After my dad passed away, back in 2013, and after a long period of mourning, feeling lost and also frustrated creatively working as a freelance graphic designer in Lisbon, I felt the need for a change of scenery; an urge to create a new drive to move forward.
I’ve always had a special appreciation for shoes, so after visiting some factories in the north of Portugal, and seeing the magic happening in the hands of those artisans, I decided to move to Barcelona — a place that appealed so much to me, possessing not only a deep sensibility for design but also a strong shoemaking tradition — in order to study footwear design while looking for a job as a graphic designer (my former major, following a brief passage in architecture). It took more than 2 years, from starting to look for a factory partner until I could actually launch the project, and so many struggles and challenges along the way. But it’s infinitely gratifying to see it slowly growing, evolving, and to receive your feedback which makes me think that I’m on the right path — I can’t thank you enough, each and every one of you, who support this small business.
From the very beginning, my intention was to create timeless sustainable pieces that celebrate craftsmanship, prioritizing quality over quantity/variety of styles, and ultimately constitute, in time, a permanent collection of comfortable and beautiful essentials.
Having as a guiding principle to support my local community of makers, producers, and suppliers, I’m always striving to do things the best way I can, respecting people and our planet. It’s an ongoing process, where there’s always space for improvement, but I’m committed to a socially responsible and eco-conscious business approach.
Until some months ago auprès was still a side project that I incorporated with my full-time job but the current situation we’re living through brought so many changes, and after 5 years of living abroad, I’m back in Portugal, happy to finally have the time to nourish my roots, and taking this moment to refine the pathway I want to follow with auprès. I can’t wait to share with you what’s about to come, but for now, I can say that my main focus is to strengthen the two core values that founded the brand: sustainability and supporting handcrafts. So stay tuned for the updates!
Maybe I’m opening myself up too much by writing all this, but I really want auprès to be an honest, creative, and joyful space, led by transparency, and it’s important to me that you know that this is not a big company, with many employees and huge budgets — still to this day it is a one-woman business, funded by personal savings and a family loan, and supported by the help of some dear friends and collaborators — and that by purchasing, sharing, partnering with us you’re directly supporting this little ecosystem and the industry and suppliers with whom we work. I put all of my heart into this project, and I hope you can feel that.
P.S. For any questions, comments, or feedback, feel welcome to write me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for taking the time to read this.