The story of It's All Greek
Way back in 1999, a Classics teacher with a passion for ancient Greece had a crazy idea. That teacher was me, and the crazy idea was It's All Greek. This year, It's All Greek celebrates 21 years since the first website went live.
It's hard to believe, but in 1999 there were no smartphones, internet connection was mostly dial-up, and my Greek suppliers and I communicated via fax. Amazon and Google were just 2 years old, Ebay UK just 1 year old. It was 3 years before iTunes, 4 years before Facebook, 5 years before Etsy, and 10 years before Instagram.
It all started in 1972. My parents, Dilys and Wynne, took me to Greece when I was only 12. There began my passion for Greece. My then history teacher, now in her 92nd year, still reminds me of the painted polystyrene corner of the Parthenon which I proudly produced during the weeks after this trip!
After reading Classics at St Hugh's College, Oxford, I took a bilingual teaching qualification in my home city of Cardiff. I taught at Queen's Gate School in London for 16 years. Every time I took a group of students on a Greek trip, I would return with bits and bobs I'd bought along the way. My favourites were a solid bronze Diskobolos and a mini bronze tripod. Wouldn't it be amazing to have a little shop selling things like this.
With no knowledge of websites or the first clue as to how to import from Greece to the UK, things weren't looking too good at first. Nor did I have any idea of where to find suppliers, let alone how to pay them. And my Homeric Greek wouldn't be much use...
A bit more...
The first Greek supplier I discovered whilst trawling around Athens was Kostas Semitekolo. The little discus thrower and the tripod turned out to be two of his superb bronzes. His pieces have formed the bedrock of It's All Greek for these past two decades. Other amazing suppliers soon joined team IAG.
Since the launch of the website in early 2000, The USP of It's All Greek has, from the beginning, been its unique blend of suppliers, media, textures, and styles. The product range has embraced miniatures, gift items, and interior design pieces.
From 2003, I had a succession of three shops near the British Museum, supplied the movies Troy and Alexander, museum shops including the Ashmolean and Fitzwilliam, famous bookstores Blackwells and Heffers.
Best of all, there have been thousands of enthusiastic and appreciative customers all over the world.
Since June 2018, It's All Greek has come full circle, and is, once again, exclusively online.
I am running the website and the business on my own, flexibly, from home, whilst pursuing other paths. I have qualified as an EFT practitioner and as a Life Coach, and by mid December I will have completed my first of two years of training to become an Eden Energy Medicine Practitioner.
I have been so lucky on this odyssey. The best Greek suppliers, many of whom have become close friends. The best colleagues as friends too, many of whom were former pupils. And of course, my customers worldwide, who still keep in touch even though they can't visit the shop! I'm so very grateful to them all.
This website has recently eclipsed its previous incarnation. This is the fourth major overhaul since the very first one in September 2000. How much more straightforward it has been to create this one!
It's All Greek continues to give me such pleasure and nourishment, so on we go!!
I hope you enjoy your visit!