This factor of security is a huge difference between Europe and South America.
It’s bad in fact. I don’t like to reinforce this idea, but the insecurity for me is the worst there. Other things are good. People are super kind, warm, and easy and there are a lot of amazing places.
What do you especially like about living here in Faro?
I live in this amazing place here at Faro Beach. I love Faro Beach a lot and I think the city has everything it needs. When I leave Faro Beach and go to the city, I feel like I go into another space. The city is small so you have everything near and close. I like this too, like walking in the street and seeing a nice place to have a coffee. You have a lot of nice places to go. Maybe I just need to find more vegan and vegetarian places. That’s why I am thinking that the city needs also something different starting.
Today you’re the owner of your own brand. What drove you to start your own business?
I think I had the idea to found “aconchego“ a lot of years inside of me. I have a notebook with a lot of ideas written down on how to treat our environment better and also how to take care of yourself. I always liked to buy creams and also I don’t use make up a lot, I always liked these things. And then I realized how much plastic and ingredients there are in beauty products that are not needed at all.
I realized that it is so simple to take care of yourself with vegan products and how much better it is for the environment. I started in April 2020, during the pandemic, to create the brand how I wanted it to be. How it should look and which vibe I wanted it to transmit. I know a lot of brands with natural products, but they don’t communicate it so professionally sometimes. Maybe you have powerful plans but maybe you don’t use the right way to communicate to get closer to people. My goal was to finish the brand during the lockdown because the restaurant that I worked at before would open again in September. So I had five months to build up the brand.
How did you gain all of the knowledge you need to produce real products?
I took a course with a guardian of ancestral knowledge, Fabi Wan. A woman who founded an online school of carpentry, crochet, sewing and within their curricular program the course I took called “Corpo Casa Manual” (Body Home Manual — a course about how to bring sustainability into your own home while taking into consideration that the environment belongs to all beings). I devoured all modules which would normally take a few months in a week, in April 2020. I am conscious of the negative impact of the pandemic itself, but as life is more about how we react in relation to it than what actually happens, for me, the time or energy that most of us had was a real gift. I found the perfect opportunity to delve into an area that has always enchanted me as a consumer, and do something different but bringing to light a kinder perspective with everything.
How do you come up with the idea and what are the next steps you take? Do you have any specific place or situation in which you can be the most creative?
Absolutely. In nature. And here where Aconchego is currently located, in Praia de Faro, between the estuary and the sea, also known as the Natural Park of Ria Formosa. I feel really grateful. Being able to work where I live is something that I want to keep. In addition to loving what I do, I see everything as one thing; my mental, physical and spiritual health has to be good to continue making good things for myself and the world while learning new skills and improving my initiatives.
Along with this, and the growth of Aconchego and Alfaiate do Olfato, I feel that I need a studio house (or as I affectionately call it on instagram: “casatelier”) that is broader, not only for my work, but to propose an environment for other projects to gain space as well. And that of course within the pillars of regenerative and vegan culture.
When you look at your products, you can see this connection to nature that you have. How can people be more aware of our environment and the ecological crisis we have?
To be honest, I would like to share for example these videos of cows and pigs which have to suffer under the most horrible conditions. I think the most important step to change is to see what is happening in the world. However, I decided to not go this path, because the people don’t want to see what was happening. Maybe it’s like these types of relationships when you know that the person doesn’t make you feel good, but you don’t want to accept it. You don’t want to see it. If I could choose my way, it would be to show the reality but I chose a more commercial way: Attract by the beauty. Because people follow beauty trends. From this point of view, I decided to communicate lightness and simplicity. I want to say to you that you don’t need a lot of things to be happy. You don’t need a lot of things but some that are simple, good, and qualitative.
I started to communicate in this direction.