The Grande Dame, Mrs. Sophia Vaharis Tsouvelekakis, inaugurated the new project by OnDeck Media, the award-winning publishing company, and she’s bound to bring them good luck.
In the first premium production of brand new ONDECK TV, entitled “Lunch Ondeck”, we had the honour to host Mrs. Sophia Vaharis Tsouvelekakis. Sitting at an impressive table adorned with her new MyCrown Collection, the astute businesswoman spoke to us about her new business venture, high aesthetics, the pandemic, Greek tourism, as well as the Olympic Yacht Show.
The interesting discussion captured through the lens of ONDECK TV began with the conception of MyCrown Collection. “It all started with the first lockdown, when I started sorting out old clothes that I did not want to part with: shirts, skirts, scarves, dresses, the children’s and my husband’s clothes. I turned them into cushions, adding some trimmings, such as nazars, the eye-shaped amulets thought to protect us against jealousy, and wooden crowns to protect us against the evil eye”, says Mrs. Vaharis with a smile.
That beautiful idea which emerged from everyday moments that became a source of inspiration for the Greek businesswoman, soon evolved and followed a successive course.
“At the beginning it was more of a hobby, but then the orders kept coming in, even though I wasn’t really counting on them. All our suppliers are Greek and we are proud of our “Made in Greece by Greeks” motto. Last summer our first collection was launched in our store, My Hydra Concept Store, in Hydra with the brand name MyCrown Collection, while over the winter season we supplied the EDEN GRAY store in Cannes with homeware items and that was also very successful.”
The growing demand brought new inspiration and unique creations. In addition to the cushions, placemats, towels and bathrobes, Mrs Vaharis was also asked to make candles with Greek scents. Jasmine, lavender, cypress and rosemary were the scents of choice and each scent was “dressed” with a unique phrase.
“Then some friends grew jealous and asked me to create something using their own clothes; to make cushions using their husbands’ favourite clothes, to embroider the names of the entire family on the placemats, to turn old dresses into tablecloths. A bride even wanted us to make napkins using the fabric of her wedding gown. The list is endless” notes Mrs. Vaharis.
While we are all constantly looking for new ways of expression, the pandemic got us more involved with our homes and we sought to bring a breath of fresh air to them and create a more beautiful environment. As the Greek businesswoman characteristically notes, “what’s more, MyCrown Collection revives beautiful, intense feelings and indelible memories. I find it charming and unique to set a table with personalized elements; each linen napkin is embroidered with a verse from a favourite song, a theatrical play, a port of call, an island that you have fond memories of. Think about it. What are we left with in the end? Only sweet memories. The bad moments tend to fade away, so let’s save the good moments from disappearing.”
An aficionado of haute design, Mrs. Vaharis explains: “My CV has nothing to do with art de la table. Car racing, ice rallying, Formula 3, a Guinness record for the most wine labels in the world, third place in airgun shooting competitions in Greece. I’ve never been the ideal housewife and I haven’t been on good terms with the kitchen since the day I was born. But I love aesthetics and I appreciate a beautiful and uniquely set table.”
As Ambassador of the Olympic Yacht Show, the leading floating maritime event to be held at the Olympic Marine in October 2021, organised by OnDeck Media and dedicated to yachting, sea tourism and the business world of Greek Yachting, Mrs. Vaharis said: “Greece must have a top-standard maritime event because yachtsmanship is in our genes and we feel proud when we see a Greek or Cypriot flag fluttering on a boat.” With regard to tourism, the eminent businesswoman noted that Greece is synonymous to the sea. “The Greek tourism season must last more than 6 months. Our marinas must be improved and our ports must have the infrastructure to accept all kinds of boats, from the smallest to the largest.”
Talking about one of the greatest challenges that the planet has ever been called to face, the positive outlook of Mrs. Vaharis sends out a message of optimism: “Let’s look at the positive side of this pandemic. Putting aside the disaster it has brought, it will also leave beautiful things inside each one of us. After all, we, Greeks, are tough nuts to crack and we shall find our way back to glory.”