ones I have personally bought from or that are on my radar, and all meet either made in Chile, designed in Chile or based in Chile criteria.

Let´s Go Christmas Shopping!!

  1. Painstakingly intricate maps, cushions and other trinkets handpainted by dedicated local artists at Mappin.
open-uri20170912-25427-1olhcoh_5d78b221-0536-4e61-abf7-468b42d57a5a_2000x
Chile Urdido by Cote Bobillier. Photo: Mappin
open-uri20170912-25427-1ffifzc_af696943-dc74-4296-8a35-01036a2c0ebd_2000x
Nuestra Casa by Michelle Lasalvia. Photo: Mappin

2) Beautiful scarves, socks, bibs for adults and children by Vuelvo al Sur.

Chucao2Touch-1-510x510
Gloves featuring the Chucao. Photo: Vuelvo al Sur
tazon-big-huemul-510x510
Mug featuring a huemul. Photo: Vuelvo al Sur

3) The LeoLibros book set, a varied collection of short stories in Spanish that seek to encourage a love of reading that will last a lifetime, by Editorial Dansema.

how to take betterfamily vacationpictures

4) Stackable crayons made for little hands that are non-toxic and won´t stain (or permanently mark your walls)? Sounds like an amazing gift for the whee ones!  Visit Hello Kiddo to get your hands on a set of Playon Crayons. Photos by Hello Kiddo.

5) Beautiful furniture made in Santiago by Blom and made with local materials including Lingue, Coigue and Encina. I am coveting everything especially their headboards. All photos by Blom.

6) 7 Colores is a recent discovery, and one of the finds that has most impressed me during my time in Chile. This small shop is in Barrio Italia and is the most beautiful treasure trove of handpainted gifts, all featuring Chilean flora and fauna. Staff are incredibly passionate about animals and they even publish their own wildlife magazine (in Spanish only); their goal is a simple one: to introduce Chile´s creatures and plants to the people and inspire their love and respect.

7) OBOLO chocolate have just opened their store in Barrio Italia, and here you also can see them making their delicious organic creations through the window that peeps into the factory. OBOLO, which is the creation of Mark Gerrits (USA) and his (Chilean) wife, is a wonderful example of how a business can create opportunities and deliver an excellent product; OBOLO is winning awards all over the world and produces only 70% cacao creations, sourced from small-scale growers in Peru that Mark has worked with for years.  All photos by OBOLO Chocolate.

8) One of my favorite businesses of all time would be Karun, which designs sunglasses made recycled jeans and fishing nets cleared from Chilean coastlines. Read more about their business here.

Jeans y anteojo
Photo: Karunworld

9) TTANTI watches made from fallen trees in Patagonia. These are luxury, quality timepieces that suit both men and women.

17425035_1354974277914806_260760532158781696_n
Photo: TTANTI

10) Ñirre Bebe is the work of a mum from Southern Chile, and her clothes for children are stunning. E is now completely in love with the zorro/ñirre/fox.  Read my interview here.

11) La Pituka is my favorite business in Chile. I love to exercise in their leggings, I also love to go to work with them on, and I love that now they are offering Chile-themed designs as well. They also make tshirts, underwear, sweatshirts and socks – kids included.

12) Apicola del Alba is my go-to for Made in Chile (in Curacavi!) skincare.  I use the face moisturiser every day and also their chamomile-based shampoo. They make various things including aromatherapy oils and vitamins.

13) Ramonas are beautifully-designed shoes for women (how I´d love a pair of their boots, Santa!) that are sold in Paris (Parque Arauco), the local fashion store Paes (Centro Comercial Lo Castillo, local 206) and via social media. These are cult favorite shoes so get a pair now! Photos: Ramonas

14) La Coetzina   you may remember from my blog the other day, but Adel gets another shout out because her things make me drool, seriously. I can´t wait to get my order in time for Christmas next week!! Photos by La Coetzina.

