Thimios Petsas and Nicki Mavromytis are a couple from Nafpaktos Greece, who recently returned to Australia to continue doing what they adore most, and contribute beauty to the world we live in, the best way they know how − with florals.
Thimios, a qualified and extremely talented florist, and Nicki, his wife and partner, met and developed their business together in the heart of Nafpaktos, on the western shores of Greece.
They had a vision, and together they developed their dream into a reality, bringing to fruition Petsas Flowers, a store that ideally was as beautiful to the customer from the street as the products it held inside. With that in mind, they designed and built a neo-classically inspired building, with dreamy, hand-carved stone walls and grand arched windows. The bottom level was a florist and the second floor contained everything related to events and jewellery. The jewellery they stocked was Thallo, and it wasn’t hard to see how the two were made for each other, making the decision to stock the brand an easy one.
Thallo jewellery is a family-owned business, founded in the ’80s when Theodore and Viktoria Peleki had the idea to create the everlasting floral, in the form of jewellery. After decades of trials and research, they perfected the art of turning flowers into high-end jewellery pieces with an affordable price tag.
Named after the Greek goddess of blossom, Thallo is now a renowned jeweller, designing, making and distributing its pieces worldwide. Each piece is a real flower, blossom, branch, leaf, etc. that has been plated in gold or silver, taking particular care to preserve the beauty gifted by nature, with no two pieces ever being alike.
The jewellery was introduced to Melbourne by Nicki Mavromytis and her sister Vicki 10 years ago. They began taking the first steps of bringing the brand over and selling privately on a small scale, nothing too serious coming of it until they attended the Melbourne Gift Fair in 2015 with Thimios. There they realised how unique the product was to the Australian market, genuinely believing it would do well and that this was something they just “had to” share with Australia.
Upon returning to Greece, Nicki and Thimios, reflecting on the opportunities Australia presented and foreseeing issues in the Greek economy, took the leap and moved “home”.
Although the plan is to expand and eventually have the same concept as Petsas Flowers, here in Melbourne Nicki and Thimios have recently opened up a concept store, in the newly-renovated Eastland Shopping Centre, located in Melbourne. The store is called Thallo and stocks a wide range of Thallo jewellery, as well as other items associated with christenings and weddings. With Thimios’ love of florals, Nicki’s creativity and the occasional help of their children Theodora and Dimitra, it’s easy to see how this family business is a recipe for success.
I recently had a chance to meet with the couple, who exuded positive energy and were bursting to share their excitement.
What do you love most about Thallo jewellery? Do you personally have a favourite piece?
Vicky: I adore Thallo jewellery because it’s unique, individual, it represents Greek nature. Every piece is different. Take flowers, for example. Even if you pick the same flower it grows differently. You can try to copy it and create the exact same flower but its petals will never grow in the same way. It’s nature. As for a favourite piece, I do in fact have one, although its very hard for me to choose. For me it is the olive branch stefana (wedding crowns). They represent the ancient Greek wreath and Olympic Games laurel.
What was the most exciting moment of your career?
That would be Peggy Zina’s wedding. Peggy Zina is a famous Greek singer. They believed in our professionalism and trustworthiness. We successfully carried out the project and got heaps of publicity on mass media … it was crazy.
What do you think contributed to your success?
Thimios: The first thing I learned from my parents, who actually started this business, is professionalism and respect to our customers. We have to be honest, make them feel welcome, offer them the best quality of services, to satisfy them.
What do you miss the most about Nafpaktos?
We do miss Nafpaktos itself a lot, but we miss the strong bond among its people the most. It was 26 full years of successful business, family, strong bonds with friends; 26 years of good reputation in the community, which has shaped our identity and has helped us evolve to who we are today by moving on to this great country.
How is it working with your significant other? Is it ever stressful?
When each person knows what they have to do, their responsibilities, and follows rules, everything runs smoothly. There might be some arguments, especially when you put two artistic personalities to work together, but it’s exactly that collision of ideas that brings out the best in us and the most creative outcome.