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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 30 May 2015
16 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 30 MAY 2015 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Georgia On A stylish little gem in Brunswick is where shoes and accessories alongside th NELLY SKOUFATOGLOU It's a cold and windy Saturday afternoon in Brunswick. Outside the cafe at Sparta Place a band is playing old jazz songs and everyone can't help but sway to the music. I'm waiting outside a cosy, bright shop full of Greek sandals, leather bags and boots, caftans, designer homeware objects and stylish jewellery, wondering where its name Georgia On My Mind stems from. Then Georgia arrives "as sweet and clear as moonlight through the pines, just an old sweet song", bringing Ray Charles' lyrics to life. "There's something simple, elegant and timeless about this old sweet song, plus it always got sung to me growing up," Georgia tells Neos Kosmos. "I named the shop after the song, not after myself - although my name happens to be Georgia, too." "To me these lyrics are about the joy of travel and the intimacy of love, the things that inspire and drive me to create," she explains. For Georgia, this classic song works as a reminder to never forget the things she values the most and always pursue her dreams with passion. "The comforts of home and the times spent with family and friends surrounded with beautiful things have generated many ideas in my mind, that I would like to pass on to others." All products found at Georgia on My Mind are handmade in Greece by small families of village craftsmen. The clothing is mostly one size to fit all, made in Athens, featuring Greek muslin as the main fabric for the collections. "I'm hoping to soon be able to do another trip and see what else I can find there. "Some of our Greek suppliers are still using traditional methods like the loom and broadloom, passed down from generation to generation," Georgia explains. The sandals are designed in Australia, but manufactured in Crete and Athens. "My married name is Georgia Digby, but my maiden name is Annitsaki and I hail from Chania. I go once a year to source my supplies and discover new interesting things, supervise production. "It's very difficult right now in Greece, because of the economy and because the manufacturers are facing many hurdles as getting money from the bank isn't easy any more - in fact I'd say it's impossible," she admits. "Understandably, the situation is affecting my business as well, since the suppliers aren't giving the independent manufacturers good terms and the resulting delay and expenses that come up are passed on to me." This is part of the reason Georgia sources some of her materials from Indonesia during the winter. However, Georgia enjoys the challenges of working in Greece, despite the difficulties she's coming across in running a small business. "Our goods are made from genuine hand-dyed vegetable tanned Greek leather using 100 per cent environmentally friendly techniques," she stresses. "We are utilising raw natural untreated leathers that become softer and darker with age."
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