15) Attilio & Mochi is a small, independent vineyard located on the way to Tunquen and the creation of passionate winemakers, Angela and Marcos. Their range of wines perfectly encapsulate the spirit of the area and they also do tours and tastings if you want to make an afternoon of it.

 

12446084_571501493009725_1099835023_n(1)
Photo: Attilio & Mochi

16) Kruz Toca Madera is where I am (pretty sure) my Christmas present will be coming from this year. These products are made in Chile using wood from fallen trees, they don´t use any plastic and plant a tree for every tree they use as part of their endeavour to make Patagonia clean and green.  Photos: Kruz Toca Madera.

17) Olive oil from Oro de Torca, a small family-run farm based near Laguna Torca, makes for one of the best gifts for foodies – they are even classed as the best fine olive oil in the Southern Hemisphere (Sol DÓro gold medal winner).  As an aside, they are also hosting Camp MakeMake which looks to be an amazing experience for kids this summer!

23518814_2012229332386553_5258621519610304952_n
Photo: Oro de Torca

18) Hubbard & Smith sausages are made with love and care by Kate Smith. She follows traditional recipes and offers Cumberland sausages, Hot Italian, English Breakfast and more, as well as bacon and ham. Photos: Hubbard and Smith.

19) RM Arte y Deco is a store that I stumbled upon in Barrio Italia and just loved. Staffed by the artist, Raul Montecino himself, there are beautiful paintings, laminated copies and tshirts he has stamped with his designs.

27085910949_704f8e7b3e_o.jpg

20) Pajarito de Mimbre creates stories, toys and gifts based upon the animals of Chile. In our house we love El Large Viaje del Pequeño Pudu, a book that is as much educational as it is fun. Photos: Pajarito de Mimbre

21) Last on the list but equally deserving of mention, is Woligu, a new venture of handmade leather straps for cameras and guitars. Send a WhatsApp to: +56991377445

24845472_306707759820583_6183848051120013312_n
Photo: Woligu

Did you like this? Give me some love if you did!! Please share your photos to Instagram using the hashtag #prefierochileno and don´t forget to let me know of any other businesses to check out! Finally have a WONDERFUL Christmas – thank you all for reading!!

Meet La Pituka: Happy Clothes

Winter in Santiago just makes me feel so blah. The sky is grey, the houses are freezing (most don´t have insulation) and in general there is a feel of waiting in the air … waiting for warmer days, longer evenings and las fiestas patrias. My absolute favorite month in Chile is September; if you are new to the city, just you wait – soon the sky will be a deep cloudless blue, dotted with volantines and the sound of flags flapping. This is the month when the sun begins creeping out for longer and longer, when the nights fill with the sound of music and laughter, when you can finally show the world some skin and banish those heavy jackets to that forgotten corner of your bedroom.

398150_10151424181615097_1532929241_n

I cannot wait to say goodbye to winter, not least because I am one of those people that really suffer without a daily dose of sunshine. The weather mixed with post-partum hormones and a pretty isolated life has meant that I have been incredibly gloomy lately. In an attempt to lift my dark mood, I have been taking advantage of the Estadio Recoleta, not really a stadium these days but a smidge of greenery in an otherwise urban landscape that people use for their sporting needs. The Recoleta council (municipalidad) also offer a smorgasboard of free exercise classes every day, from Samba to Step, pilates and yoga. There are also paid classes too, including tae kwon do and swimming.  I have been going to Zumba, held in the morning every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and in the afternoon and evening on Tuesday and Thursday.

35120792974_cac1e01765_o.jpg
Santiago during winter. Photo: Me

According to the internet, Zumba is a dance craze beloved of some 15 million people across 180 countries. It was created in the 1990´s by Alberto Perez in Colombia, and contains elements of cumbia, salsa, samba, reggaeton, hiphop, merengue, mambo, chachacha, soca and axe. Although a typical class, which is around an hour long, involves things like squats and aerobics, it doesn´t feel like exercise at all – it is dance. It is also crazy fun. Since I have been going to Zumba it feels like a huge pressure has been lifted from my mind, and I highly recommend giving it a go. The problem when you exercise is that you need something to wear, something that does the job and holds everything in place. What about if you could find gear that did that, but that also had some flair and personality? The athleisure market is flooded with designs to make you look good but these often come with a high price point, and are often made in sweatshops or overseas. This just doesn´t fly with me, particularly because I am all about supporting small businesses and things made in Chile. But the search isn´t futile!!! There are options and here I present to you one of them, La Pituka, who create beautiful leggings and other items right here in Chile.

