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Updates from Pete and Joanne
Our Blog and News from the Workshops
Update: January 25, 2021
THE HUNT IS ON - Week 4! (UNSOLVED)
This week we have a "find the most" hint - but without a riddle ... as simple as can be: Find Ice Cream on our site!
Update: January 11, 2021
THE HUNT IS ON - Week 2! (SOLVED)
This week we have a "find the piece first" hint - which might be easier ... or harder ... we're not really sure!
Update: January 4, 2021
THE HUNT IS ON - Week 1! (UNSOLVED)!
Every Monday from now through the end of February we will be starting a new challenge for your chance to win $250. See the Contest Page and Official Rules.
Update: January 2, 2021 (finally ... 2021!)
In lieu of recent performances by USPS and FedEx we are suggesting to get your valentines gift orders in by the 15th of January
We've created a new Valentines category that you can see here
Update: December 23, 4 PM EST
We have a Store-wide 15% off sale through 12/31/20 - please use the coupon code HOLIDAY15 at checkout to save!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Best Wishes for everyone in the NEW Year!
Update: October 17, 2020
Our site is like our home. A home that hosts thousands of visitors every day who can spend hours inspecting every nook and cranny of what's on offer and how we offer it! So just like a home we like to update things and change the look around once in a while, but we do this with your input as well :-) ... so:
You have asked for more model shots. It is essential to see what a piece looks like up close in high definition, but it is also helpful to see what it looks like when worn by a real person. So we're doing our best to get a photo of every single piece we sell in its "natural habitat"!
You've also gotten "lost in choice" so we've cleaned up our galleries. Clicking "bracelets" on the Gerochristo page used to take you into a blender of mixed up choices in no particular order. Now you'll see all the bangles first, and a steady progression of visually related items from there. This SHOULD help you digest the options a lot more easily!
We're going with a cleaner look for Designer and Category pages. We're not solving any of the world's problems here ... it's just better :-).
What happens at 3:45 am?
One truth about running a business is that the work never really ends. Right now I'm looking at Stilvi's feedback on some photos we took today (we're loving their page right now). While that's going on I decided to list some new Al'Oro pieces. Joanne is sleeping, Buddy is snoring
Hey Dwight; we finally found some open wall space for your collage! The Coffee is from DD (this time) and yes ... to all my high school friends those are readers (but just power +1.00 ... for now!).
Anyway; I figured I'd blog a bit just to feel less alone :-). Get your gift buying done early OK! take care! -Pete
A Note of Remembrance 9/11/2020
19 years ago I was on the 39th floor of the North Tower (WTC1) working in Lehman Brother's IT department. I was settling in with a fresh cup of coffee when the first impact launched me out of my chair. The rest of the story is difficult to tell, and it doesn't seem to get easier as the years go by, especially watching my kids grow and feeling the love Joanne has for me. So I'll save a full-re-telling for next year's 20th anniversary, but just mention here my extreme gratitude to the NYFD. Thanks for climbing the stairs ... I'm doing my best to make it worth it to you.
So this year I just want to share a simple lesson I learned that day: Don't be boring. You can't enrich your life by being like the others. Promise yourself a fuller life, break free and be "you".
Kalo Mina! We kick off September with our Anniversary Celebration: SWEET 16!
16 years offering Greek Jewelry to the world.
Want to see more photos of Pete and Joanne over the years? See our 16-year timeline here.
The word "Stilvi" draws from two sources; one being the continuous change of colors observed in twinkling stars, and the other a mythical goddess who created centaurs. We think a new definition may be wearable art at a very great price.
We are just getting started with this designer - we have another 50 pieces on-hand to photograph and probably more on the way. Same can be said for all our designers but it is usually the new ones (in this case the 3 mentioned in this post) that grow the fastest on our site because we have so much back-catalog to get through (we'll keep you posted!).
Have you ever wondered why some crosses look different from others? We've been wondering, too, and have been amazed by the answers we've found. Take a quick journey with us through empires won and lost and the symbol of a faith that has endured it all ... The Cross.
