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Eirini Vitorou

What is your story and the story behind koumpaki?

My name is Eirini Vitorou and about thirteen years ago Koumbaki was created. Koumbaki is a store in the center of Athens, it is a concept store, a brand, an experience. I have a hard time putting it into words. Finishing my studies in Plastic Arts and Art Sciences in Ioannina, I returned to Athens, and the only thing I knew was that I would like to do something creative for the rest of my life. So I was looking for a job having that in mind only. At some point, being loyal to this idea and after being unemployed for quite some time, I decided to start making jewelry in my home kitchen. I realized that it was the only thing that filled me with joy and passion. I had to come up with a name. So, when I was little, my grandmother used to call me “a button”* and I also liked the whole concept behind what a button does. It unites. That’s how I wanted to unite people through what I do. I started to take part in exhibitions, slowly creating a small hub, a community. This led to the need of finding a space. The place was found, I would say fatefully, at a moment when I had to decide whether koumpaki (button) will be my job or my hobby. I chose to be both and the rest is history.
[* koumpaki means button in Greek]

How is the present for the brand?

It’s been nine years since the physical store first opened, and as we are approaching the decade I feel it is time for a change. I used to think I liked the changes, but the older I get, I realize the importance of safety. The feeling of safety is tricky, sometimes it doesn’t help you see clearly what you want and what is the future you have imagined. So, this year I have started to take small steps outside my comfort zone, to accept that I cannot do everything alone, to trust other people who know how to do their job well and to move forward together in this new phase. It’s a quite creative and stressful period, but isn’t it like that with big things in life?

What are your plans and dreams for the future?

Hmmm let me think! I want to continue doing what I love without so much stress. I will try to strengthen the creative part of the work, invest in it and in things I can no longer do alone. I think there is no greater investment than the trust you show in yourself and in the people you choose to surround you, so I will say that I dream of a big, beautiful “koumpaki” group, like a family. And a big party for our ten years!


Maria Ntrougia @mariantrougia

contact info

e-shop: www.koumpaki.com
Address: Pallados 24-26 , 10554, Psyrri
Tel: +30 2155 052518
Instagram: koumpaki.shop.official