17156261_1388729947853977_1631778886490101_n.jpg

Ten Questions with Tienda La Pituka

Who is La Pituka/Quien es La Pituka?

We are two partners, a mother and daughter team comprised of Soledad Herrera, publicist, and Alejandra Bianchi, photographer.

Somos dos socias, madre (Soledad Herrera Amigo, Publicista) e hija (yo, Alejandra Bianchi Herrera, Fotógrafa).

21034371_1568084249918545_2228835759356849709_n.jpg
All photos: La Pituka

Why did you start the store/Por que hiciste la tienda?

We started with the underwear as it was something that we saw overseas but didn´t exist here in Chile!  There was only things cut by laser without a design, and so we began investigating how to make clothes and stamp it. In 2011 we started our store in Barrio Italia where we sold things like necklaces, rings and hair accessories, all made by hand.

Comenzamos con la ropa interior ya que fue un producto que vimos en otro país y en Chile no existía!!!, solo la ropa de corte láser sin diseño… entonces comenzamos a investigar como hacer la ropa y estamparla… mientras tanto comenzaba la tienda La Pituka ( año 2011) en Barrio Italia vendiendo accesorios hechos a mano (collares, aros, tocados…)
15171009_1282030515190588_6940428505967077221_n.jpg
Photo: La Pituka

Which are you favorite products/Cuales son tus productos favoritos?

The leggings – they are so comfortable, great to go out in, to wear while walking, or sports or for yoga or pilates.

Las calzas … es que son muy cómodas, geniales para salir a caminar o para deportes y yoga o pilates.

20994244_1568820809844889_3021674712609057764_n.jpg
Photo: La Pituka

What is your bestseller/Cual diseño que lo que mas se vende?

Generally that would be the designs which are very feminine, with lots of flowers and color, although the Rupturistas have been popular, such as the collage with matryoshka nesting dolls (below) or the asymmetric designs with one leg different to the other. The idea is that we make a certain amount using one design and then later we discontinue it.

Generalmente son diseños más bien femeninos, con harta flor y colorido, aunque los rupturistas también tienen buena acogida como un  colage con matrioshkas que realizamos hace un tiempo ( o los diseños asimétricos, como una pierna diferente a la otra), el tema es que hacemos cierta cantidad con un diseño y luego lo descontinuamos… esa es la idea.

Mamushka
The bestselling print using design of Russian nesting dolls. Photo: La Pituka

How can people buy and where/Como podemos comprar y donde?

Through our Facebook page, where we can post to anywhere in Chile, and we are currently working on having a ´buy now´ option on our website. Physically we are based in Pucon and in Santiago we will have a store in Barrio Italia, opening at the end of August.

15073505_1277471175646522_3932163624377012200_n.jpg
Photo: La Pituka

What makes your products special/Por que son especiales tus productos?

Each item is made by hand, with affection, and we put a lot of thought into choosing the best fabrics and making sure that we give work to Chilean women.

Por que están hechos uno a uno con total cariño, nos preocupamos de elegir las mejores telas Chilenas y de dar trabajo a mujeres Chilenas en su confección. 

15590318_1318288884898084_4518812275555817703_n.jpg

Now for the general question that I ask everyone! Where is your favorite spot in the capital, Santiago/Cual es tu lugar favorito en Santiago?

Outside of the city, in the Cajon del Maipo.

Afuera de la ciudad, en el Cajon del Maipo.

12790967_10153904214540097_6260320743249346008_n
Cajon del Maipo. Photo: Me

And in all of Chile/Cual es tu lugar favorito en Chile?

