Some of the best decisions in life are born out of frustration. That moment when for the umpteenth time you can’t find what you’re looking for but know it’s out there somewhere. We’ve all been there, no? But 99% of us just shrug our shoulders and walk away. Not Araceli Piqué. Seven years ago she had a moment of clarity when she realised that the only way to find that dress to go with that jacket and that particular scarf was to open a store herself. And so she did. Partnering up with a friend she opened D’ici et la in Principe Real. And when, a few years later, the same problem presented itself but on a much smaller scale – literally! – she did it again. Mini by Luna was created from the desire to find those fabulous baby clothes and wooden toys and soft furnishings that we all know exist but struggle to find.
The two shops have since been combined under one roof to become mini by luna concept store. It is up the hill from The Lumiares – about a five minute walk past the São Pedro de Alcãntara viewpoint (if you get to Embaixada, you’ve gone too far).
The ground floor is split between meticulously chosen women’s clothing and accessories at the front and a beautiful collection of children’s clothing at the back. Upstairs is a little slice of heaven with divine children’s furniture and cushions, handmade teepees and bunting.
Araceli has carefully chosen all the things she loves for her shop and there are some cool brands here: Humanoid with that unmistakeable and slightly offbeat design; the simple elegance of Mare Di Latte (think jumpsuits and well cut trousers); cute dresses from Osklen; hip denim shorts from Amuse Society; everyday basics from American Vintage, and lots more…
Whatever you do, don’t forget to go upstairs. The collection up here is primarily Numero 74, an exclusive Spanish brand that supports a co-operative of women in Thailand. Everything is hand made using the finest textiles and all in the most gorgeous soft pastel colours.
And if you are looking for that little something to finish off an outfit there is plenty to choose from. Jewellery from Aurelie Bidermann or a clutch from Star Mela or perhaps a graphic scarf from Inouitoosh. There is even a new collection of watches which Araceli discovered on a trip down under recently. By all accounts she spotted a passer-by wearing a watch she loved, asked them where they got it and – hey presto! – Kapten & Son watches are now proudly on sale in the store.
Do go and take a look if you can.