Nestled on the corner of a quiet street in a tiny town outside of Athens, Greece, sits a jewelry shop called Carmen. Owned and operated by Jorge, a kind man of Spanish and Greek descent, Carmen offers something you won’t find in the tourist trap shops of bigger metropolitan cities in this region of the world: jewelry with global influences and careful craftsmanship that encapsulates the spirit of travel.
I first met Jorge four years ago when I went to Tolo, the tiny town located a few bumpy bus rides away from Athens. I was on a study abroad trip and our first stop was a week in this quaint village near the bigger city of Nafplion. Carmen caught my eye and I stopped in with no intention of making a purchase, but left with a bag full of pieces for myself and the ladies in my life. Jorge, whose caring method of helping customers choose the right pieces, left an impression on us all. When I went back to Tolo last year, a stop at Carmen was first on the list.
In Carmen you won’t find cheaply made pieces with typical Greek insignia like you do at markets in Athens and even Nafplion. Jorge takes his time carefully putting energy and inspiration into his jewelry, and the pieces I bought on both trips are a staple in my accessory collection.
“I like the idea of making something unique,” Jorge says on his newly-launched website. “When you create something on your own, it has a part of you. I make my jewelleries with love and passion and you can feel it.”
When we visited in June last year, Jorge told us about his plan to create a website that can ship his creations all over the world. I’m so happy for him to see it coming to fruition! His pieces are truly unique and lasting. I’ve had at least three pieces for more than four years now and each gemstone is still in place, and the luster still lingers.
What I love about Jorge’s work is the detail and care he puts into each piece, ensuring it’s quality. His workspace is a beautiful cluster of beads, jewels and wire, a sign of use and creativity in motion. He makes the jewelry in the shop using silver, gold, precious metals and gemstones…all having a Greek influence charged with Spanish passion. His demeanor is simply kind, and after three years away from Tolo he recognized me with a warm smile as I walked into Carmen with my friends from Nashville.
If you visit Greece, it’s a must to visit Carmen in the little town of Tolo. The store is located at 3 Sekeri St., Tolo, Nafplio, Greece. Jorge also ships worldwide, so visit his store here if you can’t get to Greece soon enough.