I was interested to find out more about her creations and how she started in the jewellery business. Initially she was working in shipping – ages apart from jewellery, which had won her heart and attention. A few knots was all it took to get her obsessed… I first got interested in her designs when she started making a gorgeous evil eye bracelet; kind of like a friendship bracelet, that soon became really popular in Greece. And then she moved on to more complicated and beautiful designs.
Fani: When did you first start making jewellery? Did it start as a hobby?
Zoe: I started working for a few hours for Nikos Koulis jewels. There I did the first knot, and that was it… I started reading, researching anything I could get my hands on. I experimented with the different threads. At Nikos Koulis I was connecting the semi-precious stones with thread, the creations as designed by Nikos.
[Before starting there] I stayed at home to be close to my children for a few years. My brother Spyros, is Nikos’ associate. I thought that my head was stuck after staying at home and wanted to start working again, but without being away from home for too many hours. And so my brother suggested I join them. I am self-taught when it comes to jewellery and the knots! But next to Nikos and Spyros I saw so many things; workshops, craftsmen, diamonds… I have been to trade shows with the biggest jewellery brands. It feels you up being around all that beauty – the creations!!
Hematite beaded triangle necklace
F: You used to work in shipping, how did you make a move to the jewellery world?
Z: Shipping is an amazing world and I have many positive thoughts and experiences from there, but I had to be away from my ‘gang’ for a long time. I wanted to be next to them as much as possible.
F: Do you think the economic crisis in Europe and Greece helps young designers such as yourself to stand out from the crowd?
Z: I think the difficulties of our times have made a lot of people to start experimenting and try something new. To create! To me it happened at the best possible time. I found myself in a world so creative and I just found the inspiration within myself.
Gold snake bracelet
F: Do you make everything yourself or do you have a team that helps you?
Z: Recently I have been working with a woman that helps me taking the beads through the thread and to do the closures. I work really long hours and I see that the more I work the more I move forward.
F: Do you think there is appreciation for local designers now in Greece? More than there used to be?
Z: There is a very positive atmosphere for Greek designers. We get a lot of love, so as long as we give our best behaviour and try as much as possible [it’s enough]!
F: What are 3 things you can’t live without (apart from your phone!)
Z: The threads, the beads, the music… Even when I want to relax I go back there, to my threads.
F: Where do you get your inspirations from?
Z: I follow the trends of the time and give my own take on them. Sometimes I might be walking on the street and see something that I can use for my next design.
F: You use quite a few symbols that remind me of Greece, is that an important part of your work?
Z: I love the Greek symbols, logos, colours, traditions!! I am especially happy that the meander bracelet and cross necklace have been so loved.
Cross necklaceMeander bracelet
F: Where do you source your materials from?
Z: I get most of my materials from outside of Greece. It’s easier to find unusual and unique colours and stones.
evil eye bracelet
F: Recently you started making bracelets with precious stones as well. Where would you like to go next?
Z: The jewellery with the precious stones were a suggestion made by my brother Spyros. In general I like to experiment and challenge myself. Later on, I don’t know, I have many ideas in my head but time is necessery for things to be done right.
Thank you lovely Zoe!
Black and Emerald eye diamond bracelet