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Shop Small Saturday: Pura Cal

We visit Lisbon's bustling Lx Factory to spend a sunny afternoon chatting to João, co-founder of indie concept store Pura Cal.

Welcome to Shop Small Saturday, a weekly feature where we celebrate our community of independent boutiques, from Bath to Berlin.

Located within the city’s bustling industrial shopping complex (you’ll find them in Libson’s Lx Factory), Pura Cal is an eclectic hub of European design. Each piece is carefully selected by owners and interior designers João Vilela and Tiago Rodrigues. Their ethos is to focus on tradition, and considered manufacturing processes, so expect everything from traditional Portuguese pottery, to tableware from cult designers such as Bordallo Pinhiero and Costa Nova. Pura Cal is awash with colour, culture and community spirit.

Take a virtual trip with us to the Lisbon coastline as we chat to co-founder João who was accompanied by his sleepy whippet Aurora, all about Pura Cal’s passion for supporting independent artists from across the country.

“In the store, we work with lots of different brands and artists that we really care about. We have a pretty eclectic mix of products, and we also have a wall dedicated to showcasing various up and coming Portuguese artists, with new exhibitions every 2-3 months.

The atmosphere of the store changes hugely depending on the collections we have in and artists we’re showcasing, which we love. We work with so many Portuguese Artists, from painters, ceramicists, sculptors, and illustrators. One of the first artists that we ever worked with was Iva Viana - she's a sculptor that works with plaster and today she is a huge success in Portugal, and one of our newest partners is Carlos Gonçalves, a ceramist from Lisbon.

We’ve just opened a new exhibition from Carlos called "monstruário". We can’t say more, you’ll have to check it out for yourselves.”

“For each new exhibition, we host an opening event which is a great excuse to get our clients and friends into the store to celebrate our artists. It’s a pretty relaxed place, and we love listening to light disco and traditional Portuguese Fado. We also have our shop mascot, Aurora, our lovely whippet who is often found sleeping in the front door.

We are a bit low profile with merchandising, our products and brands are all mixed together rather than having their dedicated space, to really show off our design vision and create the perfect Pura Cal atmosphere.

We’re part of a really great community here in Lisbon, so once we shut up shop for the day - normally around 7 -  we often head out for dinner with friends. That’s unless we’ve snuck away for a weekend break outside of Lisbon somewhere.”

Shop Pura Cal now on Trouva or follow them on Instagram. Trusted Site