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In March, we launched #Auvertureunited, our initiative to raise funds to support independent jewellery designers during the coronavirus crisis. As part of the initiative, we’re donating 100% of the proceeds to The Auverture Designer fund on Auverture over the coming three months, beginning March 20. During this time, to find out more about how the designers within our Auverture family are adapting to this challenging new way of living, we’ll be posting a series of interviews with Auverture’s creatives. We’ll ask designers about their insights into how to maintain positivity, foster creativity, and find inspiration during these unprecedented times.
Nikos Koulis is based in Athens, Greece, where he crafts jewellery that fuses an Art Deco mood with feminine curves and flourishes. Nikos, who hails from a family of jewellers, founded his brand in 2006. After studying literature, he decided to revisit jewellery design, studying gemmology and glyptography (the art of engraving gems) at the Gemological Institute of America. Nikos has generously pledged to donate 100% of the sales of his jewellery through Auverture over the next three months to the Auverture Designer Fund.
“MY COPING MECHANISM IS TO BE ACTIVE, OPTIMISTIC, AND TO KEEP MY CREATIVITY INTACT”
Auverture: Can you talk about what strategies or activities are helping you stay positive during these difficult times?
Nikos Koulis: Work hasn’t stopped – I’m designing, keeping in touch with suppliers and partners, and I am engaged with my life [as it was] before the Covid-19 universal crisis. My coping mechanism is to be active, optimistic, and to keep my creativity intact.
A: What daily rituals and routines do you find helpful?
NK: I’ve always loved staying at home. My daily rituals have changed, though, now that I spend my whole day there. I’m cleaning, cooking, organising my stuff, and making flower arrangements, to create a serene atmosphere that will help me have clarity and calm. Running every morning helps a lot, too!
A: At times like this, does your creative process bring you comfort?
NK: I’m grateful for being able to express myself through my profession. This unprecedented experience hasn’t stopped my creativity. I design new pieces, I’m looking for new ideas, and I’m focusing on the intangible, inspiring aspects of jewellery-making.
A: Having studied literature, are there any books you would particularly recommend to stay inspired, or get a sense of perspective and space in these difficult times?
NK: I love literature, but our current experience has directed me towards Ancient Greek philosophy. I’m reading Heraclitus now. I’m not necessarily seeking answers, but rather enlightened thoughts.
A: We’re all now living a less social existence – do you think that’s meant you can focus on different aspects of your work, or perhaps explore new ideas?
NK: This challenge is an opportunity to look within. Reality is so stressful, but I choose to take a journey from fear to love.
In my atelier, deciding over stone combinations
A: Can you share with Auverture’s readers anything that you’re looking to for hope in these tough times?
NK: I hope that this collective experience will make us better and more responsible global citizens. Time to respect nature at last, time to change our habits, time to take care of each other with actions, not just words.
A: Has the crisis changed your priorities and values at all?
NK: It has changed my perspective, as I had never thought that 3 billion people could be in lockdown simultaneously. This is a shared trauma, a sudden shock for all of us. Now, I feel more empathy and sensibility than ever before, not just for the ones I love, but for my community, my country, our world.
A: What prompted you to donate 100% of your sales via Auverture to the Auverture Designer Fund for the next three months?
NK: Bibi’s wonderful vision was striking to me. There are so many people in need, and so many invaluable causes to support, but I felt that as a designer I have to reach out to my community first. Auverture’s initiative leads by example in what we should do to support these independent creatives who have to fight more than ever to keep their businesses alive. So many sectors will be affected, so many jobs will be lost; let’s contribute to making a positive difference for some of them.