WHAT WE LOVE: This beautifully formed petite homewares shop is filled with all manner of well-crafted, handmade, functional and timeless goods that we use in our daily lives.
WHO: Friends María Rosa Amor González and Javier Carrasco González.
WHERE: In the Salesas neighborhood of Madrid, Spain.
Is there a story behind the name Casa González & González? We decided to name it in the same way as the old traditional Spanish stores (in the past the surname of the owner was added to the word “Casa”). We both share the same maternal surname: González.
Who designed the shop? Javier has been an established interior designer since 1999 and he created the retail space trying to recall an old traditional store but with a contemporary twist.
Do you have prior retail experience? Javier does and his enthusiasm encouraged me to be part of this project.
What is Casa González & González best known for? Traditional enamelware, soaps and brushes.
Where are the products sourced or made? We have different sources to find them. Some of the products were known by us when living in other countries like Portugal, Italy or United Kingdom. Whenever we can we travel and visit the factory, workshop or artisan who make the most genuine articles we can find. The rest of the time is internet searching or suggestions from friends and customers.
What makes Casa González & González so unique? We try to select traditional products very carefully and the majority of them come with a story behind. We tend to choose likely, restrained colors that also represent our way of living. The simplicity, timeless and functional characteristics of the articles are a must for us. We do not bring to our store pricey, sophisticated or just aesthetic items by their beauty itself, they must accomplish a function.
Who are your customers? We have a great variety of customers who visit the shop: People who live in the neighborhood and are concerned about the objects they use every day, nostalgic ones about the past or sometimes people looking for effective and durable articles with great materials and design. In general, people who like to have a sustainable and slower way of life.
How has the internet impacted your business? Social media (especially Instagram) is a great communication tool and we give them a lot of attention as they have provided us with direct contact with customers and provided great impact.
Maria Rosa & Javier González, shopkeepers at Casa González & González
Who inspires you? A great variety of characters such as William Morris, Louise Mary Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, artisans and historical factories or people who generously share their enormous creativity through social media.
What inspires you? The daily and simple moments of life, travels, readings, nature, textures and materials…
Before we were shopkeepers, we…. Javier still is an interior designer. Maria Rosa worked in museums and art galleries.
The hardest lesson learned in starting a business? Everything depends on you and you have to stay updated. There is no place for laziness.
The best lesson you have learned opening a shop? That the most important figures were not included in our plan: the huge number of suppliers and artisans that have supported us, the number of customers that have become friends, the number of people with more sustainable and healthy consuming habits, the number of wonderful neighbors that make you feel part of a common project, the number of lovely supporting messages.
Your advice for anyone wanting to open a shop? Be persistent and if you believe in your project do not give up and the results will show up soon.
Which famous person would you like to visit your shop? The ‘Instagrammer’ Local Milk and the writer Paul Auster.
If you weren’t shopkeepers you would be..? Our formers careers: Maria Rosa an art historian or writer and Javier an interior designer.
What is your perfect day off? The perfect setting would be to get up late, a beautiful and slow breakfast at home having in mind you have the rest of the day ahead for doing any interesting think you desire to do.
I wish I could… Contribute to make the daily moments of our customers be more meaningful.
On the Future of Retail
“We think that most of the impersonal business will be done online and only shops with personality and unique and genuine products will stay physically, together with recurring businesses like hairdressers or restaurants.”
Pelayo 68, Madrid
Photography by Javier López-Dóriga