10 LOCAL DESIGNER SHOPS with offbeat, original stuff

Sometimes it seems like every third storefront and every other market stall in the center of Prague is occupied by an over-lit, over-priced souvenir shop, all of them bursting with the same shot glasses, “Bohemian” crystal goods, and t-shirts boasting such mottos as “Czech Me Out” or “Prague Olympic Drinking Team”. So maybe this doesn’t appeal to you, and instead you’d like to visit some places that are devoted to items made by interesting and original local designers. You’re in luck: there are many. The following list barely scratches the surface of what’s available, but I hope it will at least provide a starting point if you’re interested in seeing what the artisans of the Czech Republic are producing these days. As always, click the links to find maps, websites, and other useful info.

The interior of Botanicus, very smelly in a good way.

The interior of Botanicus, very smelly in a good way.

1. Dyzajn Market, held approximately once a month in various locations, is a gathering of independent artisans and craftspeople for the purpose of displaying and selling their wares. There’s usually live entertainment of some sort on a small central stage, and food, beer, and other beverages on sale, all keeping with the spirit of locally-produced. The next scheduled Dyzajn Market happenings will take place 18 Feb. 12-19:00 and 18-19 Mar. 10-19:00. If you’re reading this after March, 2017, then check their Facebook page (link above) for the most recent event.

2. PunkTuraVodičkova 10, Prague 1, advertises itself as a trash fashion manufacture designer´s shop with punk, retro, vintage and recycled clothes & Tshirts. I like this one a lot. They rock.

Anarchy in the CZ at PunkTura.

Anarchy in the CZ at PunkTura.

3. Botas 66Skořepka 4, Prague 1, lifestyle shoes based on classic Czechoslovak sport shoe designs from the 1960s’ Botas company, resurrected by two design students in 2008 as a school project in brand redesign. 

4. PragtiqueNárodní 37, Prague 1, unique and high-quality souvenirs with Prague themes, porcelain, hand-stitched books, organic chocolates, notebooks, t-shirts, and other goods produced by a number of different local designers.

Pragtique

5. BotanicusTýnská ulička 1049/3, all-organic soaps, shampoos, body products, oils and lotions, cosmetics, and foodstuffs made from the purest products produced by the Botanicus organic farm in Ostra, Bohemia. Come back in the summer and you can take a train ride out to visit the craft center at their homestead not too far from Prague.

6. NapamatkuKřižíkova 62, Praha 8, sells “gifts with engraving”or rather kitchen utensils, primarily in the form of various-sized rolling pins that imprint your dough with really cool embossed pictures of different kinds such as hearts, paisleys, skulls, dinosaurs, or psychedelic leaf-prints. 

7. Skoba, Křížkovského 10, Prague 3, sells handmade original diaries, blank books, and stationary. Really funky stuff.

Dyzajn Market

Dyzajn Market

8. Playbag, with its outlet at Bořivojova 106, Prague 3, represents a handful of Zlin-based people who manufacture handcrafted backpacks, shoes, shoulder bags, purses, wallets,  and other accessories that are of “timeless design”, super durable and made to last.

9. Made In Žižkov s.r.o.Bořivojova 90, Prague 3, has a wild assortment of t-shirt designs, hoodies, tank tops, accessories for men and women, alternative children’s wear, and caps. 

10. Sralouni, https://www.sralouni.cz, doesn’t have an actual physical shop of their own, but they are too odd not to include. Their catchphrase is “podpůrné piktogramy při zácpě”, which google-translates as “supportive pictograms for constipation”. Close enough. They design stickers, t-shirts, bags, and plaques that are all dedicated to pooing dogs, and the various species of dogs who poo.  I got my partner a dog-poo t-shirt for Christmas this year just to make sure she knows how special I am. You can visit their eshop at the link above, or most likely find them at the next Dyzajn Market like I did.

If you’re still looking for more ideas and more places to visit, you can always ask your Prague Extravaganza Free Tour guide what’s interesting that they know of. And they always know plenty…

Sralouni, for that special someone.

Sralouni, for that special someone.

Jeff Fritz

I first came to the Czech Republic in 2004, and came to Prague to live in 2005. Since then, I've traveled all over the country and have spent almost as much time in the city as out of it, hiking the woods and mountains and attending open-air festivals. I spent 4.5 years working as a tour guide doing historical walks, brewery tours, ghost tours after dark, and acting as the beer master for a Czech beer tasting. Following that, I worked for 3 years as general manager of a large live-music venue in the Old Town, and 1.5 years as manager for a tea house and specialty beer bar in Letná. I have also worked as an actor, designer, and technical director for most of the English-language theatre companies in Prague. And my wife and I have been operating an independent theatre company here called Akanda since 2008. History, especially of Central and Eastern Europe, has been a passion of mine since university.

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