Anna Douka - Handmade Jewelry
One of the favorite pleasures in Nafplio is to wander its picturesque alleys gazing at the shop windows. Among them, Anna Douka Handmade Jewelry, in a magically energetic way, invites you to the unique world of handmade jewelry and rosary!
For years now, when passing by the picturesque alley of King Alexander, I often stand there, on the corner with Kotsonopoulou str., to take a photo starring a fuchsia bougainvillea rich in flowers and beauty. Now, I stand at the exact same place and it is not the seductive bougainvillea that catches my attention, but the elegant shop of the creator of handmade jewelry and rosaries, Anna Douka.
Dream closed in a showcase
A dark blue sign with the Anna Douka Handmade Jewelry logo embraces the corner, giving its own stigma of high aesthetics. The exterior walls painted in light ecru and framed by modern minimal lighting stand, as if a secondary act in a movie, where the main role is played by the large windows. Bounded by deep Byzantine red, they host special jewelry of rare aesthetics, that awaken our desire.
In Vassileos Alexandrou str., a display case with a large yellow rosary makes many passers-by stop, to read information about the rosary. On the right, my favorite showcase, the one that makes you share the creation and the handmade: the showcase of the small workshop, which allows you to observe how Anna, using as weapons her special tools and various semi-precious stones -but with her imagination as the most powerful weapon of all- turns matter into “a dream”.
Anna 's story
I enter the shop and the creator welcomes me warmly, as if we have always known each other. With a cup of coffee in our hands, we sit in armchairs in velvety green and unfold a story full of personal expression, enduring knowledge and positive energy.
Anna’s story -who started alone, as she tells me- began when many years ago she decided to make three-dimensional paintings with plants by her own hands! With this original idea as a vehicle, she began to learn how to plaster plants, attended many seminars of a wide artistic nature, set up her own workshop in her home and began giving her creations away to friends and acquaintances. And as the circle of those who loved Anna's handicrafts grew, so did her passion for the magic of jewelry.
In 2019, together with her husband Kostas, they acquired the store that pre-existed at this point and initially kept it as it was. In the meantime, Anna enrolled in the Silver and Goldsmith Technical School in Stemnitsa Peloponnese and in March 2021 they proceeded with a renovation, which completely transformed the place, giving it a new aura.
The charm of hand-made things
In this high-ceilinged space, which gives you air and deep breaths, I step on the wooden floor and admire the royal blue, the Byzantine red and the cypress green, which give intensity and passion without “stealing the show” from the real protagonists: the hand-made things.
Anna shows me with the same glow in the eye her own creations, but also the pieces of other designers and famous brands, that she brings exclusively to her store and you find nowhere else in the city.
My attention is drawn to the creations with the metallized flowers and plants: a necklace with a chrysanthemum as main piece, a wonderful daisy so real, that I want to ask her "do you love me, do you not love me"… Here is a tulip! Oh, a mimosa and a bracelet dressed in olive leaves, shouting “Greece”!
The truth of the “stones”
We observe the jewelry with the semi-precious stones, that Anna loves very much, and the more I ask her, the more she talks to me about their energy and their influence on our psychological mood, the reduction of stress, the proper functioning of the heart, the treatment of pain. But I do not know, are the stones giving their energy to the creator or the creator to the stones?
Seductive purple of amethyst, candy sweet pink quartz, aquamarine, turquoise and opal, like a dive in exotic seas, and lapis lazuli, amethyst, tourmaline, labradorite, agate, tanzanite… Precious stones clad in gold and silver are unveiled in front of me, as showcases and drawers open.
Next to these, wonderful necklaces and bracelets made of coral in shades of white, blue and black and rows of seabed pearls. A collection of jewelry with meanders and spirals, Greek designs that tourists love. Faux bijoux with colored stones, as if taken from a Byzantine chest. My gaze is filled with so much beauty, that I think it can no longer bare.
Beads of the senses
On a wall separately, hanged alone, imposingly beautiful the rosaries are exhibited. How much history and semiology they hide inside! And who does not love them? One may love a rosary as a useful item, another as a beautiful decorative item, another as a collection item.
If you do not like rosaries, it's probably because you have not put your hands on Anna's handicrafts, made of coral, amber, semi-precious stones; you have not smelled a rosary of sandalwood, frankincense, nutmeg, cinnamon; you have not felt the texture, the caress, the consolation, the love in your fingers; you have not been allowed to listen to the melody of the beads. All your senses are actually here, present.
It's getting dark now, customers are coming in, men are quicker, more determined in their choices; women are lazier, they take their time… Again the two of us are left alone for a while, but the conversation is never enough. You never get enough of a person, who talks about his work with shining eyes. Before saying goodbye, I choose a long chain with a teardrop-like pendant, which comes to my hands in an elegant blue box with a gold ribbon. Piece of a precious dream, a small piece of happiness…
Did you know that?
If you are getting ready to get married, ask Anna about the wedding wreaths she makes from metallized olive branches.
Did you know, that each of us has his birthday stone? The creator will tell you which one is yours.
You can also find large pieces of crystals ideal for decoration, that also give energy to the house.
Men's jewelry is also exceptional, with chains, bracelets and cufflinks, as well as handmade hagiographies on tree bark.
Daily, 10:00 - 23:00