Alcohuaz, in the Elqui Valley.

Alcohuaz, en el Valle del Elqui.

What is next for La Pituka/Cual es el futuro de la tienda?

To begin making a wider variety of women´s clothing that are perfect for the office while still using the best Chilean fabrics and colorful styles in full print!

Comenzar a confeccionar una gran variedad de ropa de mujer, siempre con nuestro estilo colorido, pero perfectamente de vestir como para la oficina, con las mejores telas Chilenas y full print!!!

The Fine Print

Facebook here

Instagram here

Website here

Santiago store: Galeria Italia Mia, Av. Italia 1548, Ñuñoa (Barrio Italia)

Pucon store: Urrutia 235, Pucon

 

———————————————————————————————————-

Did you like this? Here are some more blogs that highlight local businesses:

Karun sunglasses made from recycled fishing nets and jeans;

Ñirre Bebe kids clothes and accessories made by hand;

TTANTI fine watches using fallen Patagonian trees;

Pajarito de Mimbre books and accessories that focus on Chilean culture;

Apicola del Alba natural cosmetics;

La Farine Pan a la Antigua traditional breadmaking in Curacavi.

 

 

Karun: Leading Change in Fashion

From the wild open spaces to the starry sky, the snug fields of green tucked between snow-capped mountains and the raw expanse of open ocean, Chile has got to be one of the world´s most beautiful specimens of Planet Earth.  It seems only fitting, then, that it is also a country taking the business model and embedding it with an environmental conscience (as we have seen with TTANTI and Apicola del Alba).  This next business is one that is setting a new benchmark in the fashion world by merging concepts of sustainability and responsibility with quality eyewear in a way that is quite simply revolutionary. Enter Karun World, sunglasses and glasses made ´from a different point of view´ which I am so excited to feature on my blog because I love the concept, all that they stand for and the sunglasses themselves which are effortlessly stylish and unique.  Here are some reasons why they should be on your radar too.

They symbolize a new vision

The philosophy governing Karun is that their products form symbols of a new way of being; a new way of thinking of ourselves and how we view the world around us. As founder Thomas Kimber says, ¨it´s clear the world needs a big change. I don´t pretend to change the world by making sunglasses, but prove that we are able to make the best products in a completely different way that respects the planet¨.  They follow a circular and regenerative model, aiming to prove that it is possible to manufacture products that are high in quality and that have a lower impact upon the environment than the usual extractive methods that define the norm. They also see themselves as much than just a company, in fact their Kickstarter page states ¨ Everything we do is a reflection of the dream of a great group of people sharing similar values and way of life. We are working as hard as we can to prove through example that we can change the way we interact with ourselves and our planet¨.

Clothing Collection.png
Photo: Karun

They look to nature for inspiration

Karun is inspired by the wilds of Patagonia and means ´to be nature´ in Mapundungun, the common language spoken by the Mapuche indigenous people. This rugged landscape at the southern end of Chile is a place known for its beauty and raw energy, and this is channelled into the designs.  They don´t focus upon inventing new things, instead they look to nature to inspire them.

Made with recycled jeans.jpg
Photo: Karun

They are revolutionizing eyewear

Karun is a Chilean business that is revolutionary. Their first collection (Wood) used fallen trees in Patagonia, carefully selecting them rather than cutting any down, to create unique eyewear that embraced the differences found in each specimen.  After this they teamed up Bureo, a company creating skateboards made from recycled fishing nets sourced from Chile, to make the first glasses in the world made from 100% recycled fishing nets using recycling programme Net Positiva.  Discarded fishing nets cause around 10% of plastic pollution in our oceans and cause major damage to sea ecosystems and marine creatures. Net Positiva was developed by Bureo and launched in Chile in 2014, where it collected some 3000kg of discarded fishing nets in just six months.  Net Positiva works across the USA and Chile to clean up coastlines, and are engaged with various non-profits that remove ocean pollution.

