What about a pop-up?

More than a decade ago, in countries like the USA, with New York in the lead, or the United Kingdom, with London as one of the mirror-cities to look to, people started talking about the pop-up shops. It was a fashion concept that started being successful among prestigious chefs, big designers or new entrepreneurs who wanted to put themselves and their creations out there. It was a time when this type of shops or spaces weren’t neither that extended nor known like they can be today. In fact, last week at least three of these pop-ups were held in Bilbao. From my tour around them I take some E.P. that I want to present you. I want to take this opportunity to introduce them to you, although I hope to talk about them more closely in future posts. Will you accompany me?

A boat, a gallery, a hotel, a bus, an abandoned warehouse, some empty offices or an unoccupied shop are some of the chosen spaces by big brands or new E.P. to present themselves to society or to sell their products. These can vary from a handbag, a pair of shoes or a high-end perfume to a football, some toys made with all kind of luxury or designer glasses. But that’s not the most important thing that stands out in a pop-up. What really is worth in this type of space is the proximity the “seller” shows with the client, the relationship that it’s created between both, the care of the environment in which every detail counts, the warm atmosphere that is created or the exclusivity and personalization of many pieces exhibited. And everything thanks to the care and the effort the people behind the creation of these spaces work with (sometimes day and night).

Do you know what is best? That last 18th of November I had the privilege of sharing part of my free time with a group of E.P. who celebrated the Bilbao Design Pop Up! two days before.

When I arrived at the Sala Yimbi on the ramp of Uribitarte 1 and before entering I already felt good vibrations. I won’t deny you that I was mainly going to say hello to Susana Santos, from Con S de Su, of whom I have already spoken to you on some occasion, and to meet Astrid, from LoopAstrid, and it wasn’t the first time I was hearing about her personalized creations for babies. There were Susana and Astrid, side by side, but that wasn’t the end of it. After spending some time exchanging views with both, Susana introduced me one by one to all the E.P. with whom she shared those last three days. What a hostess I had.

How much art in so few square meters! And not only I say it for the art reflected in the productions: handbags, dresses, t-shirts, caps, glasses, unique jewels, natural cosmetics products, wooden toys or very special plates and engravings.

There was Verónica García, partner of EmakumeEkin, an association that has been gaining more and more followers and in which the enterprising woman of the Basque Country has found a reference center for her professional and personal development. Verónica is responsible for R+D of TERAI cosmétics, her degree in chemistry and her doctorate in technology as well as a long research career back her up. Her seriousness and naturalness at the time of telling you about her product give you the confidence you need.

What could I say about Iñaki Uribesalgo? Founder of NARDAYA, Iñaki manufactures, at the moment, wooden glasses which, personally, I love. When you see them, the detail with which they are made, the manufacturing process that follows, the design, the personalization, the time invested in each piece, the taste, the creativity and the history behind them won’t let you stop thinking about getting a pair (you are warned). I hope that when we meet again, I won’t make any excuses.

There was also Idoia, from Ciaobellaido. I already knew that I had seen your jewelry somewhere (bracelets, chokers, jewel-belts, etc.). I soon remembered where, but what I liked most was being able to meet you in person. Perseverance, determination, work and detail is what is reflected in your works.

In one of the corners were several women artists: Eva and her companion Aida, from Lágrimas de Cocodrilo, who make clothes for children and also for adults (and to go combined) and prints using also the 3D technique; Elena and Rosalia, from Palopalu, who design and manufacture themselves limited series of creative toys (you’ll love them!), which contain taste, creativity, simplicity, naturalness and, of course, a lot of hard work – works of art in wood; and Mariangela, designer of Mariangela Artese, a sociologist who decided to dedicate herself to what she really loves: art and fashion, and thus achieve to unite art with innovation, recycling, engraving technique, elegance and exclusivity.

I’ll end this with two other women, the representatives of the fashion sector together with Susana and Astrid. I’m talking about Mama Kitenge and Nora, from UHAINA. Mama Kitenge is a young fashion brand with African inspiration that stands out for its bold, exotic, colorful and a wild touch. If you have that adventurous touch, I encourage you to enter their website. For her part, Nora is another passionate, in this case of surf and stand up paddle, the sea and the waves, which are the ones that she represents in her hand-painted works (t-shirts, caps, dresses, purses, etc.).

And that’s everything I can tell you, because if I don’t stop now the post will never end. I owe a visit to all these E.P., I promised; but, please, give me a little time.

Enjoy these firts days of December.

Translated by María Ubierna Quintanilla and supervised by Arantza Arruti.

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