by Antonia Komarkowski
Wondering what unique souvenir you can take back home to your family and friends after a getaway to Greece?
Forget your standard magnets, key rings, t-shirts, hats and postcards. Bring back the Spirt of Greek Summer.
That’s right, you can take it with you, and it will fit in your suitcase.
At the carefully-curated Anthologist shops located in Paros and Crete, you'll find limited-edition items and artisanal objects designed, manufactured or sourced by founder Andria Mitsakos, to reflect the authentic ambience of the Greek islands, enhanced with a global vibe.
Splitting her time between Athens and the Cycladic island of Paros, Andria is a consummate story teller, an established international publicist, and an accessories designer and collector.
While restoring her island cottage on Paros during the pandemic, she started designing and manufacturing furniture, decorative objects and textiles for her home and for friends who owned hotels.
As demand grew, Andria began selling on Instagram, and Anthologist was born.
“Anthologist allows me to fulfill my goal of surrounding myself—and my clients—with the same magic I find in my Cycladic cottage. I believe that, when done right, design has the power to make your home both sacred and comfortable, to feed your soul and preserve cultural heritage of places that you love,” says Andria.
“Anthologist uses soulfully designed, positive-impact objects that celebrate cultural preservation and slow décor as a means of true, sustainable luxury.”
While she has now learnt the importance of always being surrounded by things she loves, Andria states that the experience of the pandemic also helped her reflect on how to practice slow décor and why it’s so important to do so.
“Slow décor is not a new movement, but a refined one. Its practice includes sustainability, intention and decorating with purpose. It enables you to use evocative accessories and decorative arts to tell the story of your surroundings. And there is no better place in the world to practice it then on my beloved island of Paros. A Cycladic way of life encourages us to slow down, appreciate long days, and often feel that time stands still.”
Earlier this summer, Andria opened her third, and newest Anthologist shop at Cosme, a Luxury Collection Hotel and the newest hotel on the island of Paros, owned by the owners of Parilio, where she still maintains her first shop on the island.
Both boutiques feature the entire Anthologist collection, as well as her new Merging Myths collection, which is a selection of jewellery and accessories that she created with various teams of artisans while living in Mexico this winter. It’s colorful and fun and everything summer should be.
“When you buy something handmade, you’ve invested not only in someone’s talent, but you’ve contributed to their livelihood, which further encourages them to continue to create. And they’re sharing a piece of their soul, which in turn becomes part of yours. That is important to me.”
The third store is located at Cretan Malia Park in Crete. A natural fit for Anthologist’s Cretan flagship, the museum-like shop features the entire line of artisanal brass, folkloric objects, along with lovingly-sourced local treasures such as vintage tagari bags from the island of Crete, and a hyper-curated selection of Andria’s vintage textiles.
“Anthologist is more than just seeking out antiques or new pieces made of eco-friendly materials. It’s sustaining cultural heritage as well. There are many trades such as foundrywork (working with metals), ceramics, and weaving that are simply non-existent in many cultures because the elder artisans haven’t been able to pass this trade down, and the next generation has lost interest in carrying on a tradition that may not bring in a living wage.”
If you are worried about the weight of your beach bag or suitcase, don’t.
Or if you wish you had picked up a treasure, don’t.
Anthologist delivers within Greece, and ships globally.
Quoting Andria’s best fashion tip… “Collect, don’t shop.”
Warning: Prepare to be blown away… and want everything when you visit Anthologist, either in person, or the e-boutique!
I just had to include some of my favourite treasures (key word being ‘some’):
Description: Worn as part of traditional costumes in northern Greece, our founder discovered this bracelet, which represents female fertility, in a flea market. Using it as inspiration, she created this piece, which reflects the story of her birth. Her mother was told that she would not be able to have another child. Traveling in the Caribbean, she was diagnosed by a witch doctor as being pregnant. Shocked and stunned, she went home to Boston to her fertility doctor for a second opinion. He confirmed it, and, the miracle baby was born in July 1973. Thus, the rubies (Andria’s birthstone) represent her birth story and the magic of folklore and divine intervention.
Description: Anthologist celebrates everything analog, and that means we expect you to receive lots of handwritten letters. This hand-cast, sea-inspired letter opener is to be used to open those love letters you receive after those beautiful rendezvous around the world.
All of our brass objects are hand-cast using ancient methods including sand molds. The last step of the production process is a hand-polishing to showcase each piece’s inherent brilliance. Some imperfections are natural.
Description: Our new color palette showcases our classic styles in a true petroleum blue. “It’s as if the sky and the sea fell in love,” said Anthologist Founder Andria Mitsakos of the hand-mixed hue “which took many trials to perfect.”
With designs commissioned by our founder, Anthologist’s ceramics represent a return to authenticity. Utilizing traditional methods, each piece is hand-painted in an Athens workshop, a placed where we share with an artisan who comes from a long line of ceramicists from the island of Crete. The primitive design reflects “pagoni” the Greek word for peacock. They are a gorgeous addition to any table, and mix well with contemporary flatware and crystal, and crisp white linen, as much as they would on the dining table at Panito Cottage in Paros.
Description: Antique Chapan coats sourced from the South Caucasus and Central Asia are the base for the border of these profound decorative pillows. Each of these rare, vintage pieces feature various textile fragments of Armenian and Greek kilim motifs hand-selected by our founder, in earth-toned palettes that provide warmth and a sense of culture to your living space. Each are backed in 100% cotton with a zipper closure.
Description: An absolute summer essential and the perfect carry-all, we’ve created a bag that’s perfect for your city excursions as well as your very own island odyssey. Exclusively available this summer with vintage, one-of-a-kind linen and woven leather panels that double as the perfect neutral.
Description: Hand-created by our founder, each of these necklaces uses vintage, red clay ceramic beads painted in strong pigments that bring back days of Greek summer. Each are strung on reclaimed leather cord and accented with solid brass beads.
Where’s my credit card…?!