“Genuine stuff that takes you on a journey to the heart of humanity.”
Live to Love the Road, #LTLTR, come with us on a journey to the heart of humanity. We want to increase the happiness both for the people we trade with, the end customer and ourselves. We #shopfair with the artisans and #giveback to by running community projects through the Vilostrada Foundation. We value and care for the whole journey from the moment we share our stories, shop fair, transport with care to your home and give back with non-profit work.
Marhaba – Welcome – Välkommen – Bienvendios!
HISTORY – Let us take it from the beginning
Vilostrada as an idea was born in 2010 – 2011 in the minds of Victoria and Joakim Ahlén during world travelling. Seeing both struggles, opportunities and how families and trading can be affected by both economic difficulties, the 2004 tsunami, and the drawbacks of the consumer society made something tick. In 2013, the idea went into action as Vilostrada as a brand and the rough plan – the Why – was born.
- Media gives us attention. Read all published articles on the Vilostrada Press pages.
- Victoria researches and starts book project in southern Morocco during January with Brahim Elaabdouli.
The team also meets new artisans and extends our collaboration network in southern Morocco.
With the Vilostrada Foundation, they hire a new teacher to work alongside the nomads, plant Moringa seeds in the desert and plan for future trips to be offered.
With the Vilostrada Foundation, all of Family Ahlén worked in Tanmirt, Sahara Dec 28 – January 4
Vilostrada will be at these markets: Costa Women Share your wares Nov 19, Axarquia Animal Rescue Nov 20, Eco Market Christmas market on Dec 17.
TAGINE WORKSHOPS ongoing this fall in various places. Read more and join our Tagine Lovers online forum on facebook.
- COME JOIN US if you live close to Velez-Malaga! Each Saturday you find us at the Eco Market 10 am – 2 pm. Welcome. Starting again this fall September 3.
- Watch films from the Vilostrada Foundation #Tanmirt expedition October 10-17.
- Photographic exhibit by Vilostrada with photos by Joakim Ahlén in Torre del Mar, Spain May 13 – June 10.
- April 6, we proudly launch the Vilostrada Foundation Tanmirt. Our world. Our children. Our Sahara. Tanmirt.
- Lucas, 11 yrs, and Victoria travel to Sahara in March with Vilostrada Foundation to do good and donate clothes, extreme entrepreneurship with our nomad team on site to find solutions and a strategy forward for a new project involving trade, education, entrepreneurship and social good.
- “Art makes people Happy“, says our daughter Maj, 7 yrs. We proudly launch the Common Ground Art Project in January 2016 and invite the world to join. Submit a piece of artwork once a month for the next five months. #commongroundart
- Victoria is engaged to speak to audiences in Tanger, Sweden, South Africa and globally about the Vilostrada story and “Live to Love the Road”. Stay tuned for our NEW webinar series launching soon. You can sign up here.
- We plan our coming photo exhibits. Curious. Would you like our photos closer to you? Get in touch.
- Victoria connects with a friend at Lamar University and some of the university staff travel to visit Dardara in November 2014. They send a group of doctoral students to Morocco the summer of 2015.
- We run a collaboration project with Estiféda called #CommonGroundKissa where four girls from Morocco, Spain, Sweden and France start co-writing a book together. We get selected to showcase the project and Common Ground at UNESCO and UN Women Mobile Learning Week 2015.
- On June 3-7, we organized a cultural exchange with artisans/friends/entrepreneurs from Sweden, Finland and Morocco, to celebrate our first year with Common Ground. You can look at photos here.
- July 2-18: Victoria brings artisans from Great Britain/Spain to Morocco to strengthen ties and develop our business model. With Common Ground, she also travels with doctoral education for leadership students in collaboration with Lamar University.
- September 2015, we officially started supporting and collaborating with Darna in Tanger and OAPAM in Chefchaouen.
- We welcome Smedingeskolan 7A and teacher Malin Jeppsson as partners to our Common Ground project. What an amazing group of young minds.
- Victoria successfully hike up in the Rif Mountains during three days to go learn more/research for new mountain projects to aid the people with a group of friends. Our guide Mohamed showed us small villages and the real mountain life and gorgeous nature. We go again each six months so get in touch if you want to join.
- Our whole family meet in Tanger in October to get to know Association Darna. Darna means house in Arabic and the currently provide a safe haven for 300 children. We go and visit the Theathre, the Farm, the Women´s House and Darna House for Children.
- Victoria travels to work at the South Africa conference – the Wisehub on October 16-18. The summit is held in Bloemfontein. She is in charge of digital communications, teaching storytelling and coaching entrepreneurs. Keep an eye out at #wisehub2015. We form alliances with amazing educators and learn from each other. Victoria shares the Vilostrada story to inspire everyone to build/take action from love and passion.
- We sum up our first year 2014-2015 with our non-profit, community building project Common Ground in a video here.
- We arrange a fundraiser with Swedish partners Klippa, Åsa & Ulf Nomark, åh! betong & återbruk benefitting Common Ground’s partner Association Darna. In a few days we raise more than 2 000 € for the children’s education. Maj, Joakim and Victoria with friends travel to Tanger on Dec 9-10 to share the Christmas gift with them from all of us.
- During all of the season 2015, we kept a successful stall at the Garden Centre Eco Market. We want to thank all our customers for an amazing first year and we cherish meeting each and everyone of you. Our conversations hearing your examples about sustainable living fuel our continued work and will have more space on our site next year. We thank each client for your smiles and purchases. Rachel Saunders and Maria you are amazing women who built the market with us stall holders.
- Joakim and Victoria travel to southern Morocco gathering material for our second book. Follow our adventures on the facebook site and Vilostrada instagram.
- During the late spring 2014, we decide to publish our first book. The photo book Vilostrada – Love, sustainability, future – shares the story of our first year with Vilostrada and our dream for the future.
We decide to launch our book in our old home town Onsala. We co-host a first event with Onsala friends and entrepreneurs Viva in Onsala Sweden. Later in the summer, we also hold a Viva exhibit in Mariehamn, Åland with Labelled.
- We continue building on the global network arranging a Viva fundraiser in our current hometown Frigiliana.
- Common Ground launches as its own non-profit with the aim to build global bridges with education, entrepreneurship and storytelling.
- In August 2013, our family moved to Spain. We had a dream and the Vilostrada brand is born.
- We find a guide who introduces us to Jaber El Habibi, founder and owner of Auberge Dardara in northern Morocco. We fall in love with the country and decide to start trading fair with Moroccan artisan goods. We launch the webshop in November 2013.
- In December 2013, our children travel with us to Morocco and want to meet local children. We visited the Akerate School. Our children, Lucas and Maj, give away their own rubber boots and new soccer ball within minutes. Lucas also arranges a fundraiser to turn on the electricity in all classroooms with his former school friends at Pontos in Sweden. We decide then and their to find ways to better their every day situation with the Akerate School Project.
Welcome to join our journey. Meeting you, connecting, sharing stories is what is all about.
Live to Love the Road. With love,
Victoria and Joakim Ahlén