Most likely you would not look for a souvenir shop in our guide, and yet that’s what Pragtique is. It is the poor reputation of souvenirs that the three owners attempt to remedy by inviting young, original artists to design souvenirs with Prague themes, and there is nobody who can compete with them!
These original keepsakes from Prague are designed, for example, by illustrators Tomski & Polanski, Silvie Luběnová, and Johana Švejdíková, who is with her friends Lenka Hluchá and Jitka Fridrichová one of the founders of the whole concept. Every single artist seizes the subject in their own original way and prepares a whole collection of items that refer to the capital city and are custom-made for Pragtique. There are a wide variety of pieces on offer, anything you like from notepads and mugs, to T-shirts and tote bags. Individual collections and the number of artists working on them have been growing.
Pragtique is located in the Prague city centre, in the courtyard of the Pasáž Platýz Arcade on Národní Street. You can immediately see the well-executed interior that brilliantly fits the original functionalist show window. Pragtique should not be missed by anybody who is after a non-tacky souvenir.
Is Pragtique your first shared project? Who came up with the idea and how long did it take to bring it to life?
Yes, it is. I first had this thought a few years ago but we became serious about it in late 2014 and started to realise it some time in February last year.
Didn’t you worry that ‘souvenirs’ are being discredited by the floods of distasteful shops that offer non-authentic souvenirs?
That was a challenge that motivated us to found our brand. We want to rehabilitate the reputation of souvenirs and give dignity back to them by creating imaginative, graceful, and affordable keepsakes that will make people happy and will remind them of Prague. Prague is a beautiful city and deserves to be represented by beautiful souvenirs.
Do you cooperate with Czech artists only? How do you select them?
We work mostly with Czech artists and the selection process is diverse. All of us work in creative industries – in visual arts, film, design, advertisement, etc. We are surrounded by artists and we enjoy meeting new ones, too. It is an ongoing process and we keep our eyes peeled. If anybody interests us, then we’ll approach them about a collaboration on the theme of Prague. Today, artists also approach us.
What is the proportion of custom-made objects for your shop? Do you plan new collections?
Everything in our shop is custom-made, apart from several books and magazines that we also offer alongside our keepsakes. We certainly do plan new collections; it keeps our adrenalin levels high.
Is it only foreigners who visit Pragtique or is your shop also popular with local people?
Both. We are very happy not to have a shop for tourists only but also for the locals who buy presents for their friends and family here.
Do you bring souvenirs from your travels? What is your favourite?
Of course we do. The thing we are focused on is whether the product is made locally. We don’t like souvenirs made, for example, in China just because they carry a name of the place we visited.