Some businesses are born in a stairwell, others in a coffee conversation full of enthusiasm, and there are even those who are born simply by sharing a moto. In order to do justice to the origins of Belo Lar, a home textile and accessories store, located in São João da Madeira, at Rua 11 de Outubro, 215, the eclectic route of its creators must be mentioned: from Espinho and Alentejo to Angola , back to Espinho and finally São João. Maria Armanda Vicente da Costa was born in Espinho and Virgílio Augusto Vicente da Costa in Alentejo. They emigrated to Angola, met and married there. When they returned to their homeland, they chose Espinho and the support that the family of Maria Armanda could provide, however, in the context of their return, the question of employment remained. When prospecting possibilities, they looked closely at the commercial panorama of São Jão and decided to bet on the creation of a business in the city of industry, where they even found it easy to find housing. Elsa, the daughter of the couple and essential element for the perpetuation of the business, was at this time only eleven years old.
Belo Lar opens its doors in 1980, in front of the place where it is presently located and begins to commercialize fabrics and curtains. Elsa was grew up in contact with the store. When she was a little girl, she took the time to appreciate her mother's sewing techniques, to greet regular customers, to carry messages from one place to another. Later she began to take her duties more seriously and by the end of her 12th year there, she decided to dedicate herself to the shop full time. It was fortunate that she did, because after some time her mother had serious health complications, which resulted in her father abandoning the store temporarily, since he needed to support his wife at a more delicate time. After this difficult period, Virgílio Augusto gains the courage to return to the store, although without his eternal company. Elsa rejoiced at his return and still considers her father as an indispensable figure in the establishment. He deals with red tape, paperwork and accounting with an agility that does not betray his 82 years. Its colorful and playful personality continues to brighten number 215 of rua 11 de Outubro, making Belo Lar a real second home. In 1987, the business was extended to the place where it is today, after the fur warehouse that occupied the space had closed. After a year of operation with two spaces, the first one was closed.
The offer of the house has evolved to include wallpaper, blinds, carpets and home accessories. The establishment itself has undergone two renovations in an effort to follow aesthetic and functional trends. Regardless of these changes the house has already found its place in the city and has loyal clients from São João who buy a varied range of fabrics, from the most noble to the most affordable. But Belo Lar isn’t supported exclusively by the people of São João. From the rest of the country and even the world, Elsa receives orders, who with experience and wisdom advises the best possible purchase. French, Swiss and Luxemburgers are regular patrons who no longer pass up the opportunity to buy the light and colorful fabrics of Belo Lar.
This business has no online store, though Elsa sees it as an advantage. It’s not even an obstacle. Exchanges are made by bank transfer and Elsa easily communicates budgets and details by phone. In fact, although she sees great advantages in digital communication, she continues to place great importance in word of mouth, the testimony of quality that customers naturally mention in conversation with friends ...
The Al Deco brand and the plain pattern are much sought after today, but since fashion is capricious, there are also those who come looking for different, older items, namely the damascus pattern fabric and brocades.
One thing for sure, this is a store that meets your textile needs. Let Elsa brighten up your home and life.