by Voula Stamatakis on Jun 04, 2024


Art is a reflection of culture, history, and emotion, and for Greek Australian business owner of Thalassea, it also serves as a timeless bridge connecting people across borders.

Voula Stamatakis was born in Adelaide where she spent the first eight years of her childhood, before the family moved back to Greece.

“Growing up in Greece, surrounded by its rich culture, art, and history, ignited a profound passion within me for Greek culture,” Stamatakis tells Neos Kosmos, describing her journey and what led to the launch of Thalassea in Melbourne, a boutique online store showcasing Greek artistry and culture, through a curated selection of products.

The sea is the central theme in the long history of Greece, hence the name of her brand, which derives from the Greek and English word for sea (Thalassa + sea).

“To us, Thalassea represents the seven seas that connect us.” This is also reflected in the logo, the wave motif – designed by Australian Greek artist Natalie Rombotis – to embody the beauty, fluidity, and timeless elegance of Greek artistry, Stamatakis continues.

Voula Stamatakis (right) with Vassiliki Zafiria Ypsilanti, founder of MANTILITY, who prints artworks on silk artworks in Kavala.

Returning back to Australia, with her own family – her husband and three children – after all these years, she tells us that it was like returning to a place very close to her heart, but at the same time completely new and very different from Greece.

“Here everything is more anthropocentric which is amazing but surely missing the unique landscape of Greece with its beautiful beaches and sea views.”

Through Thalassea, Stamatakis remains connected to all the things she loves most about her homeland, creating a community of artists who inspire her to share their work with the Greek population in Australia and beyond.

“Mind travel” by KEX

“Witnessing the immense talent and creativity within Greece’s artistic community, I felt compelled to create a platform where their work could be celebrated and appreciated globally. This mission is particularly significant because of Australia’s distance from Greece, yet it is home to the third-largest Greek community outside of Greece!”

Her early career revolved in marketing, logistics, and customer relations management across various facets of the shipping and airport operations industry, but her heart was always drawn to Greek history.

‘Panigyri’ by Lela Stroutsi

Whilst working and raising three young children, Stamatakis went back to university to satisfy her insatiable curiosity for cultural studies, completing a bachelors and then a master’s degree at the Open Hellenic University, by 2020.

Her diverse experience gave her the foundation to launch her own project less than two years ago, which has grown organically.

At the heart of it is a sense of community, as she builds a portfolio of diverse Greek artists, while at the same time branching out into the Greek Australian community, supporting local initiatives that bring us all together.

Community has been a constant in her life, expressed in different ways, but her own project is now giving her a better platform to give back and help others too, Stamatakis said.

Next Saturday 13 April, she is organising Thalassea’s first fundraiser pop-up to support the cancer research of Professor Vasso Apostolopoulos, at Flowers Vasette in Fitzroy.

Desert Allure, handmade 24K gold plated earrings

“Her work is of awe. And everyone knows someone who has suffered or died from cancer,” she says, adding that every pop-up event she will organise from now on, will be connected to fundraising for an important cause.

“We see Thalassea as more than just an online store. We aim to foster connections within the Greek community and beyond by hosting events, supporting local initiatives, and collaborating with like-minded organisations. Our goal is to create a vibrant community that celebrates Greek culture and promotes artistic expression.”

Stamatakis travels often back and forth, as her team handpicks emerging fashion and products that are inspired by Greek history and culture.

‘Coffee Time’ by Lela Stroutsi

“Beyond our primary description of our online store lies a deeper identity. Thalassea transforms into an online art shop, reminiscent of the prestigious museums found in Greece and across the globe, where visitors can immerse themselves in Greek culture and acquire pieces of its artistic legacy from anywhere in the world and from people who love what they do!”

By collaborating exclusively with local Greek artisans, Thalassea supports the local Greek economy, and helps preserve its cultural heritage.

“Although we’ve received offers for products made outside of Europe, including them would alter the narrative of our store, diluting its unique essence.”

Thalassea continues to expand, to connect with customers from all over the world, like Astoria in New York or the United Arab Emirates, making it possible to share the beauty of Greek artistry on a global scale.

*Thalassea’s fundraiser Pop-Up to support the cancer research work of Professor Vasso Apostolopoulos will take place on Saturday 13 April, 12pm-4pm, at the Hive, Flowers Vasette, 247 Brunswick St, Fitzroy. To secure your spot, visit www.thalassea.com.au


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