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Why the name A Vida Portuguesa?

Because the shop brings together the best genuine and touching products created by the Portuguese. Products that reflect the history, culture and habits of everyday life of a nation. And remain essential and perfect.

Where did the idea for the shop come from?

Catarina Portas, the founder and a former journalist, was happily researching the market of Portuguese brands for just another story when she realised that some of these brands faced extinction. And because she couldn't conceive a life without them, she started gathering them, first in gift boxes and later under the roof of a shop. First came Lisbon, later Porto and online... she decided she did not want to live without them and collected them, the first theme in boxes, then a shop in the Chiado. And never dreamt it would still be followed in a Porto and other online...

Is this a project about the past?

Not at all. It's not about the past and it's not about loss (saudade), it's about identity. These products are unique in the world and reveal, in a surprising and breathtaking way, many of our traits as a people. Who we were, are and (most likely) will become.

Do you really believe there is a future for old brands?

Definitely. Because their quality remains unquestionable and they remain a source of joy for several different generations. Because, while maintaining their beautiful vintage labels, they continue to exercise a handmade skill that is unique a timeless.

And what do you sell, besides soap bars?

Almost everything, really. thousands of products organised into different sections: toiletries, stationery, books, jewellery, food, handicrafts, toys and gifts. Please do come in and have a look, there's plenty to choose from.

So, your customers aren't only grannies...

While being so local, A Vida Portuguesa became global. And it is so broadly democratic as the products it sells: our customers are Portuguese and foreigners, young and old, rich and poor, modern and conservative. And we are very proud of it.

Why is the swallow all over the place?

We are not fazed by the Barcelos cockerel, a symbol encouraged by the system, from above. The swallows, on the other hand were picked by the people, that started using them on walls and façades, to decorate houses inside and out. And we fell for them as well.

What is the bestseller?

The Regina chocolate umbrella. Because everybody loves chocolate, specially when it's flavoured with delicious childhood memories. it is closely followed by Confiança soaps, Ach. Brito lavender, Couto toothpaste, Alantoíne hand cream, Viarco pencils, the spinning top and the rapa dice, Arcádia chocolates and, of course, the swallows.

And why did you start creating your own products?

In all honesty, because it's the most fun we have. because we have excellent partners, brands with a long tradition that are willing to do them with us. Because we don't believe in holding back the clock and want to contribute by recovering or recreating products that are also symbols of the nation. If you wish, because we see the present as an intelligent mix of the past and the future.