Not sure if you've seen our new page yet but it's getting some positive attention and plenty of questions already. It's sort of at the level of "Cliff Notes" right now, but we will keep adding depth to the story of each shape as we go ... it has already become our new favorite hobby!
Next addition will be a segment on the Coptic Cross (a tough one because it can take so many forms). Look for that later this week and the Jerusalem Cross to follow.
With the exception of Yianni, our designers are currently either swimming in crystal clear water, eating and drinking too much at a seaside taverna, dancing like Zorba or just plain sleeping! God bless them ... seriously ... we're not jealous at all ... we love New Jersey this time of year ... sure.
Stilvi and Al'Oro both sent a ton of new things for us to photograph and it's going to take a solid month to work our way through it all. We'll start with still-shots, but we've got a model on-tap so as soon as the weather cooperates you'll get to see how everything "wears". In the end we will more than double our Al'Oro offerings and Stilvi, wow - it's a lot of stuff! So be prepared for a parade of jewelry coming at you all fall long!
Gerochristo has updated us with a new set of In-Stock items and we have updated our own currently supply ... so if you are up for a little window shopping here are some great items that you can have shipped right away:
Q: Are all Designers on break for August?
A: It depends on the designer and the time. We've been marking each piece with timing and availability. Most designers are on break, so we're encouraging you to hold your money until September for those. We'd much rather have happy friends than nervous customers ... so keeping your wait times down is important to us. Note Yianni is still crafting for you through the month of August! And you can always check our in-stock items ready to ship immediately.
Something New: The Cross
The research comes from all over the Internet and has been heavily abridged to keep it quick, informative and entertaining (we're not getting a Pulitzer for this). In truth; volumes could be written on any of these forms so if you see something you feel needs more explanation please don't hesitate to let us know. I should mention that this also represents the first real effort by my son Tom to make a contribution to the family business so I'm very proud of him of course!
"Καλο μηνα!" (Kalo Mina) is a greeting shared by Greeks on the first day of every month. It literally means "Good Month" or "Have a good month!". August typically is a good month for our workshops because this is the time for family to bond and everyone to enjoy the summer together.
That being said; please check our schedule below or call us first about delivery times before ordering this month. Chances are it won't take too long but still, we don't like to keep people waiting!
If you are in a hurry to give a gift (maybe you've got an upcoming birthday, anniversary or baptism etc) check our in-stock page for items that can be shipped immediately!
SPEAKING OF TIMING ... Keep in mind our 2 to 3 week lead-time during the run-up to the holiday season. If you have a special gift you would like to give ... think about buying in October rather than December. (our designers thank you)
Orders accepted through 7/31 will ship before the workshops break (if they are taking time off—see below update). If your piece has timing issues (custom stones being sourced) or is placed after 7/31, we will let you know immediately about any timing update.
Good news—We have recovered several packages this week from multiple deliveries that were affected by the pandemic. All artists have re-crafted their works for us, and newly-made pieces are in the hands or on the way to customer, so this means we will have a good amount of stock in house for August break ;) Look for sales on in-stock pieces here.
For Greeks; August = Vacation
Our workshops are no different, but due to the circumstances many of them are cutting their vacation times in half to catch up on lost work. In any case we will be experiencing some down-time and want to get the word out so that you can plan accordingly (for gifts etc.). Here is a breakdown by designer:
• Our Advice: Things will slow down by 2 to 3 weeks during August, so if you are planning a time-sensitive gift please act now.
• Closed from the 8th to the 26th
• Under Normal Circumstances: Al’Oro ships orders out within a week.
• Our Advice: If you are planning a Damaskos purchase in the the next 3 months, please order now!
• Closed for August … perhaps longer (still undetermined).
• Under Normal Circumstances: Damaskos usually gets things done in 7 to 10 days
• Our Advice: Get your orders in quickly for yourself and for gifts
• Alexandra will be heading out of country for August to tend to family members and may be quarantined again upon her return … so we might be looking at a 6 to 7 week interruption.
