“There’s something very noble and authentic about ceramics,” says Guille García-Hoz, the designer and entrepreneur who, from his beautiful store on Madrid’s buzzing Calle Pelayo, sells a characterful array of homeware imbued with a clear sense of humour. “You can just imagine something and then create it. I wouldn’t exchange it for anything else.”
Producing the majority of his pieces – which range from plates and soap dishes to statement accessories – in Spain’s ceramic stronghold Talavera de la Reina, García-Hoz’s vision has always been to pair traditional techniques with a modern point of view. “Everything we do is made in white ceramic and related to animals,” he says. “It’s funny, happy and something for your house that makes you smile.”
Guille García-Hoz’s ceramics are already a success in Spain thanks to solid relationships with domestic press and what he claims is a very “particular aesthetic”. “Our product is a little peculiar – it’s not a mass product,” he says on the personality that has seen his company amass 10,000 Instagram followers and a further 3,500 on Facebook. “On social media we mix the personal with the professional and people like seeing the person behind the product. We’ve made a really local brand and people are proud to feel a part of it.”
Yet for García-Hoz the struggle was reaching overseas markets and in particular the amount of time that fostering connections further afield can take. “We do sell overseas but we’re entrepreneurs,” he says. “We’re small we have to design, produce, sell, come up with ideas and we don’t have the time, the structure or the investors to help us speak to the right people overseas.”
By employing the Bloombees app, which Guille García-Hoz describes as “a very good way of starting to sell overseas”, the products do the talking, the tool enabling instant commerce via their already substantial social media networks. One photo can be published across all their channels and is shoppable directly through the social network their followers are using. Bloombees has also helped solve García-Hoz’s biggest headache. “Ceramics are the worst for sending: they’re big, they’re heavy and they’re fragile. We’ve had a lot of problems with deliveries,” he says, pointing to disputes over insurance, third-party freight firms and the struggle to ensure his clients get things on time. “It’s been quite exhausting as it wasn’t always easy to control the process sometimes.”
“When it comes to social media, we’re entertainers.”
That headache has been reduced with Bloombees covering insurance and shipping, enabling Garcia-Hoz to focus on what he does best. “We are halfway between artisans and designers,” he says, before adding, “and when it comes to social media, we’re entertainers.”
Now, as the brand starts to build an even bigger fan base overseas, the rest of the world is also enjoying the ceramic depository owner’s unique sense of humour, and snapping up his equally eccentric pieces quicker – and easier – than ever.
*This blog post was written by our guest writer Liam Aldous, journalist and Spain correspondent for the publication Monocle.