1. First of all its an honor to have this conversation with you. Tell us more about ''Sophia Enjoy Thinking'' Concept. What made you create such a unique brand?
-In 2013, when the negative fiscal crisis of the Greek economy was under the spotlight, I felt the urge to develop and promote the positive aspects of Greece - creativity, design, innovation, cultural heritage and history- across the world. In less than five years my team and I achieved to establish SOPHIA Enjoy Thinking products in 400 shops, concept stores and famous department stores and in 25 museum shops in 40 countries.
2. What is thinking out of the box for you?
-It simply means to learn how to think creatively and beyond the existing paths. Our products aim to promote thinking as a powerful method that one should enjoy. That is why our motto is "Enjoy Thinking".
3.How busy is your everyday agenda and how do you combine your intense business life with your personal life?
-My daily agenda is filled with wonderful and exciting moments with my children, grandchildren, friends and colleagues. These moments have always been a priority and a source of energy and inspiration to me. My business life is inseparable to my need to feel creative, alive and eager to exchange ideas with talented people better. I prefer not to label that part of my life as business, but to describe it as a way of living. It is intense and sometimes full of difficulties, but that is life. Is it not?
4. Are you the type of character who would swim against the stream or would you rather be on the safe side?
-The safe side was never an option to me. I have always swum against the stream, which undeniably makes the journey full of struggles, but the final outcome almost every time fascinating.
5. What have been your learning milestones starting and growing your business?
-It is beyond any shadow of doubt that I have definitely learned a lot. Some of my learning milestones are:
Never copy or imitate what is already done by others within the scene you create.
Your work should be driven by and reflect on your feelings and you passions.
Follow your heart and listen to it.
Never give up.
Work harder that everybody around you.
Don't be afraid of trying something new.
Get up fast after failure.
You can't be accepted by everybody.
Find people that share the same passion, drive and vision with you to work with.
Always thrive to inspire your team
Let your work talk for you
Always keep a low profile
Fame is periodic. It can be dangerous and it can corrupt you.
Learn to listen to criticism and use it as the means to become better.
Never stop thinking, learning and developing.
Don't be afraid of change
Don't be afraid to take risks
Pay attention to detail.
Always have a sense of humor
Perfection is boring and actually it does not exist.
7. If you could give one advice to a young girl that she wishes to start her own business?
-I would suggest all the above-mentioned, as well as to enjoy every step along the way.
8. Are you optimistic about the current crisis in Greece? Will we see ''the light in the end of the tunnel'' eventually?
-I am hopeful and optimistic that we will see the light. It is not going to be easy, but if we all fight together for and not against change it we can! We should focus not on fighting the old, but on building the new face of Greece and we should promote the wealth of our beautiful country. I believe that the first step that one has to take is to change their habits and themselves.
9. What is Greece after all? Is it the sun, the islands, or something more than this ''cliché'' kind of thing?
-Greece is a strong feeling that one might experience differently. It is part of who we are; our personality. It is the history, the culture, the philosophy, the ‘filotimo’, the way of thinking and most importantly Greece is family.
10. Do we need ''philosophy'' in our lives?
-In simple terms, philosophy is the science of understanding the mysteries of life. For me Philosophy is the love to think. I believe that a thoughtful person is always a step closer to true happiness and that is what I try to promote through the products that I design. So I hope that it is evident that I strongly recommend to everyone to integrate philosophy in everyday life.
11. Your next business goals are...?
-The list is so big it can't fit in a single page... but you will find out soon.