An interview with Maria Glezelli, for the Greek News and Radio FL
Can you tell us a bit about your childhood “backstory”?
I grew up in Athens, Greece. When I was just 5 years old, I discovered my passion for art. I spent countless hours exploring various crafts, drawing, and creating everything from decorations to gifts. My grandmother played a significant role in nurturing my creativity, introducing me to the art of knitting—a cherished memory that has guided me ever since. Alongside this, frequent visits to theatres, museums, and art spaces further fuelled my creative spirit, shaping the foundation of my artistic endeavours.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
One of the most memorable moments in my career happened when I got chosen for an art show in Los Angeles. This journey proved to be a transformative adventure. From the connections with fellow artists to the invaluable feedback received, the experience left an unforgettable mark on my life. It also inspired me to relocate to London where I later started my own business.
Can you share the story of how you decided to relocate from London to Florence, and how has this change influenced your designs?
I have been dreaming to live in Florence for many years The Renaissance era, born in this very city, has always fascinated me deeply. After visiting Florence, I felt compelled to make this city my home. The timeless beauty of Florence, with its picturesque streets and awe-inspiring architecture, is a constant inspiration for my designs.
Furthermore, my passion for Greek and Roman history seamlessly intertwines with my creative process. Drawing upon the rich cultural heritage of these ancient civilizations, I infuse depth and meaning into every piece of jewelry I create.
What do you think makes your company stand out?
The fact that each of my products is entirely made by hand using a Greek ancient technique without any machinery is what makes my business unique. In a fast-paced environment where people are heavily dependent on technology, I decided to do things differently. Working with your hands is a very unique process – you develop a relationship with the tools which eventually become an extension of yourself. When you come across a handicraft – an item that has been used or created by one of your ancestors – you don’t just see a tangible piece; you see the years and feel their hands, you preserve a moment of their lifetime. Reminding people of their ancestors through a piece of jewelry is what I envision to achieve through my business.
Do you have a favourite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
One of my guiding mantras is “everything happens for a reason.” A prime example can really be the recent pandemic. I found myself in a very difficult situation as I had lost my job and everything seemed dark around me. Despite the challenges, I viewed this adversity as an opportunity for growth. Redirecting my focus towards my business, I channelled my energies into its development. After 3 years I feel very proud of myself and of what I have learned. I am very conscious of the fact that hadn’t been for the pandemic, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
How do you want someone to feel when they wear/use your designs?
When someone wear my designs, my desire is for them to feel a sense of connection and empowerment. Each piece is crafted to evoke emotions and memories unique to the wearer. I aspire for my designs to serve as timeless companions, reminiscent of our past, the era when our ancestors were knitting by hand precious fabrics to pass them down to their children.