Helping local artisans sell their handmade products to clients from all over the world is the goal of new website ‘Little Piece of Portugal’.
Launched at the end of last year, the website features 15 artisans from across the country who sell everything from handmade leather goods, soaps, shampoos, candles, tote bags, mosaics, knitwear and toys to olive oils, liqueurs and jams.
Paulo Ferreira, one of the website’s creators, explained that the goal is to help artisans who now have nowhere to sell their crafts due to the pandemic.
“I run another business in the Algarve called Happy Vans which provides tours in a vintage Volkswagen van. Our experiences are very much linked to local artisans, so I started approaching them about the idea of launching a website where they could sell their products,” Ferreira told the Resident.
The idea was well-received by several artisans, some of whom however have little to no experience with the internet.
“Many of them do not even have Facebook or social media pages and would mostly sell their products at local events or fairs, which have been suspended due to Covid,” he explained.
In order to encourage them to join the website, their first 12-month subscription is free of charge.
The ‘Little Piece of Portugal’ team has also helped some of the most technologically-challenged artisans by dealing with all of the work related to uploading content to the website.
Now, Ferreira is hoping to get the word out about the website.
“All of the products are handmade. Even if the artisans aren’t Portuguese, we want the products to be made mostly with national materials,” the entrepreneur said.
Soon to be added to the website are products like a Serra da Estrela gin, artisanal biscuits and even traditional shoes.
The website is available in English and Portuguese and is targeted mostly at foreigners living abroad or who might not know where to buy these kinds of products.
“We also want to reach emigrants living abroad who might miss traditional Portuguese products and who might not have access to them, or even Portuguese supermarkets in other countries,” said Ferreira.
Anyone anywhere can place an order on the website, with delivery fees varying depending on the location.
Hopes are that the website will be successful in its goal of helping artisans through these tough times.
“Our artisans need support and affection. If we do not support them, we run the risk of losing their knowledge and their talent,” he said.
By MICHAEL BRUXO