about It's All Greek
Way back in 1999, a Classics teacher with a passion for ancient Greece had a crazy idea. That was me, Elinor, and the crazy idea was It's All Greek.
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!
Since the launch of the website in early 2000, It's All Greek has been selling a combination of fine replicas of ancient Greek art. Bronze, marble, pottery, ceramics and jewellery, all under one aegis, and all from the very best suppliers in Greece and the UK.
I've had a succession of three shops near the British Museum, supplied the movies 'Troy' and 'Alexander', and museum shops including the Oxford Ashmolean and Cambridge Fitzwilliam, and, most important of all, thousands of enthusiastic and appreciative customers all over the world.
Since June 2018, It's All Greek is, once again, exclusively online. I am running the website and the business on my own, flexibly from home.
It was such a privilege to have an amazing number of former pupils, students of Classics, and recently graduated Classicists working with me over these last 19 years. We had so much fun!
The greatest gratitude of all goes to: Louise (now Manager at the main Fitzwilliam Museum store in Cambridge), Lauren (now living and working in Bristol), Jasmine (who went on to Burberry and Disney, and is now a full time mother of two), Alexandra (who is Gallery Manager at Ariadne Galleries in London), Nicola (working at Yarto and specialising in product design and running the business), and Kate (now selling fossils at 25a Museum Street!). These six were my closest accomplices on my little Odyssey. We continue to meet regularly! My thanks also to all those many others who joined us from time to time along the way.
(My parents Dilys and Wynne with me on a nostalgic 'revisit' in Athens in 2003. Dil died in May 2005, and Wynne in April 2010.)
A bit more...
It all started in 1972.
My parents, Dilys and Wynne, took me to Greece when I was only 12 years old. There began my passion for Greece. My history teacher, now in her 91st year, still reminds me of the painted polystyrene corner of the Parthenon which I proudly produced during the weeks after this trip! And the little alabaster Karyatid I bought at a roadside stall in Sounion is still with me.
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, then set up my own teaching business 'Locus Classicus' whilst pondering setting up It's All Greek.
And it wasn't just the alabaster Karyatid by then.
Every time I took a group of students on a Greek trip, I would return laden with bits and bobs I'd bought along the way, to use in lessons or to give as presents. A tiny bronze tripod from Delphi for the Iliad and Odyssey topics, a little limestone owl for the GCSE Athens topic, a red-figure pot with Oedipus and the sphinx for the Tragedy topic. And a bronze Cycladic head, just because I was entranced by it. It was all downhill from there!
The collection had grown, incrementally, to a critical mass that gave me the idea to set up a little online shop. Why not?
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 I didn't speak modern Greek then either..
(more to follow at some point!)