Made in Praga
At the very onset of PragaLAB's activity, we decided to test various forms of cooperation within the Made in Praga project idea with selected partners, in particular with micro- or small enterprises, artists who work on their own, artistic groups or individuals planning to start a business or already operating a business in Praga in at least one of the following four areas:
PRODUCTION – Things do not have to be anonymous, non-durable and mass-produced. Local production on a small scale offers objects that are less banal, less repetitive and yet more durable and usually more beautiful than mass-produced ones. They do not have to be luxury products. Local production builds the identity of places, allows you to form relationships with customers and co-workers and—thanks to the Internet—it can also reach clients at the other side of the world.
REPAIR WORK – Waste not, want not. In many countries all across the world, mending is becoming increasingly trendy. It allows you to save money and to protect the environment, it creates a sense of permanence in our lives. It is nice to like the things that surround us and, if we like them, why should we want to get rid of them? Fixing things is a good habit.
ART – It speaks for itself.
ARTISANAL CAFES – For decades, cafes have played a special role in European cities – a café is a place of meetings and discussions, a space of social, intellectual, artistic and emotional life.
We decided to support the cafes which also have an added value—a small-scale production to cater for the customers’ needs, e.g. baking cakes or roasting coffee on site. Such a combination is of special value and deserves our full support!
In June 2019, we announced the launch of Made in Praga competition aiming to encourage and support a better connection between local economy and artistic activity with Praga’s tangible and intangible heritage, including empowering and supporting individuals or business entities from the above groups through:
- organizing trainings, workshops, meetings with mentors and enabling them to participate;
- providing individual support as part of consulting in the process of developing a plan for future operation, brand building, financial management;
- enabling local and international contacts – acquiring new partners, associates, clients and mentors.
- promotional support at the local level and beyond, including the European level.
- providing help in obtaining funds through crowdfunding
- direct financial support in the process of implementing planned activities.
As a result of the competition, we invited the following to cooperate within the Made in Praga project:
Natural Born Design is a brand recognized by PragaLAB for combining art with responsible manufacturing activities. It focuses on the design and production of small interior design items, such as lamps, clocks and candlesticks. The brand’s aim is to produce simple, natural and functional objects in small series, in an ecological way so as to avoid overproduction and waste of materials as well as buying perishable and poor quality items. All products are made by hand or in cooperation with local artisans from Praga
People associated with the Look Inside vintage store are not merely enthusiasts of beautiful second-hand items, but also of the history of Praga. They are also co-organizers of the Cuda Wianki event and creators of the Museum of Polish Clocks. By selling used items they offer them a second life. They repair some of the things prior to sale, including clocks, electronics, and furniture. It is precisely in the area of repair and offering objects a second life that we will support the Look Inside activities.
Pedet.shop.pl consists of 3 brands: Two Fish Workshop (home textiles), Fidu (clothing and accessories) and Praga Warszawa (Warsaw souvenirs). The third brand will be developed within PragaLAB. The first Praga Warszawa projects stemmed from their author’s local patriotism and, albeit not commercial in nature, they attracted a group of loyal customers. To quote the designer herself: “I wish my products would be able to make the inhabitants of left-bank Warsaw more open to Praga, less afraid of it, more willing to explore it and appreciate its assets.” The PragaLAB team wholeheartedly supports these postulates.
In 2020, despite the coronavirus pandemic and a number of restrictions on people moving around and on running a business, we carried out a number of activities with the winners of the Made in Praga competition. We acted as a partner of the autumn edition of Cuda Wianki festival (organized, among others, by Look Inside) which took place on 26-27 September 2020 in Nowa Praga. It was the fourth edition of the event aimed to popularise Nowa Praga among both Warsaw residents and tourists visiting the capital, and to promote vintage culture and the ideas of zero waste and less waste. The goal of the festival was to encourage people to walk around Nowa Praga along the trail of “quaint places”—local antique stores, vintage shops, arts and crafts studios, art galleries, club cafes and restaurants. The event was organized according to strict regulations imposed by the sanitary regime.
We also supported Natural Born Design with a number of mentoring sessions and meetings; we participated in the production of a unique catalogue titled Natural Born Design. Simple, Raw, Functional and Minimalist Lighting and Decorations designed and produced in its entirety in Warsaw’s Praga district.
To read more about workshops go to: https://ohpraga.pl/en/warsztaty-wy-tworcze/