Interview with Victoria Durrer Gasse of La Galeria Elefante
Victoria Durrer Gasse and Sharon Bar are the creative designers and store owners who are sending shockwaves all over Ibiza. Everyone in Ibiza adores these lovely ladies and their unique store La Galeria Elefante. These ladies are not only popular in Ibiza but are also a favourite of hippies, rock stars, royalty and even celebrities all over the world. As they are set to move further into their business and franchise, we had a chat with Victoria and talked about everything from yoga and travel to fashion and art.
Your store has a beautiful name, La Galeria Elefante. What does it mean?
Victoria Durrer Gasse: It translates as “The Elephant Gallery,” this has been the name of this 17th century building – a lovely old finca (Ibizenco farmhouse) since the 70s and is a real landmark on the island. We love the name and decided to keep it and not change it, and we love elephants!
What inspired you to create your store and start your own business?
I love to travel and create new things with artisans all over the globe, discovering hidden places and beautiful crafts, and helping people who are underprivileged by giving them some of our designs but using their skills and craftsmanship to make beautiful pieces – from ceramics, to weavings, embroideries and paper objects and also clothing.
La Galeria Elefante has such an extraordinary concept, where did the idea come from?
I think the idea simply evolved organically whilst we were in the process of finding the actual identity in the first year.
La Galeria Elefante seems to have its own personality, which is often very hard to achieve in retail and business. Was this planned?
How long did it take for your store to come together? Have you achieved the look and concept you’ve always wanted?
I would say it took the first year for the shop to find its true identity and personality and definitely this personality is what we always wanted – we only sell things we really love and want in our own houses!
La Galeria Elefante is very unique; is it somewhat a reflection of you, your style and your lifestyle?
Yes I would say this is entirely our own style and totally a reflection of our way of living. A combination of things from all around the globe and also commissioned locally on the island too, supporting local artists here.
There are so many amazing things in your store; do you have a favourite piece, one item that you love to take home?
We do have favourites of the week and right now I am totally in love with the macramé swing chair.
La Galeria Elefante is very popular with royalty, musicians, travellers and others. Why do think so many people are attracted to your store?
Probably because they have the same taste, and see so many pieces that are different from other places on the island. I also think it’s truly heart-felt that all the items in the shop are really made with love.
You came to Ibiza at the age of 11 with your mother. What’s your absolute favourite thing about the island?
You and your store have had an outstanding history and career. We even heard that you also have your own clothing label. So what’s next to come? Where does the future hold for you and your amazing store?
Yes I do have a capsule of clothing which is purposely made for the lifestyle of Ibiza – feminine, a bit hippie-floaty and in very thin cottons that are comfortable to wear in the hot summer, and I also do some cashmere for the winter, again very easy to wear with hand crochet details, which are very popular. I think the future is in the on-going evolution of the shop and feeling open to change and finding new things and always making each season a bit of a surprise from the last one. People love to feel that they can find new things each time they come into the shop and also feel like they’ve been on our voyage. Next to come is our website which is being developed and hopefully it will mean people can “pop-in” and feel they can browse around the shop whilst sitting in their homes or offices abroad.
Lots of Britons go on holiday to Ibiza, why should they too visit your colourful store?
We sell to a lot of British people. I think probably because they see such an eclectic mix of things and the English love original hand-made pieces, and finding something they can easily carry home that will remind them of their fabulous holiday in Ibiza!
Photos: Courtesy of La Galeria Elefante
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