Following successful ventures with ABC's "Lost" and HBO's "Game of Thrones," Wilmington jewelry designer Olga Ganoudis is traveling up the road from Wilmington to Greenville, where her work is now being sold at the fashion-forward Peter Kate boutique.
Peter Kate, a boutique in Greenville, is known for its fashion-forward, tasteful approach to style, featuring some of the most well-known national and international designers making clothes and accessories today.
However, co-owners Sissy Dent Harris and Kathy Savage also like to feature cutting edge, on-trend designers with a local connection, too.
Enter Wilmington native and jewelry designer Olga Ganoudis, whose worldwide travels, craftsmanship and eye for style made her a perfect fit at Peter Kate. The boutique will be selling Ganoudis's Druzy designs, which feature rings and earrings made of the popular medium known equally and alternately as Druse, Drusy and Druzy.
What is Druzy? It is best described as a layer of crystals that form within a mineral crust, like what's found in the inner cavity of a geode. A better description might be this: Remember playing as a kid and finding a rock that would crack open? The shiny, often faceted part in the middle is essentially what Druzy is. Ganoudis said that one of the most common or popular forms is titanium Druzy but amethyst and quartz are also popular stones used for Druzy pieces.
"I love working with it," said Ganoudis. "There's a lot of texture which lends itself to more of an organic look. It gives each piece a wonderful, unique look that's like a marriage of styles."
CLAIM TO FAME
While Ganoudis loves her current Druzy projects and the ability to bring her work to the northern Delaware communities that she grew up in, it's not all she does or entirely what she's known for. Thanks to her own creativity and, of course, a bit of serendipitous luck, her work has also been sold as official merchandise for ABC's former powerhouse mystery "Lost" and is currently being sold through HBO's uber-popular "Game of Thrones."
"I was a huge fan of 'Lost' and one day I was having lunch with a friend in New York City and in the course of catching up, she said that her brother was writing the music for the show. We were talking about how good the show was and I said to her that if I was on the island [the setting for the show was a fictious, deserted island], I would be making jewelry," said Ganoudis. "The next thing I know, my friend was in Lost Angeles and she told me to send her some of the necklaces I had done for her. They caught the eye of an ABC executive and the next thing I knew ABC was contacting me to put my stuff on their website."
Her "Lost"-inspired jewelry, which was sold as a part of official "Lost" merchandise, did so well that several years later, she was contacted by the company that hosted the merchandise website. It turned out that HBO was putting the finishing touches on a new series that was also rumored to be the next "big" show. It turns out that they were right. "Game of Thrones" has been a runaway success. And, now, fans of the show can buy merchandise that was actually created by Ganoudis.
"It's really taken me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to expand on what I do," Ganoudis explained. "I'm making paperweights and all kinds of things that I'm not used to doing as a jewelry designer. But, it's so much fun and such a great opportunity, you know?"
SHINING AT HOME
But, for all her success with two television shows as well as a prosperous venture through trade shows and markets, which have put her designs in stores all over the country, she's still most excited about seeing her designs on local women thanks to Peter Kate.
"I'm from here so it means even more knowing that women I pass on the street might be wearing my earrings or a bracelet I've done," said Ganoudis. "I can't even begin to tell you how happy that makes me."