Greek jewelry designer Elena Votsi has been passionately inspired by jewelry since a very young age. A life-long resident of the charming island of Hydra, Greece, Elena has an endless source of inspiration. Known for its rich Greek culture, and rich fashion culture, Hydra is the home of Elena’s first jewelry boutique. This holiday favorite among the European elite boasts picturesque hills and blue waters, instantly capturing the hearts of its stylish guests. The island is the epitome of true Greek Spirit as the only transportation is by donkey or horse and the hills are spotted with crisp white architecture and brilliant pops of color. With narrow streets and an endless summer feeling, it is no surprise that Elena has chosen to raise her son in the exact same place that has brought her so much inspiration, success, and happiness.
One of Elena’s earliest memories with jewelry is her adoration of the stylish rings that adorned her mother’s. Her mother, one of the many chic women of Hydra, encouraged Elena’s fixation as they traveled around the world; they made certain to visit as many vintage jewelry boutiques as they could. Pursuing this passion, she graduated from both the School of Fine Arts in Athens and the prestigious Royal College of Art in London, bringing an artist’s eye to the jewelry she designs today. After 20 years of experience, Elena has collected a multitude of awards; the most prestigious of them all was being given the honor of re-designing the Olympic Medal for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Elena’s love for Greece and its profound history in both mythology and antiquity was not only expressed in the re-design, but is her muse for the charismatic jewelry collections. As a strong woman, mother, and designer, her infectious spirit is beautifully translated into her jewelry; inviting every woman to her “fairytale of luxury and art.”
Elena described the Olympic Medal re-design as “the biggest honor of my career.” The Olympic Committee chose Elena’s designs for the first official ‘revamping’ of the medal since the 1928 Amsterdam Olympic Games. She found inspiration in her strong connection to Greek Culture, both present and past. She chose the Panathenaic Stadium of Athens, the home of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 as the setting for her design. It is the only stadium in the world made of solid white marble. Nike, the Winged Goddess of Victory, is gracefully floating into this stadium on the medal. She is known for bestowing glory and fame among the victors of ancient battle; and she will continue to do so for today’s Olympic winners. Elena’s design was chosen to remain the front of the medal, gold, silver, and bronze, for all future Olympics; turning her work into a piece of history.
Not only did she find inspiration from The Greek Gods for her Olympic medal, Elena was clearly under the Greek God Cupid’s influence when designing the EROS collection which features a theme of hearts and arrows. Adorned with gorgeous gemstones, from richly hued rubies and sapphires to brilliant white and black diamond, one can’t help but to fall in love.
The quaint island of Hydra is the hub of Elena’s inspiration, a place of both nostalgia and novelty. These two elements translate into the timelessly beautiful, yet modern and fun pieces of her collection. She exclusively works in 18k gold, believing that gold is a natural symbol of beauty and power. Playing with shapes and stones, Elena wants “the women who wear [her] pieces to feel beautiful, special, self-confident, and unique.”