December 19, 2012

An Interview with Grey Street, Barcelona

I wrote this article on a recent wonderful trip to Barcelona... Aimee was so very willing and kind enough to answer my questions in detail and I have since been following her pretty shop updates on Facebook, looking for Christmas ideas. If you're in Barcelona and yet have shopping to be done, get yourself down to see her and her shop full of curios. 

Did the little birdies tell you? I'm back in Barcelona!
Don't jump to conclusions though, I'm only here for a week but is fully my intention to find some more delightful places to you tell you about. Starting with Grey Street, a little boutique-style shop down a quiet lane in the Raval. At Grey Street, you'll find a menagerie of incredibly pretty things made by the fair hands of crafty folk from Barcelona and all over.

 In fact, it's in the exact same place as the best coffee in the city (Satan's Coffee Corner) at number 25, Peu de la Creu. These bright, young buttons share the space- creating a perfect world of caffeine and delights.
So, dear readers, meet Aimee, the brain child of Grey Street. 
Aimee, meet my dear readers.
A little design shop full of gifts and treats
Aimee, where are you from please?
I was born and raised in Canberra, Australia but my family all live in Melbourne now so that's my Australian home. I first came to Barcelona in 2000 when I was 20. I just picked up a map and decided that because of the sea and mountains, it was a good (albeit random) idea. Coming from a small place like Canberra, I wanted to be near the water and a big city. I stayed for 10 months and over the years as I travelled, I just kept coming back. I've been here for six years now and I live in Poble Sec. I really feel like I know the city better now and I just love it.
Vintage Clothing at boutique shop in El Raval
Why did you open Grey Street?
Well, I was working from home and I just didn't like the combination. I wanted to make work a separate thing from my life and the two were clashing so I created this space. I think here it is better for me because home and work are now more clearly defined but also because I can bring together all the things that I think are amazing in one place. I know so many people who make the most incredible stuff as side projects and don't have the confidence or the time to make them a full-time reality. For me, the shop is like a family of all these wonderful ideas.
I called it Grey Street after my grandparents home, which was a kind of kooky old house but filled with intricate items that I adored playing with. I have quite a defined idea of what 'Grey Street' looks like to me and so when I see something, I can feel that it fits and I try to stick to that. 
Stationery and gifts at Barcelona's cutest boutique
What makes you special?
What? Me, personally? No, the shop, silly! Oh, ha, well I think we just have a great appeal to everyone. I like the idea that kids with their 50p pocket money can come in. Or, for example, an old man came in the other day to buy a shirt and he was really pleased with it. I'm trying to create a wide range to keep this appeal open so that everyone and anyone with any budget can stop by and find something that they love. That's really important to me.
Shopping in El Raval
Where's your fave place in Barcelona?
Encants flea market. Definitely. I go there all the time and just stare at things. I really love nostalgia (epic convo on nostalgia ensues- I love this girl). I can just get lost and sometimes find the coolest things, like this ash-tray. It's exactly the kind of thing my Granddad would have had at the Grey Street house. 
Oh and I also love Mistral. When I want to spoil myself, I pop down the road. I love their chocolate croissants. And glazed doughnuts. I'm not even a doughnut fan but theirs are delicious. I really feel special when I treat myself with things from there.

Well, thanks Aimee. It was really lovely talking to you and I wish you all the best. I'll be back in tomorrow for some Christmas shopping. There's a poster my friend Beth will just love. And the tea... and the necklaces... OH GOD.
Barcelona's Best Gift Shop
Fancy treating yourself, too? You know what to do. Aimee is waiting for you...


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