November 1922, Samsun, Black Sea: An agreement forces the exchange of population between Greece and Turkey. Theologia Evmirides, a 47-year old Greek widow is obliged to leave her home and family business to immigrate to Greece, together with her five children and her old mother in law. According to the exchange agreement only household articles were allowed for transport.
Theologia found a way to transport illegally some of the finest handmade carpets together with few other precious fabrics. She had five single and two double mattresses. She took out the cotton which was inside the mattresses and filled them with the precious items that arrived safely in Greece without being discovered. These carpets became the establishment capital of AION1922 business.
Theologia and her family moved to various places in mainland Greece, establishing their business first in Thessaloniki, and later moving south, in Athens. For nearly a century, they have continued to work in their ancestors’ trade, as carpet manufactures and merchants.
All that is left now are these precious carpets, an essential property for my family's future (...)
Our trading network exceeds the places that we buy from and the geographical boundaries of countries and continents. It is a web of intertwined relationships and assets with the most expert carpet and kilim makers from the heart of Asia to the shores of the Aegean Sea.
As many of these artisans and the merchants who represent them literally come to extinction, our stock is unique. It is quite hard, even for the most talented craftsmen, to make such carpets again — both because each carpet pattern is unique and because some of the carpet-making techniques are slowly but surely getting lost, as a result of the passage of time and of people.