Miami Flea Spotlight: How Solea Cangas Is Stepping Up Your Beach Game
If you’re still reaching for a towel before heading out for your pool or beach day, we’re here to tell you one thing: You’re doing it wrong. So, so wrong.
Sure, they’ll get the job done—but would you wear your Martha Stewart Collection Spa towel as a halter top to your post-swim cocktail party? (If so, please send photographic proof.)
Time to step up your beach bag game and meet Lisette Garcia of Solea Cangas, a regular ray of sunshine and beloved vendor at the A+E’s Miami Flea. Lisette was inspired by Brazil’s effortlessly stylish beach throws and decided to bring these lightweight MVPs to our sunny shores. Not only do they dry up in a jiffy, but sand isn’t exactly fond of sticking to the fabric. And if that isn’t reason enough to check them out, each of Solea’s cangas are designed by artists local to Miami and Rio de Janeiro. Essentially, you’re wearing a piece of completely functional art.
Because summer never says die in Miami, we sat down with Lisette for a round of 5 Questions, our bi-monthly feature that shines a spotlight on the local artisans and personalities defining the A+E District.
Shake off your beach bag and read on…
What is exactly is a canga?
A canga is what Brazilians call a beach throw or towel. It is a lightweight, colorful piece of fabric that is fast drying and versatile. It is used to lay on, wrap yourself with, wear as a scarf, hang on wall, etc. Ipanema and Copacabana beach goers simply rely on this one piece to make their trips to the beach easy, colorful and fun.
How do you pick the artists that design your cangas? Bonus question: do you have a personal favorite design?
We look for artists who are illustrators or muralists that can design colorful pieces representing either the cities in South Florida or that contain a beach-oriented motive.
Our personal favorite would be the Condor because it has a history behind it. It is a replica of a mural that was on a wall in Wynwood for two years. Also, it’s from our local favorite, Luis Valle. Luis was the first artist we contracted for our company.
What’s the most creative or craziest use you’ve seen for your cangas?
The most creative use has been as a shoulder beach bag. One of our customers sent us a photo of a resourceful way she was forced to use her canga after her beach bag got damaged. She had to find a way to carry all her beach items (cell phone, keys, personal items) back home, so she tied the canga up in a way that she was able to carry her items successfully.
What’s your favorite way to beat the Miami heat?
The only way to beat the heat is to head to a “secret” secluded beach spot, canga around the waist, umbrella on the shoulder and many cold drinks in a cooler, so that we can spend as much time there as possible.
What does Solea want to be when it grows up?
Solea wants to spread nationwide with a vision to represent each city’s “flavor” through art-inspired cangas, and create a movement that not only brings recognition to the arts and artists, but brings pride to locals in the way they are able to celebrate their city.
Check out Solea Cangas and other creative vendors at the next Miami Flea at the A+E District on Sunday, October 15.