Oslo Barcelona is a magnificent little store located in the neighborhood of Gràcia, where customers can find unique handmade products by local artists/craftswomen.
What year was Olso Barcelona founded?
Oslo was born in 2008 by Ana Vivero and Montse Pauls. It was a small workshop/store where they produced and sold their things. In 2010, they gathered with Aloma Lafontana and Letícia Rodríguez and moved to Oslo’s current location. A year and a half later, Montse and Letícia left to pursue other goals, and Maria Ninot arrived. A year later joined the project. The most recent change was the departure of Aloma and the arrival of SonikaMonika.
How did the idea for Oslo appear?
The idea appeared due to the difficulties we were having selling our products, because what normally happens is that when you take your product to a store and they accept to sell it, they will keep 50% of what it sells for. This made start producing simpler, cheaper pieces, which diminished our search in craft/art/passion. There were also months in which the sales were low, but that didn’t make the expenses go away. So we decided to try something different. We decided that each of the artists/craftsmen that wanted to sell or exhibit their product would pay a fixed quota each month so that we could stop suffering and instead dedicate ourselves to creation. And it worked!
How many artists produce pieces for Olso Barcelona? Do they work directly at the store/workshop?
Right now we are an association with 33 artists, a number that has been consistent because there isn’t a lot of space. The four artists that are the head of the association work here. The others work from home, otherwise we wouldn’t fit!
On your official website you say that Olso Barcelona is open to receiving new members. What does an artist/craftsman have to do to be able to join Olso Barcelona?
Our system work if all our “spots” are full, otherwise the numbers don’t add up in the end of the month. But sometimes one of our associates leaves, which means we have to find someone new. There are three basic conditions so that you can join Oslo Barcelona: your product has to be handmade (or self-edited in case it is an illustration), you have to live in Barcelona or close to Barcelona (because each artist manages its personal space once a month), and that you stay for a minimum of three months.
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Oslo Barcelona is “slow shop”. Can you tell us a little bit about that concept?
We are part of an association of 20 stores from the neighborhood that call themselves Slow Shops. We have created a small map with the location of all 20 stores. What unites us is the fact that we are small businesses, businesses that support ethical values, businesses that bet on controlled local production to promote a conscious shopping experience, unlike the big brands.
Can you tell us a little bit about your new project, Olso Graphic Barceloneta?
Olso Graphic Barceloneta was created by one the artists that sold her products at Olso. She loved the idea of coworking and decided to join with a couple other graphic designers to create a workshop/gallery for graphic arts. They have a beautiful space, it’s huge! They do artists exhibits, teach serigraphy, engraving and illustration workshops, and they work directly from there. I highly recommend that you pay them a visit.
Olso Barcelona is located at Carrer Torrent de l’Olla 164 and Oslo Graphic Barceloneta is located at Carrer de la Mediterrània 4.