If you’re in the know, then you know that Avarcas are some of the most popular shoes around-- and for good reason! They’re stylish (some of our favorite bloggers are wearing them), they’re comfy (have you tried a pair? You’ll never want to take them off) and they stand the test of time (it’s true). We actually loved them so much that we decided to start offering them for kids in our shop.
Although we’ve long been crushing on the shoes themselves, we’re equally enamoured by their founder. Noelia is the founder of Avarcas USA. She and her husband, Jose, started the brand around the time their first child was born about nine years ago. Noelia has many memories of pushing her son around in a stroller while knocking on local boutique doors with her Pons shoes. Eventually they launched an online shop and used Instagram as a way to cultivate a loyal following for all their customers who valued their quality craftsmanship, sustainability and heritage product.
We’re hosting an Avarcas USA giveaway over on Instagram this week! Be sure to check it out, but first, have a read through our interview with Noelia. She’s talking all about starting a business with her husband, moving to the United States, her family life, and she’s even given us tips to start our very own capsule wardrobe for kids!
What’s a typical day in the life of Noelia?
My morning routine starts at 6:15 a.m. or earlier, depending at what time our cat Lola wakes us up. Post-shower I go straight to the coffee machine. For few moments I embrace the calm around the house while I prepare the kids’ breakfast and school lunch. Quim & Aitana wake up and the action begins. I drive them to school and after dropping them off I head to the studio.
During a less hectic time of year I typically arrive to the studio and strategize our next social media post, plan new colorways or designs for next season, prep for upcoming photo shoots and reply to emails. But these days, as it’s almost summer, I’m wearing many more hats and helping our small team to fulfill online & retail orders. After work, I pick up the kids from school and take them to their activities — during that time I try to work out at the gym or run outdoors. We go home for schoolwork, baths and dinner. Some nights I go out with my girlfriends to try new restaurants and disconnect a little from our busy workdays.
What’s your favorite part about owning your own business? The most challenging?
We’re extremely grateful to be able to work on something that we’re both very passionate about. And we have the opportunity to freely explore, experiment and execute new ideas. It has also given us flexibility— for example, we can volunteer at our kids’ school.
On the other hand, owning our own business means that we’re thinking non-stop about future projects, collaborations, designs, etc. But it's a fun challenge!
You and your husband work together! Can you tell us how this transition went and if there were any challenges of working together on a daily basis?
We had no idea how this aspect of our ‘adventure' would turn out. However, little by little, we both found aspects of the business that were a better fit for each other's skills and personality. So far, it has been a perfect symbiosis. Nevertheless, it is still challenging to find balance between work and personal life and to try not to bring home work-related issues.
You’ve lived in sunny San Diego for over 10 years now! How do you like it compared to Barcelona?
We, of course, miss our parents, friends & the vibe of Barcelona but we are happy in San Diego. The weather is nice year-round, so we enjoy the beautiful beaches, mountains, lakes and desert we have close by. Oh! And those bright, technicolor sunsets by the beach are the best! All these opportunities to be active and outside make San Diego the perfect place to raise a family.
You have a son named Quim (age 9) and a daughter named Aitana (age 7). How are you keeping your Catalan traditions alive and present in your children's lives here in the U.S.?
We speak Catalan at home and we try to celebrate all the Catalan traditions such as El Tió de Nadal for Christmas or la Diada de Sant Jordi in April, among others. When our kids have play dates, their friends are amazed when I prepare the traditional Catalan staple “pa amp tomàquet,” which is a crusty baguette with a tomato half rubbed over it and seasoned with olive oil.
We hear you are a capsule wardrobe enthusiast. I’ve been wanting to try out this method for some time now. Can you give me any pointers on where to start?
That’s correct! It makes my mornings much easier and more efficient.
In general, I don’t like to accumulate things, so my recommendation is to limit the clothes in your closet to those that you feel most comfortable in and really love. Few but good ones! You’ll often see me wearing a black t-shirt paired with vintage Levi’s or in jumpsuits with a simple and clean aesthetic— all paired with my Pons Avarcas.
If you were going to help a mother create a capsule wardrobe for your kids from Bitte, what are some pieces you’d recommend her to include?
There are so many more options (gender neutral, too) for children’s clothing, compared to when my kids were young. It can even be overwhelming, so I especially love the well-curated selection offered by Bitte.
Overalls offer a lot of milage — wear them sans top for hot summer days or layer a short or long sleeve teen underneath for a fresh look