We are delighted to introduce you all to our new #PushJEWELLERY client; Eli-O.
Eli-O is a brand which looks to the past for inspiration, but adapts its designs to a modern and contemporary consumer. With a commitment to creating beautiful designs that don’t come at the cost of people or the planet, Founder and Creative Director Elisa Pantazoplous started her journey studying Law, but quickly discovered a raw talent in craftsmanship. We sat down with Elisa to discover how Eli-O brings a long-awaited justice to our jewellery wardrobe.
Eli-O encompasses the idea of female narratives; tell us your story. How and why did you come to be a jewellery designer?
During my whole curses at uni, I was so intrigued and fascinated by the jewellery world, especially the manufacturing part. I used to spend hours and hours watching videos of women explaining how they launched their own jewellery business and showing their art. I guess I felt like something was missing in my life. The more I went on with my studies, the more I wanted to do something with my hands. I decided to move to London for the last semester of my Master’s in Law. During that time, I enrolled for night courses in manufacturing. That’s when it hit me; I wanted to make jewellery! I still remember the feeling I had the day I made my first ring; it was such a powerful moment for me. What I love about jewellery is that it’s a certain beauty you’ll keep forever; like memories. Jewellery is not only an adornment, but also a form of protection. There is a very strong and powerful connection between the jewel and the wearer. It’s a part of who you are and it never gets old. In fact, it becomes more and more beautiful with age. The wearer often attach to their jewel a strong meaning and considers it as a lucky charm to protect them from harm, and that is fascinating to me!
You have a fascination for ancient Greek jewellery, what is it about these particular pieces or that time period that speak to you the most?
I always felt very lucky to have parents coming from such beautiful countries; my mother is Italian and my father is Greek. For some reason, I grew up very close to my Greek roots in particular. This may be due to the fact that I used to spend all of my summers in Greece with my family. Every time I went, I was filled with a pure sentiment of joy. I love the atmosphere, the people and the culture there. I have always been fascinated by Greece and its antiques. In particular, Ancient Greek jewellery. There is something timeless and pure about it. Its warmth and beauty don’t fade with time, but keeps its shine throughout the centuries. Handmade, they are imperfectly perfect. I guess I want to recreate that magic with my own jewellery line.
Tell us more about your commitment to sustainability. Does this effect how you design your pieces?
As a big lover of vintage, I like to create pieces that remind me of the jewellery I would find digging into my grandmother’s treasure box. What’s most important for me is that my creations last and can be passed on throughout generations. To ensure that, I only use precious metals (Sterling Silver 925 and 18k Gold). Nothing is plated, so my creations keep their shine throughout their journey. I love the idea that you’ll wear your jewellery everyday for years and then pass it on to your children and that the jewellery will tell a story through time. My work is mainly based on the ancient technique of ‘lost wax casting’, which embraces the organic hand’s imperfections at work and allows me to give my pieces the vintage look I like so much.
What stories do each of your collections tell?
Each and every one of my jewellery pieces has a Greek name. Often, I give it a mythological name depending on the meaning and the inspirations behind that piece. Eli-O is a play on words between the God of the Sun – Helios – and my name – Elisa. Why the sun? Because I feel happiest when it’s sunny and warm!
5 words to describe Eli-O
Companion, Everyday, Timeless, Quality, Conscious
Today is World Book Day; do you have any powerful female voices or books which you resonate with and which inspire you?
I just finished reading Histoire d’une Femme Libre from Françoise Giroud, in which I discovered a strong and at the same time fragile female author; just like all of us.