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Calling all crafters

By POLLY COCKER [email protected]

Ada Daly is a woman on a mission. The English crafts professional moved to the Algarve last month hoping to use her passion for the arts to start a craft centre in the region.

Leaving her life in England behind with hopes of spreading her creative talent in the Algarve, Ada now lives in Lagos.

“I have moved around all my life,” she said. “Having visited Portugal several times before, I decided to take a chance and move here, bringing only 10 boxes of clothes and 40 boxes of crafts materials with me!”

Having been brought up in Africa for 30 years, travelling to Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya, Ada started her profession in crafts upon her return to the UK around 20 years ago.

 “I was inspired by the vibrant colours and textures of Africa. While living there I would make clothes, dolls and toys and sell them at fairs to raise money for the Women’s Institute,” she said.

After moving to England, Ada visited trade shows in the US before starting a craft wholesale business from her garage, which she ran for 15 years.

“My visit to the US was mind blowing. There were so many beautiful products, it really got me going to set up my own wholesalers in the UK, which grew and grew and soon I was retailing for 20 craft magazines,” said Ada.

Prior to her move to the Algarve, Ada had worked her way up to the position of creative coordinator for the United Kingdom for Kars and Co, one of the largest distributors of arts and crafts products in Europe.

“Arts and crafts is a massive industry in the UK and I get the impression that there are a lot of creative people in the Algarve – they just have nowhere to exhibit their work,” she said.

 “Portugal is a land of opportunities. Along with the sun shining, the people are always smiling which is something you don’t see in the UK.”

Ada is working on setting up an arts and crafts centre in the Algarve next year, where local artists and crafters can display their work.

“I love the local pottery, mosaics and lace work and I think the tourists would love to buy it for their homes. I also want to run classes for card making and scrap booking, which is the next big thing in the UK. It’s a beautiful way to record your life story. I have scrap books with photographs from the 1800s,” she said.

“My ancestors were jewellers in Cornwall and I also love making my own jewellery with beads and ribbons.”

For Ada Daly, her passion and future lies with arts and crafts: “Working with crafts is like heaven. The people I have met in the crafts industry are the nicest you can ever know!”

If you are interested in crafts or would like to contact Ada, please call 910 216 698 or email [email protected]