Athena (The Goddess) Jewelry

silver necklace with gold finish and precious stones

Athena (the Goddess) Jewelry sells exactly what its name suggests: handmade, Greek jewelry, made by Greek artists, whose designs reflect the strong, wise and determined character of the goddess herself. From bold, intricate pieces with precious stones to small, delicate earrings, one can picture them worn by any modern-day goddess.

We sat down with George Tselentis, a partner of Athena (the Goddess) Jewelry, and asked him to share with us the traditional process of jewelry making in Greece and his thoughts on Pandrossou.

George was born in Zimbabwe, but his family comes from the Greek island of Kefalonia. His uncles left Greece for Zimbabwe where they set up a successful business.  George spent his childhood there, but due to political and social instability in the country, his family returned to Greece. His knowledge of English later led him to Pandrossou.

PSM: Do you work with particular designers?

silver Byzantine ring with precious stones

George: Yes, we have exclusive partnerships with 5 – 6 studios.  We help them.  They help us. We do new things together.  We are not a big business.  We just take care of our products and their quality.  We have many customers around the world who for so many years have been very happy with our service and our jewelry.  I think it is safe to say that it because of them that we are able to survive this difficult economic period.  We have customers that stop by to say, “Hi” every time they are in Greece.  A lot of them are Greeks who grew up in Australia, Canada, and the U.S.  And through the years, we have been able to cultivate somewhat personal relationships with them.

(As we are talking, Costas Tsamis, George’s associate, walks in. Costas has been working on Pandrossou for 42 years.)

PSM: What interesting stories can you share about your experience on the Street?

Costas: I remember the Beatles walking down the street, Harry Belafonte buying from the shop, Sarita Montiel and Debbie Allen, among others, visiting.

PSM: What are your overall impressions of Pandrossou?

CT: I grew up here. I’ve been here for 42 years. I started working here when I was 19 years old.  Now I am 60.  I never left.  I used to work from 8:30 in the morning until 9 at night every day.  It was nice.  I have met people from all over the world.  Here in Pandrossou, you pick up on the various idiosyncrasies of the different cultures of the people who come to visit Greece.

PSM: What can tourists enjoy from their stroll through Pandrossou?

George: Pandrossou is a personable place.  If a customer walks in and doesn’t buy anything, the next day that very same person might need some help or some information, and he/she will come back to the store and ask for help.  If they go to a chain-store or department store, they might not get that same feeling of familiarity or trust.  Tourists and customers get that feeling of community when they come through Pandrossou.  And if they revisit Greece, they’ll return to the shop where they had shopped and say, “Hi! Remember me? I bought a bracelet from you last year.”

Costas: Tourists can definitely enjoy forming a personal relationship with shop-owners on Pandrossou.  On this Street, if a customer walks into a shop, we will have a conversation with them and often times offer them a refreshment, maybe even some ouzo or soublaki!

Shop online or stop by at Pandrossou 32.

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