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Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Today we will have a quick chat with Aida Fonseca, owner of Novelaria, a knit café based in São Paulo, Brazil, that specializes in bringing the best yarns and accessories from all over the world.

Novelaria was founded in 2011 and became famous for its selection of exclusive yarns. Not only it has gorgeous products, but it also has a range of handicraft classes such as knitting, crochet, embroidery, sewing, punch needle, and macrame.

Could you tell us a little bit about your experience before Novelaria?

I have a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Psychology. I worked in the financial market for 17 years, then studied Psychology and started working in the area. But then I had to move abroad. When I returned to Brazil in 2017, I had the opportunity to join Novelaria as an associate. This was very interesting because it made it possible to join two expertise I already had since I worked with international commerce when I worked in the financial market.

I started in Novelaria doing all the import of the products since 95% of them are from other countries. At that time, I was living in Uruguay, and Malabrigo was there. I traveled to Argentina and made the purchases from Milana Hilados.

When I returned to Brazil, I became the only owner of the store because I bought my former partner's share. Novelaria is great for me. I can combine my psychology knowledge because I can see the benefits of crafting, especially when the pandemic period started.

© Novelaria

The store thrived a lot right during that period, right?

Yes! At that time, we migrated all classes to Zoom meetings, and the former groups kept in touch. Surprisingly, they became more connected because they could see inside each other houses, the dog that the person commented about in class, their kids, and their spouses, so they became more united. Novelaria turned out to be really important in their lives.

Lots of people started to do arts & crafts in that period to occupy their free time, and they’re with us until now. The online meetings allowed people from other places to attend our classes because we were previously restricted to São Paulo and surrounding cities. This way, we could reach the whole country and even abroad. We have lots of clients now that live in other countries and still attend classes.

© Novelaria

Going back a bit, can you tell us how the inauguration was? Were you present in that process?

Yes. The whole idea of the knitting café was to join selling products, classes, and the coffee shop, allowing a pleasant environment inside the store. There are few stores where you spend hours inside; a person comes here to take a class and stays from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM; some even have lunch here and spend the whole day. When I became aware of Novelaria, I really liked what it was intended to be. The shop has been around for 11 years, and it only grew. We even have another store, so it’s undoubtedly a model that works.

So can you give us any spoilers about what our readers can expect for 2023?

I think the most significant news is our second store, in Moema. It’s still growing; it’s a mini Novelaria. Our idea is to have more suppliers from other countries. We’re always going after new yarn possibilities and even buttons. We already have an extensive range of suppliers from Italy, Spain, Argentina, Uruguay, and Peru. Our challenge is to bring new things, classes, workshops, and partnerships.

© Novelaria


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