Most people run a mile at any mention of the evil eye, but one enterprising Greek emigre in Australia has taken the folklore tale and turned it into gold.
Myrto Levidi left her home in the Athenian suburb of Glyfada in 2013 to start a new life Down Under. A former flight attendant and psychology student, she — like thousands of others — had felt the bite of Greece’s economic crisis, working long hours for little return.
It was on the other side of the world, as far as one can go from Greece, that Myrto hit upon a new business idea — making and selling traditional Greek jewelry and crafts, with materials sourced from Greek suppliers.
From this idea Greek Eyelands was born; Myrto’s range of jewelry is replete with images of the blue-and-white evil eye, a talisman against bad luck not only in Greece but around the Mediterranean.
Speaking to Greek Reporter, Myrto explains how her company offers something little different: “I wanted something handmade in Australia from Greek products and at affordable prices.
“This was what was missing and this is what I did. I think this is what makes my products unique and what attracts my clients.”
Her clients are certainly testimony to the jewelry’s ability to cross cultures, with many customers being Australians with no Greek heritage. With this popularity, where next for the nascent brand?
“Ideally, I want Greek Eyelands to grow and become an international brand,” Myrto says. “I plan to include more Greek products that people can’t really find overseas.
“It is important for me to try and expand my business, so people all around the world can have access to Greek products, and at the same time, support in this way our beautiful country.”
Having taken the plunge into a new country and a new business, Myrto knows better than most the risks and rewards of starting anew overseas. To those considering the same path she has this advice:
“I would say to them to follow their dreams and don’t be afraid of anything. I always used to, and continue to, say to myself that life is too short and we only live once. We, therefore, have to make the most of it and grab any opportunity we can to do what we really enjoy in life, even if that means we have to take some risks.
“It is hard, but totally worth it!