"I own 3 catstudio pillows—London, Florida, and Greece. I look at each of them and I see some of the most important and beloved places that I hold near and dear to my heart. Each time I sit on my couch, or flop onto my bed after a long day, I am transported to the comfort of my memories. I see the delicately stitched "Covent Garden" in beautiful emerald green thread in the London pillow, and remember wandering through the streets of one of the most beautiful British neighborhoods, shopping with my mom on a snowy November day. The plum colored thread that says "Sanibel Island" on my Florida pillow brings me right to the beach off of West Gulf Drive, and suddenly I can smell the salty humid air and feel the warmth of the familiar sun kissing my skin in my second home.
My grandfather emigrated to the U.S. from Greece in 1953. I've been to Greece a number of times, and I am never more proud of my heritage than I am when I tell people how to pronounce my last name and that it's Greek. The ivory thread that was used to stitch the Parthenon gives me chills thinking of my very first trip to Greece in 1998. I was a chubby little 4 year old, and don't remember much of that trip except for the 100 degree day in the middle of August that my family and I hiked up to the Acropolis. There was a little old Greek man taking portraits in front of the Parthenon standing in the sun, dancing around behind his camera trying to get a baby to smile. The second my dad saw him, he bolted toward him, with my brother, mom, and I in tow. We were covered in sweat, forcing smiles while the sun was beating down on us. I never understood the reason for the the sporadic family photo until a few months later, when my dad had put 5 different photos in one big frame. The first photo at the top was of my grandfather when he was a child and his family. The second was my grandfather the day he met my grandmother. The third was my grandfather, my grandmother, and my dad and uncle when they were children. The fourth had my grandparents, my own parents before they were married, and my uncle and aunt. All of the photos had the exact same background, and everyone in them was sitting on the same giant chunk of marble, my 4 year old eyes started to notice a pattern. And there, at the bottom, was the new picture of our own family. The same man had been taking pictures in front of the Parthenon for over 60 years!
It is in tiny moments like these, that I realize how important these pillows and designs are to me. They give me joy during some dark times, helping to transport me to some of the corners of the earth I cherish most. There are always more pillows I'd like to add to my collection. These pillows are so much more than just decorative pillows I put on my couch. They are storytellers, they are secret keepers, they are memories stitched carefully and meticulously into my life."