Now Karun bring you The Clothing Collection.  This collection highlights the issue of waste in the fashion industry, where items are mass produced and quickly discarded by consumers.  Jeans are some of the contaminating, with around 3 billion pairs produced annually, of which 80% then end up in landfills.  From there greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane are released which cause considerable damage to our soils and water.  The Clothing Collection is the world´s first eyewear made using recycled jeans, combining 75% recycled jeans and 25% bio-resin.  Karun have partnered with Balloon Latam, where a portion of sales from each pair of sunglasses goes towards entrepreneurs in the Llanquihue Lake region of Chile.  Balloon Latam works across Latin America to help develop local economies in a way that is respectful of each community´s identity, cultural conditions and productive possibilities. The designs in this collection are influenced by native Chilean birds such as the Chucao, which is native to the south and known for its emblematic sound, the red-breasted Loica (Long-Tailed Meadowlark) and the crested Kuru, or Magellanic Woodpecker.  Karun has been lauded everywhere, from Cosmopolitan to CNN and GQ.

 

Their eyewear is special

The materials are 100% Chilean and designed in Chile, and are put together using the finest technology in Italy.  The sunglasses use Zeiss official lenses which offer complete protection from UVA/UVB rays, and are available in either grey or amber, or as optical lenses. They contain German stainless steel spring hinges and have no added chemicals. The current collection come with a hardcase container made from jeans and fully recycled cardboard packaging.

Proceso Clothing CollectionProductos jeans

How You Can Get a Pair

Karun are currently seeking funding via Kickstarter, a global crowdfunding platform that got their other designs off the ground.  The campaign ends in late July, and the first 500 models will be completed by August.  In October all the models will have been completed to be delivered by November.

During the campaign, the glasses have a price of USD$149 which is 40% less than their actual retail price so get in there quick to take advantage!

 

 

A Newbie's Guide to Upcycling.png

More Information

Website here

Facebook here 

Instagram here

Kickstarter campaign here


If you liked this, you might like to support one of these other amazing small businesses:

TTANTI watches made from fallen Patagonian trees;

Pajarito de Mimbre books & toys;

Apicola del Alba natural cosmetics.

 

TTANTI: Fine Watches Made in (and of) Chile

¨We believe that a watch should not only display a point of time as measured in hours and minutes; but should be a constant reminder that time is passing, that we must appreciate every moment that ticks by.¨

– Sarah Goldsmith, TTANTI

Over the years I have become really passionate about Chile.  Knowing its quirks, its people and flora and fauna, and giving my support to the #hechoenchile movement that is finding its stride with leaps and bounds recently. I also want to encourage the support of small businesses, often born of as much love and passion as hard work and stress to get a simple dream off the ground. I believe TTANTI, a small business that has appreciation for Chile at its heart as well as a focus upon sustainability, is the epitome of all these things, creating beautiful timepieces that represent not only the passing of time but a respect for life, and each one contains Patagonian materials. Wearing TTANTI, then, means you are keeping a small piece of Chile at your side throughout life´s moments.  Here is my interview with Sarah Goldsmith, an expat from the United States who is the Director of Communication and Sales for TTANTI.

12963838_1063747110370859_4975083235946055838_n

Who is TTANTI and how did the store begin?

TTANTI was founded in 2014, but really started to grow in 2016. Our team is lead by the founder, Angel Andraca. Angel is a native Chilean and wanted to combine his love of minimalist design with the spirit of Patagonia and the long tradition of Swiss watchmaking. Designer Rodrigo Bravo brought together the concept in a striking and harmonious way that gives respect to the traditions of Patagonia, while showcasing a modern aesthetic. Our Chilean team is rounded out by Sarah Goldsmith (me), Felipe Rioja, Carlos Bravo, and Mathilde Pfeiffer. Our European team includes Patrizia Vogl, Guillaume Vaslin and Steven Fantina.

