How Femorale was started?
We have been collecting shells since 1976 and had no contact with
other local collectors until 1983 when we went to a Shell Convention
of SBMa (Sociedade Brasileira de Malacologia). There we met most
of those who are our best friends today. We also met our good
friend Bernardo Linhares from Salvador, State of Bahia and he
asked us if we would be interested in selling some of the shells
he and his divers used to get when diving for ornamental fishes.
Then, we started to sell shells from Salvador to collectors at
our meetings (which started to happen periodically after the Convention).
We then started to exchange shells with some shell dealers in
the USA and Europe.
In 1986 José and a friend went to Miami to sell shells
to Len Hill there and visited some others dealers as Bob and Betty
Lipe (who became our American family!), Al Deynzer and Ed Hanley.
Two years later we went together to the USA for the first time.
We participated in the St. Petersburg shell show in February of
1988 and that was our most exciting trip until then. We both spoke
English poorly (we still don't speak very well…) and we
had only common shells to sell. We liked it very much and we decided
to go to the COA convention in July of the same year in Fort Myers,
Florida. We enjoyed it so much that we haven't missed a single
COA convention since then.
In 1989 we went to Europe for the first time and visited many
shell collectors, dealers and participated in a shell show in
We officially opened our business in May of 1989. We have already
sent some lists and had received good response from the shell
collectors, most of whom became very close friends.
We traveled to many places as We traveled to many places as American Samoa, Antigua, Arab Emirates, Aruba, Australia, Bahamas, Barbuda, Chile, Colombia, Cook Is., Costa Rica, Crete, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Fiji, Florida, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hawaii, Honduras, Indonesia, Japan, Majuro (Marshall Is.), Mexico, New Caledonia, New Zealand, North Marianas, Oman, Panama, Peru, Philippines, São Tomé Is., Singapore, Sri Lanka, Venezuela, Western Samoa, Trindade Is. (a Brazilian island In the middle of the Atlantic), all the countries in Europe, many states in the USA, and of course, several beautiful places in Brazil.
We have been to many shell shows all over the world, and all
COA conventions since 1988.
We enjoy everything about our business and we hope to keep doing
a good job!
In 1985 our late friend Renato Moscatelli offered to print some
labels for exhibitions with a shell printed on it. I draw some
shells and we chose the Cymatium femorale. When we had to choose
a name for our official business, we decided to keep the logo
and the name!