On the last day, at our final meal, we told Loucas we were leaving and asked for the bill. His incredible response was “Souvenir…souvenir.” He was insistent that we could not pay for anything! It was a gesture that none of us will ever forget.
People of Santorini
Yiorgos Poniros, having grown up in a family with a rich jewelry making legacy, he was destined for this. Apart from the family heritage, his love for precious things and good design led him to study gemology and jewelry design. Now the company have five jewelry stores and several selling points that attract A-list clientele. Here, the young designer opens up about his love of jewelry, his favorite island Santorini and gives a positive note for this challenging times.
Tell us a bit about your business, how did it all begin?
I feel blessed to belong to a family who has been at the forefront of shaping contemporary jewellery design in Greece. The Poniros brand has successfully set the standards for excellence and unparalleled beauty on the Greek and international jewellery scene. My brother Fotis and I are the third generation of the Poniros brand and the sole designers of the company which was established by our grandfather in 1937 and then passed on to our father Dimitris Poniros.
Why did you choose to continue the family tradition?
As a child, my favourite place was in our busy workshop where I would watch my father be meticulous over every detail together with his finest craftsmen as they created a piece of jewellery. I was fascinated and thrilled by each and every gemstone which seemed to breathe life into a piece of jewellery. I felt that this too is where I wanted to channel my passion and creativity. I went on to study gemmology at the GIA school in New York and soon after that jewellery design in Italy.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Santorini is my strongest motivation to design. Unsurpassed in natural beauty, Santorini is a unique combination of dazzling colours , emblematic architecture, celestial light, a very distinctive landscape and a compelling history since ancient times. This never ceases to inspire me.
What’s your motto in life and in business?
Always strive for excellence until it becomes a habit.
Which part of Santorini is your favorite?
It is difficult to say because I love every part of this island. If I had to choose, it would be the small unassuming balcony of our Fira boutique which overlooks the magnificent caldera and the volcano. Standing there always fills me with a sense of tranquility.
What would you suggest to someone to do on their first time to Santorini? Share with us a small itinerary. The perfect day in Santorini…
I would begin with a slow walk along the marble pathway of Oia starting from St. George and ending at the old castle. I would enjoy a delicious lunch at either Armeni or Ammoudi bay and then end with a cocktail to celebrate the sunset.
Any hidden spots? Secret places you want to share?
Saint Markos in Imerovigli is a small private church at the highest point of the island. It is the point at which you can see both sides of the island as you look towards the East and the West.
How was 2020 season for you? What are you hoping for the future? A positive note for our readers?
I was afforded the time to reconnect with the beauty of Santorini and allow inspiration to flow into my new jewellery designs. My passion to create jewellery, whether small or large, simple or elaborate, has always been fueled by the lasting memories this creates between people and our beautiful island.
I am an eternal optimist and believe the future will be a positive one. I look forward to welcoming friends old and new and hope our shared experience will create a stronger sense of community.
Note: As we want our guests to leave Santorini with a little “gem” of the island, in cooperation with the Poniros family we them offer a signature pendant.
Learn more about the Poniros company here