This week I have the great pleasure of interviewing one of my best friends, the talented Elena Zounatzi, the designer behind the the original Greek silk scarf brand, Grecian Chic. Elena is a fellow graphic designer like myself, and our journeys have been quite similar, beginning with our studies at Kingston University, some years apart.
You will notice I often share images on my Instagram with her products tagged, mainly because I love them so much and am a big fan of her colourful Greek inspired high quality scarves.
1. HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE?
Latte with plenty of fresh milk, no sugar.
2. HOW DO YOU EARN A LIVING?
Through my brand Grecian Chic and as a graphic designer for clients such as museums, hotels, enterprises, food & beverages companies etc.
3. WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE TO YOU?
Since having a baby, most of my day time is spent at his side, feeeding him, playing with him, reading him books and taking me to the park. In between, I try to answer to emails but work comes mainly in the evening and late night while he sleeps.
4. HOW DO YOU START YOUR WEEK?
There is no beginning or end or weekend when you have a baby! More or less everyday is the same! Truth is, there was never "beginning of the week" for me anyway... I work from home, anywhere I land, I have my computer, my sketchbook and pencils and I work. I work weekdays and weekends. Everyday I just another new day!
5. WHAT ABOUT ENDING THE WEEK?
Like I said….
6. TELL US ABOUT A PROJECT YOU’VE LOVED WORKING ON:
A project which was also an honour for me, was the designing and making of the window display for the Hermes boutique in Athens, Greece. The theme of the window display was "the dance". The Athenian Hermes boutique has four windows, so I designed four figures - 3 Grecian Chic ladies + 1 Grecian man - in a dancing pose and handwrote on a blackboard - one for each window - the meaning of the work dance in greek and french.
The truth is that the Grecian Chic Lady - as a figure- was born at this particular project! Today, she looks a lot different, her design has "progressed".
7. WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST HURDLE FOR YOU WHEN STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS / WORKING FOR YOURSELF?
Apart from making sure I can make a living out of it -financially- I was –and I am still having a hard time to get my clients understand that I don’t work 24/7, 365 days per year!!
Working on your own and having your own business is not an easy job! "Grecian Chic" brand is one woman show. I do everything... the design, the photoshoots, the social media, handling the wholesale and retail.... Requires a lot of organisation!
8. HOW DO YOU JUGGLE YOUR CAREER WITH PERSONAL LIFE?
Lets put is this way.... daytime is family time, night time is career time, LOL
9. TELL US ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
As much as I love high heels, when having a baby and a stroller, they had to be left in the wardrobe. Casual is my key style.
10. IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE ONLY 5 KEY PIECES FROM YOUR WARDROBE, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
A pair of jeans, a shirt or tshirt, gold chains, ballerinas -for the winter / Alasia sandals -for the summer and a Grecian Chic silk scarf!
11. WE LOVE YOUR AESTHETICS AND YOUR WORK; TELL US ABOUT THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOU BRAND:
My brand is based and inspired by my roots, the greek history and culture! A visit at a greek museum, an exhibition, a book about greek mythology or simply a newspaper article can be the beginning of a new scarf!
12. WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO REMEDY WHEN YOU’RE STUCK IN A CREATIVE RUT?
A trip, a visit to a museum, a book… even a stroll at the park with my husband and son! I talk alot with my husband about the new scarf ideas and I must admit, he does help me.
13. WHO ARE YOUR CREATIVE HEROES?
I admire any small brand that starts from scratch and make it all the way to success through unique design, good quality and hard work!
14. WHAT’S ONE LESSON YOUR BUSINESS HAS TAUGHT YOU ABOUT LIFE AND ABOUT YOURSELF?
That clients are not always right – like it is said - and that I shouldn’t let people’s bad behaviour put me off.
ELENA'S FAVOURITE PICK OF ALASIA SANDALS
Elena's personal style is quite classic, so it's not surprise Elena's choice of Alasia Lifestyle sandals are our most classic styles. Elena's first purchase of Alasia sandals was the Aphrodite live knot sandals in black and gold, and here second was a custom colour of the Nissi gladiators in black and denim blue. I love the black and blue combination, and while dark colours don't always inspire a summer wardrobe, the striking combination perfectly compliments here beach summer pareo.
Don't forget to check out Elena's Instagram account to see more of her beautiful creations and some behind-the-scenes photos she shares of her sketches. Visit her site if you'd like to purchase a silk scarf for yourself, or a little pocket pouch as a gift for someone special. You can also order a custom designed silk scarf.