I am so ecstatic to feature this wonderful talented Greek artist. Maria Trovas found me on Instagram by chance, and then we have been chatting it up since. She has been such a joy to talk to and now I am happy to introduce her to you. Please welcome Maria Trovas, owner of Story of Stefania. Check out our fun interview below, and how Maria got started with her fun new career path with Story of Stefania.
1. How did you get started with Story of Stefania? Who or what inspires you?
Story of Stefania began as I had wanted to add something personalized to the Greek wedding ceremony. The idea came to me that the stefana joining ribbon could be personalized with the bride and groom names and wedding date. It’s something I had never seen before and I would want for my own wedding.
The stefana joining ribbon symbolizes unity and I think it is very symbolic that the ribbon states the couples name and wedding date. The joining ribbon must never be broken.
Together with my husband we came up with the business name, Story of Stefania. From the beginning he has encouraged me to achieve my goals and it has been great to have such support, as this started as a hobby and is now growing.
-Sounds like your husband has been such a huge supporter, and even helped you with the name of your business! True love right there. 🙂
2. What is your favorite stefana you have ever made?
All the styles of stefana I make are my favorites for different reasons. Each of them have a little bit of me in them. The one close to my heart though would be the stefana I made for my wedding. The white berries stefana (www.storyofstefania.com). I love the purity of an all white stefana with a rustic and traditional style.
-Yes, your very own stefana you made for your wedding is simply amazing! I have to say Maria, you have such a creative eye, and unique style.
3. How did your love/passion for stefana start?
I have always had a love for weddings and been creative. I remember as a child I would draw wedding dresses and make things with beads. So it is interesting that my passion (as an adult) is everything about weddings and I make stefana using Swarovski crystal and pearl beads. I am definitely doing what I love, designing and making for weddings.
My love for stefana has grown through my passion for weddings. I learnt about the symbolism and importance of the stefana in a Greek wedding ceremony. It is actually such an honor to me, to make stefana for weddings. I make a keepsake that a couple will have for their lives.
-I can agree with you Maria. How does the saying go… ”Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” You are doing just that, and bravo!!!
4. Can you please tell us about you Maria, and where you are from? Growing up in a Greek household, what was that like? Any memories you like to share with us?
I am a dedicated wife to Dimitri and mummy to Theodore! I am from Adelaide, Australia. I live a quiet life at home, looking after our 1-year-old son. They are my world. A favorite part of my every day routine, is reading books to Theodore and watching him play.
I balance home life and Story of Stefania. I put my whole heart into all aspects of my life. I am a perfectionist. Making high quality stefana and giving the up most customer service I can, is so important to me. I love everything about weddings, I can spend hours reading wedding magazines and books with a big cup of tea.
My mum raised my sister and I in a Greek household. My yiayia has also always been a huge part of my life. We have always been inseparable actually. My mum and yiayia would take us to Church every Sunday. We did a lot of Greek dancing at school. Although my Greek was never very good, I only know the basics. Greek/Mediterranean food was always what my mum made/makes. I only started to eat other cuisines until I was in my late teens!
My yiayia and pappou lived next door to us in my childhood years. When I was young my yiayia would take my hand and we would walk together to the corner deli. I would always get an ice cream and a notepad to write stories and draw in. My yiayia continues this tradition by spoiling my son (her great-grandson) with treats.
My sister and I would picnic in their backyard with my dear pappou (who has passed away). The backyard had a “kipo” full of veggies, apples, olives, citrus fruits.
-Sounds like you have some beautiful memories with your grandparents, and still making new ones with your yiayia. I grew up in a very similar upbringing, and I could remember going to the periptero (kisok) in Greece and my yiayia would get me ice cream or candy.
5. You just started your own blog recently, congratulations. Can you tell us how that came about? What is the link to your blog?
The Story of Stefania blog was something I had wanted to do for a long time but never really had the confidence. Getting to know you (Krystina) inspired me and gave me the confidence that I can do it! Krystina, you are a hardworking talented female that empowers other females to strive for their best and reach their potential. A great decision I made was to make contact with you, its great meeting such a positive and creative person.
I want to share on the blog the amazing Story of Stefania couples I meet. They all have beautiful wedding stories. I get to know so many brides and they send me there photos from their wedding day and the stefana being worn at the church. So the blog has come about so I can showcase these amazing people I meet and their weddings!
I also want to show people my life as a Greek wife and mum.
-Thank you Maria very much!! I am very proud of you, as I know you are a busy mom and you just keep going with Story of Stefana. I remember when we spoke about you starting a blog, and knew you would eventually create one. I am very grateful to have met you, and I can’t wait for the day we all get together for some delicious Greek food. 🙂 6. I hear you are travelling to Greece this summer. What islands are you going to go see? What are you looking forward to?
Yes I am traveling to Greece this summer! For 6 weeks exploring the mainland and islands. I’m calling it “My big fat Greece honeymoon with our baby and in-laws”! I will be keeping an online travel blog of our honeymoon (www.storyofstefaniablog.com). We will be seeing many islands; Paros, Santorini, Milos, Mykonos, Kefalonia and Corfu.
I’m most looking forward to spending quality time with my family. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel around Greece with my husband, baby and his family. I can’t wait to explore new places and experience the culture with them. I last went to Greece 8 years ago, young, by myself and just graduated from University. Now I am returning with my husband, baby boy and extended family.
-Did you guys hear that?! Maria will be sharing an online travel blog for all of us to keep up with her exciting Greek trip! Yay, I am very excited for you and the family, and I am sure you will have a blast. Santorini is absolutely amazing, and full of beautiful beaches. Can’t wait to follow your Greek journey on your blog. Be sure to follow Maria’s blog at the link here. >> Story of Stefania Blog
7. What is your favorite quote?
I have two at the moment; “The secret to having it all, is believing you already do” “To the world you are a mother, to your child you are the world”
8. Where do you see Story of Stefania 5 years down the line? What are your dreams/goals?
In 5 years time my goal for Story of Stefania is to be a shop that customers can buy unique handmade products for their weddings and christenings. I want to provide customers with impressive and high standard products which compliment the Story of Stefania brand.
My future dream one day would be to own a small boutique wedding shop (brick and mortar). A shop where I can source and sell unique wedding gowns and accessories for the bride that is looking for something special. As well as continuing to sell my stefana and other wedding/christening products.
9. Do you make custom Stefania? Where can people purchase your wonderful products?
-Oh wow, here you go ladies!! This is the place to purchase CUSTOM STEFANA for your beautiful wedding coming up. I know I will be going directly to Maria when the time comes for me. 🙂 Please do check out Maria’s online Etsy store & her new blog to get more information. Do make sure to connect with Story of Stefania on social media below.
Thank you very much Maria for taking the time to be here on Kouzounas Kitchen blog and I am wishing you and your family a wonderful trip to Greece.