Hello lovelies! I’m back from a quick little vacation and happy to share an interview with entrepreneurs Lisa and Niki, who run a cool business in Barcelona, Spain. When I travel I try to seek out unique souvenirs. Often it’s difficult if you don’t know where to look, and don’t know if the quality is worth the price that’s being charged. When this happens, I often leave a destination empty-handed (like on this recent vacation).
I was fortunate to visit Barcelona back in the summer of 2003, and wish that Lisa and Niki’s personalized tour company, Antiques and Boutiques, was around back then. They specialize in custom tours to help you get the most of your Barcelona experience, including trips around the city to find the best fashion boutiques, vintage and antique stores, home decor shops, and food markets. The tours sound like so much fun, that I figured it must be fun for Lisa and Niki, too. So, I asked them to share a bit about their business and what makes Barcelona such a great destination:
How did the two of you meet and how did you both end up in Barcelona?
We met here through a mutual friend about three years ago. Having moved here for work (we are both designers) we quickly discovered that we loved this seaside city.
What gave you the idea to start the business?
We have a mutual love of all things vintage, and antique as well as food and fashion, and often spent days exploring our then undiscovered city uncovering its many hidden wonders. Particularly we loved the old places that we found such as a glove makers shop, or a small chandelier repair shop, covered from top to bottom in chandeliers and crystals.
Friends and visitors would always be asking us for the best places to visit, and eventually we started being asked to do tours for fashion research trips and the idea grew from there. We wanted the tours to always be personal, hence the idea that they are custom made.
What are the most fun and most challenging aspects of the job?
The most fun part is definitely the research, putting together and doing the tour as we always get to be in our favorite places! There are so many incredible little places hidden around the city that we know people will love and its great to be able to share them. Less interesting is all the paper work. We are both creative and find that we have to balance this with the not so fun stuff!
What are some of the top “non-souvenir” purchases that people have made recently?
Clients really love discovering the independent Spanish labels, and of course food is always popular: jamon, chorizo, turron, Spanish wines!!
Do you have a favorite local interior designer or store and a favorite fashion designer or store that never fail to get people excited?
Yes, several! We particularly love anything art nouveau/ art deco. A favorite shop of ours is one that specializes in art deco furniture, from lamps to incredibly formed wood cabinets and cool armchairs.
Our current favorite designer is Lydia Delgado, clients always love her shop.
What are the top three reasons to visit Barcelona?
- City by the Sea with a laid back atmosphere, with lots of fun things going on.
- The mixture of architecture from Gothic to Art Nouveau, making it a beautiful city to wander around.
- All its wonderful and curious shops, boutiques, tapas and cava bars!
What will you find if you take a tour with Lisa and Niki?
Learning about Antiques & Boutiques has made me want to take another trip to Barcelona! Check out their site to read more about their tours and personal shopping experiences.