Spreading good Christmas cheer

Neo Bodumela

SPREADING festive cheer and keeping the family spirit alive are driving passions for Evy Evlambiou, who co-owns the popular Christmas Shop at Moffett on Main with her cousin, Maria Markides.

Evlambiou spoke to La Femme over lunch at Dessie’s Santa Cafe about her role in running the popular Christmas Shop and her love for her Greek family.

She enjoyed a piece of chocolate cake with caramel during the lunch at Dessie’s which makes treats and pastries and serves a range of hot beverages.

“The best of it is seeing the people’s faces and seeing their joy when they enter the shop,” Evlambiou said.

“I also see older people enjoying the shop and one of them said it made her feel like a child again. The shop itself is an entire experience, there’s so much going on in the world and it’s just a place where people can feel good.”

She talked to La Femme about growing up in Sunridge with her parents and working in the family’s shop since she was a little girl – a period of training that stands her now in good stead as a businesswoman.

During the year, when she’s not running the Christmas Shop, Evlambiou is best known as the co-owner of Red Feather Trading. Unfortunately, because of what she called “the current economic times”, Red Feather has been incorporated into the Christmas Shop.

“We have been running Red Feather for the past 14 years and with the current economic climate one really does have to be flexible and think out the box in terms of how to keep businesses alive,” she said.

“We will be keeping it open during the year where we will have exhibitions and the like … that is the new trend now,”

I picked Dessie’s Santa Cafe because even though it’s within our work space, it brings me joy to be in such a happy environment.

I’ll know I’ve made it when I complete a project to the best of my ability.

I love working in The Christmas Shop because it brings me such a sense of fulfilment, seeing the expressions on the faces of customers as they walk in to the shop.

The people who have taught me the most are my parents. My father gave me the basic philosophy of life and my mother taught me the practical things in life.

My main vice is travelling.

I studied at [then] UPE and completed a BA Honours in anthropology. I feel that whatever one studies, adds to stretching one’s boundaries and mind.

I’d love to party with friends and family.

I love all kinds of melodious music.

When I was 16, I wish I knew that one should not sweat the small stuff and live each day to the full.

I love all kinds of music except the techno stuff.

Nothing makes me happier than when all our extended family gets together – with all three generations now, we could be about 100 people.

My favourite item of clothing is anything bright. I love bright colours.

I dislike raw onions but there is nothing I absolutely hate.

I am saving for travel. It is always at the top of my list.

I share my life with family.

I can’t go a day without my cup of coffee.

My favourite places in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro are Maitlands and walking along our beautiful promenade. We have an amazing choice of restaurants and coffee shops in Port Elizabeth.

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