 

13230139_1087682754643961_2822776832165176486_n.jpg
TTANTI is inspired by the raw and rugged beauty of Patagonia.  The watch featured is the Darwin Black, made with Aromo Criollo wood, a tree known for its beautiful flowers.            Photo: TTANTI

What is the motivation behind TTANTI?

TTANTI was born out of a respect for the noble materials of Patagonia and the spirit they encompass, as well as the centuries old tradition of Swiss watch making. Combined into one timepiece by the patient and passionate work of Swiss and Chilean craftsmen, we seek to transmit our beliefs to our customers. We believe that a watch should not only display a point of time as measured in hours and minutes; but should be a constant reminder that time is passing, that we must appreciate every moment that ticks by.

17342690_1350793734999527_7426288449210067288_n
Watch in Darwin White. Photo TTANTI

What makes a TTANTI watch unique?

TTANTI has its roots in a land where local traditions and foreign wanderers coexist, and our commitment to that land sets us apart. Protection of this land, responsible use of its materials and preservation for years to come is at the forefront of all we do. We use only previously fallen trees and are proudly certified by the Forest Stewardship Council for the responsible use of native forests. Our leather straps are cut from scrap material would otherwise go to the landfill. We package in recycled materials, maintain a wholly online/virtual workplace and strive to take any steps necessary to reduce our impact on the environment.
1724328_998680630210841_4034243096817164983_n (1)
The watches are all assembled in Santiago. Photo: TTANTI
12143244_1048424095236494_7799411909904718802_n
Photo: TTANTI

Who designs the watches and what are they inspired by?

Our designer Rodrigo Bravo seeks innovation through simplicity and functionality. He creates unique objects and solutions through a methodology that is born from the study and rescue of traditional carpentry techniques with the most advanced technologies. Rodrigo merged our inspiration with his detailed study and knowledge of functionality to create our strikingly and simple design.  Although typically worn by men, and designed with a man’s wrist in mind, they’re popular with men and women alike! I am a woman and wear a TTANTI every day. I love the elegant but relaxed look it brings to my outfits, and love the connection with Chile it brings me.

12316602_990163834395854_2823743117542057137_n
The watches are suitable for men and women.  This watch is the Magallanes White.                    Photo: TTANTI
16684080_1320711494674418_3546291236685326234_n
Watch in Darwin White, the TTANTI bestseller!                                                        Photo: TTANTI

How are the watches made?

The process to create a TTANTI involves the combined efforts of dedicated and passionate craftsmen from Patagonia, Santiago and Switzerland. After our timepieces are painstakingly assembled in Switzerland to exact specifications, we bring them to our workshop in Santiago. We then hand assemble the watches with the laser cut and hand polished wooden rings and hand cut and sewn leather straps from Patagonia.

 

How should we care for a TTANTI timepiece?

Your TTANTI is a work of art, and should be treated as such. Our wood has been rigorously tested for durability, but should be treated with care – it is in fact an antique in the making. Just like your grandmother’s oak dining table will sustain scars and memories from life, so too will your TTANTI. This is the natural aging process of wood. Specific care instructions for your TTANTI can be found on our blog.

12347897_991145317631039_3084613358563159624_n
The Chatwin White, made from Patagonian Oak, a tree which grows some 50m high.             Photo: TTANTI

What does TTANTI mean?

TTANTI means “seed” in the Kunza, a nearly extinct native language from the north of Chile. We want to plant an emotion that evokes the philosophy we deliver and in order to give tribute to the ancient cultures of our country.

17425035_1354974277914806_260760532158781696_n
Magallanes with a Darwin strap.   You can request your strap combinations. Photo: TTANTI

How have the watches been received?

Reception has been really promising. We’re growing slowly but surely, and every sale is a celebration for our team! We all truly believe in what we’re doing and love seeing our work appreciated.

15823167_1280237128721855_3901780093463053463_n
Darwin White watch.  Photo: TTANTI

What is next for TTANTI?

We want to bring the wild, wonderful nature of Chile to our customers. We want to transmit the beliefs and traditions of our beautiful country, from north to south, to our customers. Eventually we would like to expand our product line to include trees and leathers from the other regions of Chile, though that might be a little further out.

