Mercedes Lopez Coello is one of those rare souls. She has, over the years, crafted a beautiful life for herself and her family. From Paraguay, to Alaska and Sweden, Mercedes eventually set her sights on the magical island of Mallorca and never looked back. There, she has learned to tune into the island's own rhythm, its honest way of life, and has become part of a unique local community. Our co-founder, Elise, also has a special relationship with Mallorca, but Mercedes' experience and her way of telling her personal story – in part through her incredibly well curated @mamelopez – has magnified for her that the magic of the island only manifests itself once you get lost on its tiny side roads, eavesdrops on a conversation at the local coffee shop or bakery, or set out to explore without any particular plan. Only then does the island reveal itself and shines its true colors.
We could all take a page from Mercedes about the art of surrendering to our surroundings, believing in the sometime serendipitous nature of life, and how one great movie (or book) can forever change your perception of a well-lived life. We are so excited to catch a glimpse into Mercedes' summer routines, and her perspective on the island that inspired one of the designs in our new Sol Dress capsule collection – the Deia.
You've created what seems like a dream life in Mallorca. Can you tell us a bit about your journey to get there?
I was born and raised in Asuncion, Paraguay and at the age of 14, my mother and I went to live in Anchorage, Alaska for four years. I had never seen snow in my entire life and hardly spoke any English, so it was such a culture shock for me. That trip changed my life forever. From Alaska, we moved to Sweden, yet another turning point in my life. In Stockholm, I worked as a video editor and one day I had to edit the trailer for the movie Il Postino. When I saw that movie, it moved something in me and I knew right there and then that's how I wanted to live my life – in a little casita in the Mediterranean, enjoying the most beautiful and simple things in life. An opportunity came to move to the island in 2000, and my husband and I took it. We arrived with two suitcases, two coffee mugs, and our dog Smila, ready for our new life! When we arrived in Mallorca, it was an awakening. We could finally stop running in the hamster wheel and could feel all those things that truly matter in life. First we rented a house in Sineu, in the center of the island and eventually bought our first house in the village of Llubi, where our two boys were born. A few years later, we ended up moving to Palma but our hearts still remained in the countryside. So when the opportunity came to buy our little country house in Moscari six years ago, we didn't hesitate! It was goosebumps and love at first sight. It is our sanctuary and we are grateful every day to be able to live in a place as beautiful and generous as Mallorca.
Tell us a bit about what a summer day is like for you in Mallorca.
Summer days are for gatherings under the vine, and feeling the warm summer breeze on your cheeks. It is for evening swims, reading books in the hammock, and drinking cold lemonade on hot afternoons. Walking barefoot as much as possible, having wine under the stars, and spending lots of time with family and friends.
Your Instagram is filled with the most dreamy and aesthetic shots of the island that make us crave a simpler and more peaceful life. How do you curate it?
I love this island so much. She has taken me into her arms and has done so much for me, so my photos are a love letter to Mallorca and its simple and honest way of life. Its light, its nature, its culture, and the endless generosity that it gifts us in every possible way. To me, Mallorca is beauty in its purest form.
One of Florencia and I's absolute favorite spot on the island is Cala Deia. In fact, we've just launched a dress inspired by our memories there together. How would you wear the Sol Dress for a perfect day in Deia?
It's the perfect summer dress! I would wear The Sol Dress in white with a pair of espadrilles and a straw hat when the sun's out. My day would probably be a long early morning swim, a book under the sun and then lunch at Cas Patro March or a little picnic. In the summer, the cala can get very crowded, so it's either early morning or a sunset swim for me.
Where do you find most inspiration on the island?
Most of my inspiration comes from nature; the endless Mediterranean sea, the mountains, the golden fields of the Pla, the orange and olive groves, the almond blossom in the spring, getting lost on small roads, stopping by villages along the way without any particular plan, beautiful conversations and encounters with strangers and discovering new hiking trails where I only meet goats, donkeys, and sheep along the way.
Can you share some tips on how best to experience the "real" Mallorca for those who are simply visiting?
The best way to experience the real Mallorca is to slow down and tune into the pace of the island. Avoid the touristy places and take the small roads to coves and villages around the island without rushing into it. I love to sit in cafes and watch everyday life unfold around me. The baker talking to his customers, the children playing ball in the town square, the elderly having a coffee and reading the newspaper. Discovering the island through handcrafts and food is also something I love! Not only do you learn about the culture, but you also support small local businesses. I suggest taking your time and tuning into the island's own rhythm. Once you do that, the island will take you to marvelous places.
In these uncertain times, it seems you've relied on nature for solace. How do you think Mallorca is different in that way?
I believe Mallorca has incredible healing energy. There is something about the light here that's so special and soothing. The sounds of nature, the sea, the mountains, and the ancient olive groves, it all brings me straight back to my center. When things get overwhelming, the island is small enough that you can easily escape to nature to quiet down your mind. Nothing is further away than 30 minutes, so you've got all these incredible contrasts in landscape without having to go far.