Christos Thalassinos at one of his Elias and Panos jewelry shops in Athens
In a country where pawnbrokers are reporting an increase in the number of cash-strapped customers selling their jewellery to make ends meet, it’s no secret that jewelers in Greece are struggling.
This is why Christos Thalassinos, a jeweller from Thessaloniki, northern Greece, is spreading his rings across the Atlantic
The 42-year-old, who attended Stony Brook University in Long Island, was recently in New York City for a local charity benefit United Colors of Fashion, a non-profit organization founded in 2010 that’s comprised of philanthropically minded fashion industry professionals.
In an interview with Upstart Business Journal, he said his time in New York gave him a chance to meet other business owners, brush elbows with celebrities and supermodels, and perhaps most important, to realize that business, especially business that involves fashion, is global.
Thalassinos is now setting up a distribution market in the United States for Greek jewelry designers. While his Thessaloniki-based company, Elias and Panos, mainly makes custom bridal jewelry for the Greek market, he is hoping to bring some more upstart Greek jewelry designers to a global audience.
He is currently working with a young Greek jewelry designer, Dimitrios Kapsakis, whose Dmitrios Exclusive designs are already sold at Elias and Panos. In Greece, the designer has distribution in 80 stores and Thalassinos is handling international distribution for the 24-year-old designer internationally, in Germany, Italy and Russia. But Thalassinos is determined to showcase Kapsakis’ collection, which includes handmade pieces inspired by Byzantine art and crafted in sterling silver and 22-karat gold with pearls and colored gemstones, in the United States.
The Dmitrios Exclusive collection will make its debut in Dallas in March. The collection will be featured at a jewelry event and several trunk shows.
Thalassinos, who took over the jewelry business from his father six years ago, is already taking a second step. He said he is “very close” to signing with a distributor in Dallas.
“Of course, getting into shops [directly] is the ultimate goal,” he said. Because while doing everything possible in Greece is one way to get through the tough times, casting a wider net in a global economy is maybe the most entrepreneurial idea of all.
“This is a tough time that the country’s going through,” he added. “In my area where my shops are are still doing OK because it’s more of a tourist area, but overall, the buying power is not what used to be.”
‘Rebuilding Greece’
Thalassinos’ Elias and Panos started selling a “Rebuilding Greece” bracelet.
“The whole idea was to build a bracelet to change the news, and let people know things are not as horrible as presented,” he said. The proceeds went toward assisting the homeless.
He also teamed up with other local jewellers with shops in Athens’ Pandrossou Street Market in Plaka. Together, they launched a Facebook page to showcase their products.

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