Local and small businesses are at the heart of our communities, often offering unique alternatives to the High Street. By working together we support each other. And in the spirit of sharing the love we want to shine a light of these local gems. This week we caught up with María Marfull from Cadaqués Divers in Spain to find out what inspires them and what they offer to their local community.
Tell us a little bit about your store:
Cadaqués Divers is a small Mediterranean and nautical concept store run by my husband and I where you can find men's and women's clothing, accessories, swimwear, decoration, art oh...and a diving school!
What was the inspiration behind Cadaqués Divers- have you always had a yearning to run your own bricks and mortar store?
I’ve always loved decor but the thing is that I’m a biologist so I’m not really supposed to be doing this. But life takes you down unexpected paths if you are not afraid. I met my husband 7 years ago and he had the dream of run a diving centre in Cadaqués, one of the most beautiful places in the Mediterranean, so we decided to go for it and integrate our two passions into one concept.
Where did your love for interiors come from?
It is something that has been in the background all my life, until I start to work with a friend at White Rabbit Events. I’ve always been very handy and I have lots of knowledge of plants, so it was only natural that I started to manage the floral decor at their events and then before I knew it quickly all of the decor requirements. So in the last 7 years decoration and I have gone hand in hand. The next natural step was create my own store.
Which new brands that you are working with are you really excited about this season and why?
Mantaikotai, is a handmade clothing brand with a really small production run by the amazing Lina. Also Eco Alf, an Spanish brand whose styles are, a part of stylish, 100% made with recycled or reused materials.
How important is it to you to be working with ethical and sustainable brands?
We are proud to say that handmade, ethical, sustainable and recycled are our stores pillars, it is at the heart of our philosophy. As biologist it couldn’t had been otherwise.
Why is it important to you as a retailer to be working with small / independent brands?
In my opinion this should be the future of fashion and the interiors world. It's the only way to make it sustainable and fair. And, in Cadaqués, the kind of clients that we have, are looking for the exclusivity that these brands offer.
What makes your store unique?
Well, the concept in itself is unique, I don't know of many dive centres integrated with interiors and clothing! But it's also the love and care that we dedicate to finding new and special brands and for sure the privileged environment (Cadaqués and Natural Parc of Cap de Creus) where the store is located.
What interior trends are you excited about for 2019?
Dried sober flowers, especially huge dandelions.
What does an average day at Cadaqués Divers look like?
At 8:00 first dives begin and at 10:00 we open the doors for the rest of our customers. Fibi, our dog takes her place as the best public relationship expert ever and as we are in front of the sea quickly a salty smell impregnates all around. Conversations in different languages take place at the same time (most of our clients are French but Spanish, Catalonian, English and Italian happens every day). We don’t close until 22:00 and by then we have helped many people to find their new dress, the perfect gift, the most beautiful towel or the greatest bikini.
What makes Cadaqués special to you?
Cadaqués has its own unique personality. It’s a Mediterranean white fisherman’s village, the place where Dalí lived and painted their famous paintings, also Picasso and Pitxot. Is a creative place full of artists, full of life, it is so wild and beautiful that it's spirit captures you. The blue of the sea is different every day, the wind in winter destroys everything sculpting the rocks and the bushes in to magic rare forms. It’s hard, but at the same time, we couldn’t be anywhere else.
Can you give us your top three tips for people coming to visit Cadaques?
The best months to visit our June and September.
You must go to Cap the Creus (the easternmost point of the Iberian Peninsula); Dalí’s house museum; Santa Maria’s Church; and take a boat tour to see the beauty of Cadaques from the sea.
To eat: typical plates to try are “Suquet de Peix” and “taps de Cadaqués” (a main course of fish in a soup and a dessert respectively). The best restaurants: Es Baluard, Can Tito, El Talla, Compartir, Es Balconet and El Xiringuito de Mei. For breakfast Bar Melitón and for the most incredible cocktails ever Bar Boia
What do you do to relax after a a hard days work?
Our relaxing pleasure in going for a walk, jumping on our boat and swimming alone in the middle of a creek.