Esperanza Peiro, like many architects, has had to face the fact that not many buildings are being built these days, and that professionals like herself can either complain, or diversify.
Esperanza is lucky in that she has diversified into something that is both creative and related to architecture; and the idea came from Scotland!
It was while visiting there that she came across a novel souvenir; a do it yourself kit that enabled buyers to reproduce the buildings and monuments that they had visited, but in the form of needlework; or to be precise, counted cross stitch.
When she graduated as an architect from Valencia’s Polytechnic University in 2000, she worked on the rehabilitation on one of Valencia’s great, but infrequently visited buildings, the Palacio de la Exposición, designed by the architect who created the Colón Market, Francisco Mora.
The palace, built for the Valencia Expo of 1909, was converted into offices and a library, but still impresses in all its neo-gothic glory.
See our article on Francisco Mora here:
Having an MA in heritage conservation, it was a perfect opportunity for Esperanza, but with the arrival of the crisis, it was clear that she would have to seek other outlets for her creativity, and incomes for her family.
The kits that Esperanza sells enable tourists, or anyone else impressed by a monument or by something emblematic of a place, such as Valencian oranges, to reproduce that image on a 10 by 15 centimetre cloth background, following the instructions.
Everything you need is in the kit, including the needle.
Esperanza calculates that it would take around 12 hours to finish, after which you can frame it, or integrate it into a serviette, pillowcase or whatever.
So far she has about 30 different designs, with various Valencian monuments such as the Serrano Towers or the Miguelete Tower, and she is now starting to commercialise them through her Facebook page and in three Valencian shops, including one in the Plaza Redonda, which specializes in haberdashery.
She is also preparing a website and slowly expanding her range, because this project is all about relaxing, as our grandmothers used to do, and as our grandsons will do in the future.