Olga Kandaraki

Who is the talented Greek jewelry designer who created the sun-shaped 2021 lucky charms in order to support the goals of Le Soleil Foundation? 

A charismatic and multi-awarded designer, Olga Kandaraki is one of the most creative spirits in Greece. She is already well known not only for the original character of her jewelry but also because she trains herself the next generation of designers in the country, also discovering new talents.

She is part of a family of goldsmith-artists, given that both her father and her sister have been successfully involved in the field for several years. So, let us learn a few more things about her. 

1. How was it that you collaborated with the cultural platform Le Soleil Foundation?

The projects and principles of Le Soleil Foundation as well as the respect I have for its President, Ms Ada Iliopoulou, is what actually inspired me to design the sun themed lucky charms collection, exclusively for Le SoleilFoundation.

2. What was the message you wished to convey when suggesting to rediscover the sun? 

What we are experiencing those days, made me want to design a sun-shaped 2021 lucky charm. I think that we live in dark days and we all need to discover the sun, firstly within us but also in our everyday life. Through these jewelries, I wish to urge everyone to look at the bright side of life, to bring back their vibrant thoughts, to seek optimism is each new dawn. 

3. What is the sun to you?

The sun is the source of life! A symbol of stability, abundance, hope, prosperity and optimism… To me, the sun is the light of a new day, a new opportunity coming in my life. 

4. How did you start specializing in lucky charms? 

I started designing jewelry in 2000 but it was in 2007 I first took on to lucky charms, due to my father’s encouragement to do so. My first lucky charms collection was created for the year 2008. However, from the very beginning, my collections did not clearly indicate the number of each year. The number is hidden within the shapes or the symbols. This is why each of those collections is always called “Save the year”.

5. You are considered one of the most famous jewelry designers in Greece, endowed with a remarkable family tradition. What made you decide to get involved in this field? 

Designing jewelry was already part of my DNA. I grew up in a family where my father and several of my uncles were creating jewelry. When I was a kid, drawing was my main hobby. My father noticed early on my aptitude, so at age 13, I designed my first jewelry and then we proceeded into creating it. That was it: I had already decided what I would do for the rest of my life. 

6. What was your source of inspiration throughout this difficult year? Tell us about it.

For a difficult year such as the one we experience, I draw inspiration from anything that provides optimism, such as the light, the feeling of love, a hug...

7. Throughout your career, has there been a jewelry that you kept until today, even slightly modified? 

My most favorite jewelry is a cross pendant that technically consists of an optical illusion. Based on the way you look at it, it might look either like a cross or like a butterfly and it can be worn on both sides.

8. What kind of jewelry should a woman have for everyday use and what kind should she reserve for special occasions? 

Every woman should have the type of jewelry that best expresses who she is. I do not think I wish to set any stereotypes. Depending on the general style and body type, long necklaces, impressive earrings, or cocktail ringscan make a woman shine either for everyday use or on a special occasion.

9. You provided a course for jewelry creators. How do things work out these days? 

Personally, I have been teaching jewelry design since 2003. I used to teach at the Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum and the MOKUME vocational training institute. Since 2011, my sister, Anastasia Kandaraki who is involved into artistic jewelry, further extended the activities of our workshop, by establishing studio ANAMMA; there, apart from creating jewelry, we also make jewelry creators. Amidst the pandemic, we follow all state rules and regulations for live classes when it is possible to have one. Then, a few classes also take place online and we also run some online projects with the wish to return to our normal routines.

10. You are also famous for children’s jewelry, and for your unconventional baptism crosses shaped after butterflies or mermaids.

I love creating special baptism crosses inspired by butterflies, flowers, hearts or mermaids. I got involved into that one because I wanted the most important jewelry in a girl’s life to be something that she will wear all the time. I never got a chance to wear my cross pendant. I also love to create customized jewelry for special occasions, such as the gifts presented to godparents or best men or bridesmaids, an anniversary gift or coming of age gifts.

11. What is it that makes you keep dreaming?

Creating things and the hope for a better future.

12. In the end, what is it that actually matters in life?

What matters is to remain authentic, to do what we love, to live simply, to respect our community and the people around us.

 e-shop: https://www.olgalovesjewels.com/jewel-categories/le-soleil/

You can also order at e-mail:

You can see more collections at : 
www.kandarakiolga.eu(Golden collection- CUSTOM)