You will almost never see me because I am painfully camera shy, lovers. But I wanted to share with you all a little bit about me and the Love From Cyprus brand, as you are all already such a big part of my life and my dream.
My name Anastasia. I am the founder and designer behind Love From Cyprus. I was born and raised in South Africa, where I lived until I was 18. My father is Greek, from Thessaloniki and my mother Cypriot, from Paphos. After leaving SA, I travelled Greece for a bit and went to study Graphic Design in Kingston University, London. I worked in London as a branding and packaging designer and moved to Nicosia, Cyprus during the recession as it was becoming hard to find a job as a junior designer in London at the time. I worked as a designer at Pandora Ogilvy & Mather, in advertising, for the next 3 years. This was a huge learning curve for me and I truly loved my time there.
I moved back into packaging design as an in-house art director and packaging designer at Dimco Exports department, One Light. I rebranded the company and designed the catalogue and packaging for their lighting. As a designer I leant a lot and as a young adult, learnt even more about myself. During my time there, life, and 'the universe' made it very clear to me that I had a calling and an urge to create something more.
Since my student days, I was always making books and bags from upcycled materials and selling them to friends, or making them for companies on commission. After being unceremoniously fired (the best thing that ever happened to me) I got just the motivation I needed to start pursuing my dream. But not before giving the design-gig one last chance.
I worked at Qobo, which was a great time, being part of a start-up with a super talented team of webbie geeks. We created websites, branding and apps for numerous clients. Again, a stepping stone that would lead me one step closer to my dream.
I launched my web shop Love From Cyprus the weekend of the big 'haircut' here in Cyprus, March 2013. I guess this was both the worst and best time for me to go live. Although the economy was collapsing on our little island, it did put us on the map with the rest of the world, and I did create jobs for in an already crippled industry. I am of course still learning about designing sandals and bags and work closely with experienced local craftsmen and women to create quality products crafted using traditional techniques. Our raw materials are only sourced from the Mediterranean region, and we use the best veggie tanned leather for our sandals and bags. Two years of learning from you and growing with you, Love From Cyprus is what it is today. Your reviews are what drives us to strive for better quality, improved craftsmanship and more unique and creative designs.
Love From Cyprus - The concept
My goal for LFC never was, and still isn't to be a fashion brand. Love From Cyprus is a lifestyle, an authentic island experience. The products we create are created for girls who are travellers, dreamers, lovers and design enthusiasts. It's for the girl who isn't too mainstream, and appreciates the finer things in life. She buys her souvenir in a small alley that she got lost in while exploring new places. She lives authentically, and likes to share. She appreciates handcrafted products, and buys indie brands, not logo branded designer bags. She's a girl like me. She is curious, and honest, an open. She could be my friend, my lover.
Our sole reason for existing is to create quality products, at affordable prices, inspired by the authentic Mediterranean island lifestyle. We want to take you from the beach to the street with ease, all the while reminding you of that summer feeling. All our products are handcrafted locally, and a little piece of Mediterranean spirit comes with every product when we ship them to you, wherever you live.
I hope this gives you better insight into my concept, and will inspire you lovers to also follow your dreams. Of course there is always a risk involved, but all the magic happens outside of your comfort zone. It's better to have tried and failed than to live with regret. The universe it a magnet filed, and surprisingly you always get what you ask for. If you send out the request, be open and ready to receive it. It may not appear in the form you expected it. I certainly never thought I'd be designing footwear and bags, and I still don't know how LFC will evolve. But I do know that there is nowhere I'd rather be, and nothing I'd rather be doing than what I'm doing right here, right now.
Thanks for reading lovers.