Drop In: Galeria Aruaco

If you look through the window, Galeria Aruaco may seem like yet another artsy jewellery shop, but when you step inside it only takes a moment to notice its uniqueness. The owners, a Polish-Colombian partnership, are friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable about the products they sell. What makes this place special? The materials their products are made from are all natural and include different types of beans, coffee, nuts, seeds, and orange peel. The Tagua nut, also known as vegetable ivory because of its resemblance to elephant ivory, is widely used in jewellery. When polished, its white, smooth surface is perfect for hand painting, or it is dyed in various colours. The Tagua nut is only found in the tropical rainforests of South America, so it is becoming increasingly rare as the rainforests slowly recede. Another interesting item in the store is the Palma seed; South American aboriginals believe the seeds contain aphrodisiac properties. Imagine wearing that around your neck…

The majority of the products, about 90 percent, come from Columbia, but a small portion is imported from other parts of the world, namely Brazil, Chile, Thailand, Argentina and Ecuador. Earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, hats, wallets, even magnets accent the chocolate walls of the showroom. Everything is handmade, which is a nice change from the accessories for sale in other shops.

The store recently added Amazonian mud masks to their list of products. There are four different kinds of masks, Rio Blanco (white), Amarillo (yellow), Marron (brown) and Rosa (pink), all of which can be used on the face, neckline and hair. Each mask has its own benefits, and they range from improving skin colour to firming, cleansing, anti-aging and many others. I have been told that Aruaco is the only place in Poland where these masks are sold.

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