local markets :: fios de linha

hello there! how are you doing today? did you have a good monday? well, as expected we are reaching october and summer is still here! i would have loved it on sunday, not during the week, but that’s ok! saint peter must know what he is doing! nevertheless, i see some slight differences… very slight, but still… so, moving on to today’s topic and as you may know, today is {local markets} day! so, who do we have for today? maybe a hint will do…

yes, today we shall have the lady behind these beautiful bags! i love this one so much (oh!). her name is maria and she is the creator of {fios de linha}. let’s hear what she has to say about her business, shall we?

hello there, how are you? so, what can you tell us about yourself? my name is maria pratas and i live near cabo de s. vicente, portugal’s southern point. i remember ever since to enjoy creating and experimenting with the materials i had at my disposal. playing and modelling ground, painting or making collages with papers and textiles that came across my hands… i gave in to fabrics since the day, that, secretly in my childhood, i picked a sewing machine to turn a cloth into a personal garment. it was the beginning of a path always related with artistic expression. transforming objects and materials is what my days are made of.

how did your handmade business start? as i live in a place i see like the end of the line, where every path or road ends at a beach or  a cliff, and as i love to play with words, {fios de linha}  simply showed up and seemed to me it sounded well. the sewing lines and those that travel through paper are part of my day life and so they remained… the name {fios de linha} really connects with my work. internet was how i communicated with other people, letting them know and sharing my work, sharing {fios de linha} on the web was surely the starting point. all the rest you know about it!

do you do anything else besides that or is it possible for you to make a living out of your business? i would love to see {fios de linha} came to life itself… financially i don’t rely on sales, therefore i can keep doing what i love. actually everything i do is related and they happen to fund each other.

where do you seek for inspiration? there is no inspiration without transpiration. i love to work, get down to work. of course i have references… that come from a random person, from the details of an image (i’m addicted to images), from an object found on the street, a fabric’s pattern, or a stranded piece of wood… in the end, beauty is never out of the recipe.

what do you do to promote your business? what has been helpful? my goal is to fulfill people’s expectations, make them happy with my work. perfection is what i reach, and it’s the best way to promote what i do. a satisfied costumer it’s the best marketing that {fios de linha} can achieve. the sales platforms are my flickr account and my blog, the “shop window” that shows what i’m doing and what i want to share.

what advice would you give for those small business owners/design-makers in portugal? uhmm… to have a concept and have quality… is not enough. being enterprising, loving to create, to make something, having a good promotion on the self, it’s also scarce… persistence, work… and hard work!

i love these baskets so much! huge for our girly things, even if i am not the “girliest” of the “girlies”, we girls carry so much stuff in our bags! so this one would be just the perfect option for summer… spring… if you live in lisbon, i hope you can sneak-peek {bolo de pano}, as this is probably one of the tiniest and yet, most awesome crafts shops around, and you will find, among other things, {fios de linha} work. maria will be so thankful! she also has a {flickr} account, so that you may know what has she been up to!

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