I first created the first "kourelou" bag in 2009 and since then l have sold hundreds of them all over the world, from Paris to Tokyo and from small boutiques to museum shops and galleries.
I was inspired by the everyday life of the people in the Greek islands that find usefulness and beauty in things that seem to have closed the circle of life. Seeing these colorful rugs lying on benches and doorsteps in tiny whitewashed island homes (little did l know that l would be living in one a few years later!), to me, they were a very strong visual that captured the essence of carefree summer days.
I wanted to hold onto this feeling of summer nonchalance just a little bit longer than my usual week-long vacation and creating my first kilim bag was first and foremost a way to do just that. My first bags came only in one style and did not have any professional finish, (looking backward l am surprised they sold at all!) but they were made with love and enthusiasm and this made them stand out.
Steadily, the collection has evolved, and now it features more than 20 different styles, large small, embellished and plain. It is the most popular item in my Etsy shop (closely followed by the newcomer Espadrille Collection) and l still jump with joy whenever l receive a review from a customer, saying how much they love their new kilim bag.
Fast forward to today, my Kourelou Bags collection keeps going strong, often imitated never duplicated!