15178991_1235663616512540_3773737171051944211_n
Magallanes White, made using Lenga wood made from the trees native to Andine and Patagonian forests.  Photo: TTANTI

Do you have a special offer for my amazing readers?

Yes! We are offering Querida Recoleta readers a 10% discount off of our products with the code queridarecoleta07

10% off at TTANTI.png

More Information

Website here

Instagram here

Facebook here

The names behind the watches:

Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), also known as Hernando de Magallanes, was a Portuguese explorer who led the first European voyage to circumnavigate the globe,, while searching for the Spice Islands. He found the route through South America to the Pacific, known today as the Strait of Magellan (estrecho de magallanes).

Charles Darwin (1809-1882), who needs no introduction, traveled the globe on a scientific expedition aboard the Beagle. He explored Chile from Tierra del Fuego to Copiapo; controversially, he is believed to have used the indigenous people he met in Patagonia as an example of his theory of evolution.

Bruce Chatwin (1940-1989was a travel writer from England who wrote In Patagonia (1977), a book which revolutionized travel writing and drew the world´s gaze to the southernmost areas of Chile and Argentina.

1509697_796237757121797_2318573161019517297_n
Photo: TTANTI

If you liked this, check out some other small businesses you can support:

Pajarito de Mimbre: Children´s Books + Toys

Padre Nuestro: Traditional Shoemaking

Local Business Directory

 

 

 

 

Traditional Shoemaking in Barrio Italia

The girl is standing beside a bench strewn with leather, knives and paper.  Her brow is furrowed with concentration, lips pursed, as she deftly follows the thin lines that dance their way across the dyed hide in her hand.  The light is dim and the air is musty, tainted by an odor that harkens back to a time before shopping malls, a time when each store´s bounty was not churned out by an unknown´s hands but instead painstakingly created, borne of passion, time and skill.  The girl is making shoes, art.

34682533603_8982b9f2e5_o

Shoe making today is a heavily manufactured process where the various stages of production are divided in a factory and shared by a multitude of workers; more often than not, the shoes we buy in mega stores are the result of industrial sweatshops in countries such as China.  Originally, however, this process was undertaken by just one – known as a cordwainer – who would oversee the entire production and perform the various 68 to 390 steps themselves, along with some 15 different techniques.

35325896252_481ba88e62_o.jpg

Enter Padre Nuestro, a tiny store in Ñuñoa that is outfitted by just one man and his apprentice, a design alumni now pursuing shoemaking. She has been training for four months but the apprenticeship will take her several years.

35326056452_2c68f75096_o.jpg

A pair of shoes is the result of an arduous process. First shoes are designed, followed by the preparation of lasts and the cutting and stamping of the leather. The pieces are then dyed, sewn, fitted to the last to form for several weeks, and finally assembled.  The process doesn´t end here, as the sole has to be hammered into shape and the shoe then has to be ´finished´ which may include burnishing, rasping, smoothing, and other techniques.

35106286800_c8dc81ea31_o.jpg

At Padre Nuestro, your feet are measured and a mold is found that best matches your foot. Over the course of around one month, your shoes are handmade by this two-person team, with the end result a pair of shoes that have been made for no-one else but you.

35492998805_e5a4344d2c_o.jpg

There is currently a waiting list of around two months at Padre Nuestro.  The store sells shoes for men only.  

 

Photos reproduced with permission from Padre Nuestro

The Nitty Gritty

Address: Tegualda 1517, local 1, Factoria Tegualda, Ñuñoa. Metro Santa Isabel

Phone: +56 9 8314 0448

Website here

Facebook here

Instagram here.

 

Tip: while you are here, pop next door to Silvestre Bistro to take advantage of the Wild Food Movement that has come to Santiago! Great prices, ambiance, service and delicious food!!  Barrio Italia is a fantastic place to go shopping, plus you are supporting local small businesses and keeping traditions – just like at Padre Nustro – – alive.