Local Artists: Ambassadors of Czech Culture

Authentic Czech-made products are the beacon of light in a monotonous souvenir market

Millions of people come to visit the land of free-spirited Bohemians and many want to keep a part of it forever. Unfortunately it's common to find the same generic ‘made in China’ souvenirs around the city, often sold alongside Russian hats that are insensitively decorated with a hammer and sickle. This is why Local Artists wants to offer something much more meaningful than I love Prague t-shirts.

Breathing soul into every product on their shelves, Local Artists believe in a new dimension of souvenirs. Martin and Tom, the owners of this new concept, started their project by reaching out to artists all over the country to discover the stories and traditions. Craft production is after-all, an integral part of Czech culture and heritage.

To bring their experiences to the public, Local Artists needed the right staff: carefully selected story tellers who believe in the cause. Part of the core team Jana is the “prolonged hand” of the owners and works as a coordinator, helping the concept become a reality and grow. The store is located at Karlova 21: it is a breath of fresh air among the other souvenir stores selling Russian matryoshka dolls.

Beautifully hand-crafted wooden toys, smiling faces of the staff and occasionally even delicious smells temp passersby to take a peak. Inside the store, unique items are arranged on top of antique furniture with as much history as the objects sitting atop them.

The main stars of the show are the locally handmade products that include: toys, pottery, jewelry, leather, candles, enamel, cosmetic, vinyl art, books and decorations. The managing team has personally met with the craftsmen to get a deeper understanding of these products and their stories.

Discovering the production and tradition of the products and passing on the stories is what the company is really all about. The staff learns everything about the use, traditions and today's point of view to present the full “juicy” story to the public. The connection with the products is something that makes Local Artists special and is recognizable as their brand.

The whole experience goes beyond the products themselves: a lot of effort goes into creating a nice setting with a great atmosphere for the customers and employees alike. Forget having to press your face against the glass and squinting - visitors can take the products off the shelves and see how they feel and smell.

‘Did you know this is actually not a penguin?’ reads a sign above the Krtek toys, reflecting the playful attitude of the store. The interactive staff is more than happy to engage in conversation, storytelling and even games on occasion.

Local Artists’ ideology has attracted a diverse spectrum of customers ranging from tourists to locals themselves. There is something for everyone: Czech families are drawn to the quality toys, expats are amused by the beer-infused beauty products and tourists have a plethora of memorable souvenirs to choose from.

The team just opened a new store at the Intercontinental Hotel on Pařížská Street just in time to celebrate Local Artist’s one year anniversary that will take place at the end of March. The growing company cooperates with artists, craftsmen, workshops and reliable Czech companies and manufacturers.

Even if you don’t care for buying trinkets, Local Artists is still worth a visit: amongst the wooden cars and fragrant candles is the proof that a single idea can spark change. Keep an eye on this company that is well on its way to single-handedly transforming the concept behind Czech souvenirs.

Learn more about the company, the staff and the artists who create the products found in their store on their website and Facebook.

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