We want to introduce you to the newest member of the Tolmee family: T-Greeks!
T-Greeks was started in 2015 by the mother/daughter design duo Jacqueline & Rafaela. While both were born in Brazil, they describe themselves as Greeks by choice. Having lived in Greece for most of their lives, they set up T-Greeks to offer their customer a delightful and humorous take on the everyday. T-Greeks goal “is to spread the wonderful, perplex and unique Greek culture to the whole world….by picturing and printing the feelings, the images, the moments, the words, the beauty and it’s funny stuff”.
We love the airy, breezy and beachy feeling their products evoke and hope you do so as well. We spoke to Rafaela to find out about her company. It was a delight learning about her life, her family and what inspires her and wanted to share her story with you. We hope you enjoy learning about T-Greeks as much as we did.
Tolmee: What is your name, where do you live and what is your relation with T-Greeks?
Rafaela: My name is Rafaela Torres, I live in Athens and I own T-Greeks along with my mother Jacqueline.
Tolmee: What is your background?
Rafaela: I was born in Brazil and I moved to Greece when I was 7 years old. I grew up in Greece and went back to Brazil every year to visit family and friends. My first degree was on Communication at the Panteion University of Athens and then my post-grad was on Fashion Marketing and Management at Esmod in Paris. I’ve worked in various areas of the fashion- apparel industry. First as a fashion editor for Madame Figaro magazine, then as a buyer for a big website called Golden Brands until I decided to create T-Greeks.
Tolmee: What does being Greek mean to you? In what way has been Greek influenced your life?
Rafaela: I am a Greek by choice, as I am Brazilian and so are both my parents. Greece has influenced my life in so many ways. Being Greek means being open-hearted, generous, extrovert and sometimes even a little loud. Everything in Greece makes you want to live your life at its fullest. I think that anyone that visits Greece even for the first time can get that feeling.
Tolmee: Tell us about your family, pets, friends, etc.
Rafaela: I just got married and I am expecting my first child which is super exciting. I am very close to my mom with whom we own the company together. Our dog Ben was abandoned by someone in Mykonos when he was just a puppy and a friend of my husband’s rescued him and gave him to us. We love him so much. He is the cutest!
Tolmee: What are some activities you like to do for fun?
Rafaela: I love going for big walks in the morning with my dog, I love flowers and making bouquets, creating boards on Pinterest, I love the beach and I am really into contemporary art which I wish I could afford!
Tolmee: Tell us a bit about T-Greeks? When did you start the company? What was the inspiration behind it?
Rafaela: I started it in 2015. It was my mother’s idea. She is very creative. She wanted to create a new product for the souvenir market. We brainstormed, discussed and created mood boards for long hours until we found exactly how our brand would look like. We didn’t want to create anything that would look like someone’s else’s product and I think we achieved it. Today, T-Greeks is so much more than a souvenir brand. It is practical, resort wear, gifts, and souvenirs from Greece. Our products are bought and worn by Greeks and by foreigners visiting Greece. It is such a pleasure to see how people love it!
Tolmee: Do you work alone or do you collaborate with others?
Rafaela: At the office, it is me, my assistant Sylvia and my mother but outside the office, we have a lot of people we work with. Many factories around Athens produce our products.
Tolmee: Tell us a bit about the products? Do you do all the designs? What do you like to focus on? What inspires your creations?
Rafaela: Some of the prints are designed in house but others are designed by graphic artists we work with. Our main inspiration is the sea, the amazing Greek sea! Our favorite color is white, so you’ll see that most of our products have white backgrounds which is reminiscent of the Cyclades. Greece is all about light and I think our products transmit this bright side of Greece.
Tolmee: Are your products made in Greece? Are they eco-friendly/sustainably made?
Rafaela: Yes they are made in Greece and all the colors used for printing are eco-friendly.
Tolmee: What do your customers say about your products?
Rafaela: They smile while shopping for them!
Tolmee: Anything else you would like to share with your customers in the U.S.?
Rafaela: We hope our products make them want to come back to Greece or visit for the first time if they haven’t!!
Rafaela’s love of Greece and her customers is evident. She loves what she does and loves making people smile with her products. Let’s all give T-Greeks a big welcome! We invite you to visit Tolmee.com and see some of T-Greeks wonderful creations.
We welcome T-Greeks to the family. You can find their beautiful beach-inspired products on our website!