It's All Greek - the story
Since 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 best suppliers in Greece and the UK.
We'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, we are, once again, exclusively online.
Read on if you are interested in a bit more background!
Way back in 2000, a Classics teacher with a passion for ancient Greece had a crazy idea. The teacher was me, Elinor, and the crazy idea was It's All Greek.
This year, the website celebrates its 18th birthday.
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 90th 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 either. Ah well!
(September 12th 2018: LACUNA........I'm still working on the next bit of the story! below is the last instalment)
And after 15 happy years in a succession of 3 different shops in Bloomsbury, It's All Greek is now exclusively online once more.
I am running the business on my own once again, as I did before taking stands in the Spirit of Christmas and House & Garden, then the shops....All massive fun, but it's time for a change now!
It has been such a privilege to have such an amazing number of former pupils, students of Classics, and recently graduated Classicists working with me over these last 18 years. We have had so much fun!
The greatest gratitude of all goes to Louise, Lauren, Jasmine, Alexandra, Nicola, and Kate who were my closest accomplices on this little Odyssey. And to the many others who sailed with us for a little while.
It has been a wonderful 18 years. And it's not over yet.
Elinor (Wynne Lloyd)
(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.)