For more lists and insights into Sao Paulo, see American Exbrat in São Paulo.
You’re coming all this way to experience the Brazilian culture and São Paulo scene, naturally you’ll want to return with something special in your suitcase. There are some great easy-to-get souvenirs you can pick up at the local feira (see 10 Great Gifts to Bring from Brazil), but what if you want something a bit more sophisticated to show to your friends back home? Even better, in a couple cases you can contribute back to São Paulo society. (FYI – Either I have purchased something from each of the artists/organizations below or I have convinced a friend to do so…) Thanks to investigative research (I attended the bazaar hosted by our local international group), I’ve discovered resources for some absolutely fantastic and fun (and useful) items that are worth limiting legroom for as a carry-on. But you gotta get ahold of these artists ahead of time in order to get your goods for the trip home.
1. Pintura Naïf, Barbara Xumaia While German born, Barbara has been bred among the Brazilians. She transforms her original artwork into functional pieces such as serving trays and coasters. Trays and lap desks range from small to large and each piece depicts the culture and/or architecture of a region in Brazil. I’m embarrassed to even say how many items I bought from her today, I was so thrilled with the combination. Prices ranged from US$20 – 45.00. More images of her work via Google here: Barbara Xumaia Contact info: email@example.com
2. Gabriela Rossi Dreamy scenes come to life via the lamps of this luminous artists (and she seems super nice too). From table-top to floor-to-ceiling, the Brazilian warmth and depth are represented in her shining pieces. Prices ranged from US$75 – 600. More about Rossi: https://www.facebook.com/StudioGabrielaRossi Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Ação no Bem It’s hard to top a shopping experience during which you buy something great and know that it is doing some good in the world. Ação no Bem is an organization that does many things to help the underprivileged societies of São Paulo, one of which is to help women to fend for themselves and learn an artistic trade that will result in self-support. They offer many kitchen items like towels, aprons and serving trays. Prices ranged from US$5 – 40. More about Ação no Bem: http://www.acaonobem.org Contact info: email@example.com
4. Cuca Somoza For cute cases geared towards things Brazilians want to carry or organize, like their soccer balls, or kids and adult clothing inspired by “Havaianas” and Brazilian bikinis, Cuca Somoza offers good-quality gifts with Brazilian flair. Prices ranged from US$10 – 50. More information about Cuca Somoza: https://www.facebook.com/cuca.somozafucinos Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Arte e Luz da Rua This organization also teaches skills to the underprivileged. Classes on how to produce beautiful lamps made of discarded sugar cane give the homeless a means of education and the ability to support themselves. Prices ranged from US$20 – 100. More information about Arte e Luz da Rua: http://www.arteeluzdarua.org Contact info: email@example.com If you are interested in arranging to view these items while in São Paulo, it is best to contact the artists/organizations ahead of time to find out where they will be while you are visiting. All either speak English, German and/or Spanish, in addition to Portuguese, and will find a way to communicate if they don’t speak your native language.
For more beautiful works of Brazilian art that you can bring back to your home country, check out Gift Brazil.