Lisa Sarigiannidou - Savapile
In the beautiful millinery workshop of Savapile, in the center of Athens; that is where I met Lisa Sarigiannidou. Lisa was waiting for me with her sweet dog in a workshop full of history and creativity.
We talked about her company's history and the unique handmade straw hats she creates.
Lisa, how did Savapile start?
Savapile is an emotional story for me. My father started it in the early 60s, in the center of Athens. My father, SavvasSarigiannidis, from a very young age would work in a few jobs and one of them was in a hat factory. He loved the art of making straw hats and decided to start making them on his own and sell them on the beach of Salamis. For his first hat, he used a pot and a pan for molds! After seeing that his work was doing quite well, he decided to set up the workshop in the center of Athens.
What inspired you to continue with Savapile?
It was a natural continuation for me. Since I was a child, every summer I would work in my father’s workshop. Even when I was studying Economics & Business Administration, every Friday I was here to help. Truth is that, at that point, I hadn’t yet decided what exactly I wanted to do professionally.
What is your inspiration every time you create?
Fashion, modern trends and the material itself, the rice straw; these are my inspirations. Unfortunately, though, the straw starts disappearing along with the art of straw-hat making. Gradually straw hats are replaced with those made from paper, and that is due to the large production units in China.
What kind of difficulties do you usually face?
A big problem we face is the difficulty of maintaining the old machines and presses. Another problem is that since this job is seasonal, the planning of the new production could be delayed. Moreover, Greeks have the tendency to order last minute, so the workload is greatly increased in the summer.
How has Savapile changed your life?
I enjoy the freedom I have, I enjoy what I am doing. I am happy to be in my workshop, although I often work day and night.
How do you promote Savapile?
Social media is a very useful tool. Instagram and Facebook are a way to introduce my work to customers, bloggers and stylists who choose my hats either for their stores or magazine photo shootings.
What message would you like to convey to the other creators? What would you advise them?
Follow your passion! Be persistent! Try hard if you love what you do. Do not lose hope!
How do you apply the Greek Island Effortless Living to your life? How can people experience this through the Savapilehats?
For me, it's all summer. The straw hats are summer's epitome. When a customer tries on a hat, in the middle of the winter, their mood changes instantly, and that’s something that I have witnessed many times.
Hats and straw, as a material, are the key to a lighthearted and delightful summer!
See Savapile hat collection