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Old shop of ‘giant’ dolls is granted new life

El Ingenio

The shop, the history of which traces back to 1838, lies on Rauric street in the Gothic district of Barcelona. Rosa Cardona, the old shop owner (who is also the owner of the illusion shop, Rey de La Magia), made up her mind to retire without finding any successors. The continuation of the shop and the giants depended on financing. However, a micro-patronage program was launched that enabled the owner to collect even more money than required—15,715 euros instead of 15,000 euros—to continue to finance the shop.

Nowadays El Ingenio, which has seen such famous clients as Salvador Dali and the artists of Cirque du Soleil, has acquired the status of a rent holder in the territory where it is located with a contract signed for 10 years. As the new owner, Pau Martinez, says, the rent is certainly expensive, but it was the only way for the shop to survive. After repaying old debt and restoring the dolls that were ‘on the verge of extinction,’ introducing new technologies into the process of creation is now a priority for the business. The new owner also plans to refurbish ‘the soul of the shop,’ the workshop located in the same building. Additionally, the vintage assortment has been enriched with new masterpieces that reflect the spirit of contemporary times. One of the new dolls commissioned by an events company emulates Donald Trump.

Moreover, Martinez is considering creating a special catalogue and developing the shop’s website to allow customers to place orders online. Martinez plans to present his clients with the updated version of El Ingenio by the end of this year.


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