“Kounia bella,” she sang,
“espase i koutela,” her soothing voice rang…
One of my favorite memories as a child was wearing my grandmother’s jewelry. We would wait for the perfect time when the house was quaint; our errands done, my grandfather napping by the TV, and our dogs had been fed.
I would walk up to her rocking chair and say, “let's go be princesses;” and from there on we would go upstairs and she’d lay a big towel on her bed...
“Always look at jewelry on a tidy bed, that way you dont lose anything,” she would remind me.
Curious, I asked, “what about the towel?”
“Just in case something fell, all we would have to do is collect the towel,” she replied, as though it was a matter of fact. She always had these weird little quirks; opinions that turned into rules of nature.
My grandmother was an interesting lady, her existence defined multiculturalism. She lived in Alexandria, Egypt with Greek and Turkish parents, she spoke seven languages and always had a book in hand. If it wasn’t a book it was a deck of cards.
She opened her wardrobe, and on the third shelf from the top, behind a couple of leather purses, she would take out a large sequined pouch, also wrapped in a towel. I would get butterflies in my stomach, my excitement was hard to contain. I loved hearing the story behind each piece. Some pieces were custom made, others were passed down to her from her mother. My fixation was on the rings, the rings were something else. The rings didn’t need a story, they told a story on their own; the diamonds were pure, the rubies, scandalous, and the emeralds were surely mysterious.
She often combined jewelry, making it ever more unique. It allowed her to wear her favorite pieces all at once as to not neglect any item or show any sign of favoritism. She was cute that way; she cared about the jewelry’s feelings.
One of her favorite pieces was a pair of three-hooped earrings. You couldn’t tell that they were separate items at first.
She proudly flaunted her design “Did you know that these are actually three different earrings?” She asked with a smile on her face.
“No.” I replied as I put on as much jewelry as I can, two necklaces, a bracelet on each wrist and rings. Rings everywhere.
My grandmother was truly a free spirited woman, she had the soul of a gypsy. We would glam ourselves up only to pounce around by the beach.
The hoops resonated with me. And as I grew older I found myself fixating on earrings, large earrings. Eventually, the three-hooped piece was passed down to me and I was struck by its design. As a child I was distracted by the shiny-rocked rings and failed to notice the impressive intricacy of these earrings. A simple and solid outer hoop, combined with a delicate middle hoop wrapped in a golden rope and a hexagon as the inner hoop; my grandmother harmonized three different characteristics to create the perfect piece: strength, delicacy, and geometry.
These earrings defied nature, they didn't compliment the outfit, they made the outfit. Statement earrings, ones that you can wear daily, that shape your face with confidence, under the golden glow.
Our Kouklitsa Hoops commemorates this memory of innovation, love, and design. Inspired by our heritage; we’re happy to bring this piece to the world, to share our inspiration and story, and hopefully to inspire you and help you create your own story!
Laila, this one's for you Kouklitsa.<3