my first installment in what i hope will be a series of wonderful czech brands that deserve recognition and customers. i’m not a big shopper but for my cosmetics, food products and other needs, i try to go local (if not DIY). here are some of the best i’ve come across…
oli divisova– ceske budejovice’s own oli divisova is an artist and sculptor who makes absolutely beautiful minimalist and artist wares, especially pots, mugs and anything ceramic (above) ! you can check out her goods at her etsy store, oli’s cupboard.
mcely bouquet – based in central czech republic north of prague, mcely makes gorgeous natural cosmetics (such as oils, balms and lotions) that smell divine. i love that they gather the herbs from the forests nearby chateau mcely and they clearly know what they are doing with such intricate fragrance and oil blends. they also sell a fantastic set of essential oil blends that smell amazing. bonus: if you stay at chateau mcely, you’re bound to find these products either in your room or diffusing all over the property! it’s intoxicating.
mix it– everyone’s favorite müsli brand, apparently! mix it allows you to mix your own very high-quality müsli, adding just the sorts of things you like in it and none of the things you don’t, and then have it delivered to a pick-up point in your city (within the czech republic). before trying them, i had been quite fed up with the breakfast cereal options here in czech republic – everything either boring tasting, made with palm oil, or sold in plastic packaging. mix it’s müsli comes in recycled paper tubes. it’s a bit more expensive than what’s at the supermarket but it lasts awhile.
besides creating my own special müsli mix at no extra cost, i love that i can label it and it comes bearing my name on the label! when i go to pick it up, the girls at my favorite farm shop hand it to me, no words exchanged. (finally they’ve realized who this weirdo foreigner is who has a love of farm fresh eggs and special müsli – i feel like i’m in there way too much as it is!)
simido is a whimiscal childrens’ clothing brand out of plzen that creates magical, almost elvin clothing from recycled textiles, forming an entirely new and original composition! the forest nymph-style hat is pretty much their trademark. they also make wooden and very sweet stuffed toys that even adults have been known to covet. it also happens to be a small business run by a very sweet family (whom i know personally). they often sell at fashion markets in prague and all over the country, so keep your eye out (or order online).
i am always pumped about going into botanicus, a natural cosmetics company which has stores in prague and český krumlov. they make so many amazing products with lots of herb and plant and no unnecessary or harmful ingredients. i currently use both their icelandic moss facial milk and chamomile shampoo and love them. many of their products come in these beautiful glass bottles that make you feel like you’re at some old-timey apothecary.
it’s always funny to go to their shop because they are constantly overrun with tourists who get off the buses and then stock.up. i don’t know where the tour groups from asian countries in krumlov are getting their hot tips from, but clearly they’ve heard something good, and i can also vouch.
in making the transition away from using dairy products in our household, i stumbled across the alternative milk products from nemléko as well as ‘nemáslo’ – a sort of vegan butter and am extremely excited about this company! the scene for veggie/vegan scene has been slow going up ‘til now, so nemléko is definitely filling a much needed hole in the market.
i am very impressed with the packaging and ingredient list, and will update with a note on the taste as soon as we purchase! you can find it at natural or health food shops. (how good does the nejogurt look?)
edit: we tried nemáslo and the flavor is incredible – it tastes just like butter through a mix of different oils and cultures! the only problem is it’s expensive and it goes off quickly. i would buy again but only in a situation where i really needed butter and oil won’t do.
i only profile brands that i absolutely am in love with… but: if you think i should try out your product or one you know of, send me a note. photos are property of the above brands and only used to share information about them with you.
if you have a favorite czech brand, i would love to hear about it in the comments!