Today in chilly Vermont, I'm hanging stockings by the chimney with care. But then I looked at the calendar and thought "Saint Nick is gonna have to wait a bit, because today is Giving Tuesday!!!"
What can I do right now to give back?
I can promote a small business called My Greek Games. In Thessaloniki, Effie and Christos are creating fun, mythology inspired games that use upcycled materials and non-toxic inks. Read on below to learn more about their business and their mission!
And then ask yourself - Can you help?
Simply sharing this post about My Greek Games to your friends on Social Media is a great way to support this small Greek business. Post, Tag, Pin, Email, Share, Tweet, shout it from the rooftops and send a carrier pigeon. Whatever you do, make sure your friends know that Greece's innovative designers and dreamers are open for business!
My Greek Games: The World according to Effie and Christos!
Interview by Kyla Paul.
Say hi to Effie and Christos. These two amazing Greek artists are also business people that are committed to making family game night a very Greek affair.
At My Greek Games, their motto is: “Inspired by Ancient Gods, played by Modern Heroes.” This rang true as I looked over the stunning bright graphics of ancient Greek characters. It has a certain appeal that attracts kids and adults alike.
I took some time to look at the memory game during a recent photoshoot. Memory games were a favorite of mine as a child so I was automatically drawn to this bright and exciting Greek mythology version. After a few minutes, I ended up giving up the game and just looked at all the cards. I was transfixed, trying to figure out who each character was.
When I got a chance to play the game with Summer, one of our mini models, she too was engaged in the game and really enjoyed the graphics - even without knowledge of the gods and goddesses. What an excellent learning experience this offers for kids to be playing with an adult familiar with the topic! Don’t worry if you don’t know the names of them all, there is information in the packaging!
While I was chatting with Christos and Effie, I was struck by their whimsy and friendliness. They are self-described as two “kids” living in Thessaloniki, Greece; “when we say kids, we mean the way we feel and try to see our everyday life. A huge playground with its ups and downs, with each obstacle and fun parts!” I personally loved this positive and fun-loving attitude and I could tell this was going to be an entertaining interview.
Kyla (KP): What’s your story? Did you attend a University?
Effie (E): I studied here in my hometown (Thessaloniki) but later I went to Cardiff in Wales for my MSc. (Masters of Science in the UK)
Christos (C): I studied Illustration and Design at the University of Sunderland in England. Besides our current occupation (My Greek Games) we both have second jobs, Effie is an architect at a big firm and I own a carpet shop!
KP: What does being Greek mean to you? In what way has being Greek influenced your life?
Being Greek? It means so many things. The first thing that comes to mind is the strong bonds of family! The Jokes, the laughs, the fights, the stories of old people at the table. ‘My Big fat Greek Wedding ‘ was not that far from reality! We are a nation that looks at people in a strange way at first, but once we open our hearts, they stay open for you. This includes our houses, our friends and anything else we can share to show our love and hospitality! Being proud of our heritage and history is something we all are influenced by. This pride is something we wanted to share and that is why we created our board games.
KP: Tell me about your family and friends
C: You said family and friends, for us, friends are family. We say you can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends, and that makes them even more important. We have friends we call our brothers and sisters. I call my friend’s mother my mom. We both have siblings which we communicate daily and ask their opinions in everything we do! They are the team behind the team!
KP: Tell me a little bit about your art? What medium do you use? Why do you make art the way you do? Have you experimented with other mediums?
C: We use all sorts of medium depending on what we want to achieve. Nowadays we use pencils, to do the rough sketches in order to give them to our fellow artists so they can see the outcome we want to achieve.
KP: Being an artist is a very challenging profession, why did you choose to make art for a living?
E: We don’t see it as a profession, but more the need to express ourselves. So it was not about doing art for a living but mostly doing art for being happy. For letting our inner kid free to a field called life! We were just lucky that this love of ours found a prosperous ground in the world and grew into the hearts of others as well!
KP: Is there someone who inspired or encouraged you to be an artist?
E: Being a creative person since childhood I can say that my curiosity and my need for expressing myself, along with my family’s encouragement lead me to the path I took and walk today!!
KP: Do you work alone or do you collaborate with others?
E: We collaborate with famous Greek artists!! We are lucky to have fellow artists that are good friends, so collaborating can only make an even better result on our products.
KP: Why is making products that sustainable and eco-friendly important to you?
E: Simply because we care about the future of our kids! We have to stop being selfish and have to look way further our present!
KP: How do you think your art contributes to your community or your culture as a Greek person?
C: Art is a way of expressing yourself and passing your knowledge and worries in a way that is understandable by others. If you can achieve that, then your art is successful. Our products have achieved that. We have managed to spread the love of our Greek culture and history to people across the world in the most amusing way! We receive emails on a daily basis writing how pleased they are with our products, how their kid finally wants to learn more about the Greek myths and history. That can only make us feel that we are doing something good!
KP: Why should people try your products?
E: Though our products people will ‘see’ us, the love we have for our beautiful country, and its history. They will play, they will have fun and they will get closer with family and loved ones. Just like a Greek family!!
KP: Anything else you would like to share?
Time is the most precious thing we can share with our loved ones, so play, laugh and enjoy every moment with your kids! These moments are the ones that count the most!!
I thought my take away from my interview with Christos and Effie was perfect for this holiday season. Value your friends because they are your family. Spend time with your family as they are the most important and joyous parts of life.
Happy Holidays everyone.
P.s buy these gorgeous Greek Games on our website!