Cropping up all over the city in various nooks and crannies are little projects, started by individuals, couples or groups that have invested their passion and love into an idea. They have slaved to sow the seed and to bring their dreams to life. These are the businesses that we should be paying attention to, the ones that we should nurture and appreciate for the organic, individual statement they make upon the city and the small communities that grow out of them. Their ability to inspire is endless. It's as if they say 'we did it and so can you'.
Lu Ink is a fine example of this, sitting neat and pretty on Carrer de Madrazo to the North of city. A shop brimming with gloriously gorgeous interior designs and trinkets, Lu Ink is run by couple Blanca and George.
Inviting me to stop by in a friendly email, I popped in one bright afternoon last week to say hello and to ask them a few questions about Lu Ink...
So where are you both from?
Blanca: I was born and raised in Barcelona.
George: Well, I was born in Melbourne but I came to Barcelona when I was eight. At the age of twenty, I moved to New York for five years and then to Italy for two before I met Blanca and then I decided that I wanted to be here, with her.
And so what made you decide to open Lu Ink?
We decided to open the store to make and exhibit the things we love and the kind of styles we like to surround ourselves with. As a digital artist and a designer, our tastes complement one another and we wanted to bring it all under one roof. We wanted to take our jobs and the things we love and combine them into a constantly evolving workshop/exhibition. We sell to the public and these days even to other stores.
What makes you special?
We make limited editions of things, numbered and signed. We use natural materials and absolutely everything is handmade. We love our work and that is quite obviously infused into each and every piece. Our range is broad and we like to play with french charm, modern design, rock and roll and antiques.
Aside from our own creations, we also sell the things of other creatives that we love that have a distinctive style. We have jewellery, books and much more, bringing the designers of Barcelona together in a sort of showcase.
Where is your favourite place in Barcelona?
Apart from this here workshop and store?! Well ok if we had to chose somewhere different, we love restaurants like Nomo, Casa Fernandez and Big Fish.
Wandering around Lu Ink, it's clear to see the hard work and dedication this couple have invested into the store. Nattering aside, I spent a good half an hour browsing and would have spent longer if I had had the time. Not only are Blanca and George friendly and welcoming but they are also gracious and genuinely interesting to talk to. If the day ever comes that I should need to decorate my home, I will certainly be back to pick up as much as I can afford and to continue my conversation with them. I love the idea that when someone should visit my home and ask me where I bought a piece from, I can say 'Well, I know this great couple in Barcelona...' and share the passion and story that they have so lovingly created.