• Under Normal Circumstances: Alexandra has been finishing catalog items within 2 weeks, her custom jewelry service is dependent upon the complexity of the piece.
• Our Advice: Things will slow down by 2 to 3 weeks during August, so if you are planning a time-sensitive gift please act now.
• Gerochristo will be closed for 2 weeks in mid August.
• Under Normal Circumstances: Gerochristo gets about 60% of our orders shipped within a week, but can sometimes take up to 3 weeks.
• Our Advice: No Problems - but order from this guy just to show him you love him!
• Garbis is staying in town to serve the tourist trade and make up for lost work, he will make whatever you need quickly & do it with a smile!
• Under Normal Circumstances: Yianni makes and ships everything within 5 days, if he is very busy this could take 7 or 8 days.
COVID-19 Timing Deliveries:
At last; we are almost 100% positive that the backlog of orders from the quarantine period will be on their way to customers this week ... whew!
Oh yes! We just finished up model photography and finally built a page for one of our newest designers; "Al'Oro". You can find their jewelry showcase here. Look for Stilvi next!
So we have a new designer "Yianni". To be sure; we love this guy! He and his wife are honest, fun and energized to work with our store. They have beautiful stuff at a great price and perhaps best of all; a great work ethic. They put together a huge initial shipment for us of about 30 pieces and shipped them out within the first 2 weeks. This is the fastest launch of any designer in our store's history and we are so happy for them - they really deserve it!
But those 30 pieces I mentioned were sent 2 months ago ... and USPS FINALLY delivered it today! It was stuck in Chicago all that time! Unfair to our customers, unfair to Yianni and super stressful to Joanne and I.
The "fun" part: About 3 weeks ago we actually lost hope in that shipment and asked Yianni to remake the entire order and ship it using our FedEx account. Guess when that shipment gets here ... Monday!
Right ... well at least we will have a lot of Yianni in stock and ready to go for anyone interested!
On a serious note (and I feel like a broken record lately): We are sorry for the delays. Yes; it is out of our control but we take responsibility for it anyway and really do appreciate your patience. This has been a stressful ride but I think we are finally starting to hit on all cylinders again. -Pete
At this point we are all back to work and making jewelry. However we can't say as much for all of the government post offices involved in moving our goods around the world. FedEx seems to be in good shape so we are spending extra for our designers to ship to us using them. But a few packages from Yianni that went ELTA are lost at sea somewhere near Chicago ... so some items are being remade and are a bit delayed.
We will continue the current sale at our designer's request until the local tourist market recovers enough to keep all the craftsmen employed. Until then please enjoy some of the steepest discounts we're likely to give, and enjoy your summer!
Dear Athena Gaia Community,
We are finally witnessing the gradual return of our artisans to their comfort zone: making art for you. As Greece begins the slow but steady allowance of small businesses to resume, we are breathing a big sigh of relief that our designers and their families have fared well health-wise in this crisis.
We usually need this time to prepare for the rush of summer tourists, but the tourist season is still in doubt, holding the possibility many shops will not re-open. Our workshops are also scrambling to make sure essential personnel stay employed. This is where Athena Gaia starts to shine; to provide a connection to the marketplace outside of the normal tourist trade. Throughout our existence we’ve acted as a safety net in situations like this.
So ... Our Offer To You:
A limited-time discount is still in place at 15% off, discount shown in your cart. We encourage you to use this time to make the purchases you’ve been considering.
We also ask for that extra patience in timing for your special piece.
The exceptions to the delay are the several items we have in stock that can ship from us here in New Jersey as fast as the USPS will deliver.
We recognize that this is an unprecedented time for everyone, a time that for many is filled with uncertainty. Our hearts and thoughts go out to each and every one of you.
God Bless you and Keep You
Pete & Joanne, Owners of Athena Gaia