From Chicago To Greece - How One Woman Started A Business In Kavala

  • by XpatAthens
  • Monday, 20 March 2017
From Chicago To Greece - How One Woman Started A Business In Kavala
This is a great story from WindyCity Greek about an American woman, who after having met and married her husband in Chicago, returned to his family’s homeland of Kavala in Greece. It was there that she began down a path much different from her corporate career in the US. Staci Wagner learned the art of traditional soap making and founded the successful Vilia Soap Company.

Vilia Soap Company - A Blooming Business

American Staci Wagner Hamalis met her husband in Chicago, where she lived for four years. The city was especially romantic for him because that is where his own parents met. Since he proposed to her in 2012 at The Bean (a sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park), she began visiting his homeland. Gradually, she fell more and more in love with Greece — and his family — while also learning about traditional soap making. Her life changed dramatically when she settled in her husband’s hometown of Kavala.

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Her high-flying career had her traveling around the world and living in cities such as Brussels and London, but she found her true path upon settling in northern Greece in 2015. She moved soon after her marriage, and was immediately inspired by the fertile Greek landscape and its cornucopia of natural products — most of which have curative and cosmetic properties. Above all, she became fascinated by what her father-in-law, a retired chemist, began teaching her in 2012: traditional soap-making. Using the purest of nature’s bounty and employing old school artisanal methods, she is now running the successful Vilia Soap Company. Her use of old methods is most impressive, especially in a world of mass produced, chemically-laden products.

From Kavala With Love

Vilia Soap Company uses Greek organic olive oil from Kavala combined with almond oil from Volos in central Greece. Inspired from local flora and fauna, they use lavender from the local market, and various other indigenous herbs like rosemary. Ingredients like Tea Tree oil and lemongrass are sourced from foreign suppliers.

Their soaps have already proven a great success among customers in 11 countries across the world. Their largest demographic is women, from late 20s and up, who seek pure, handmade, high-quality, chemical-free and uniquely fragranced soaps. But they aren’t stopping there.

To read this article in full, please visit: WindyCity Greek
Photo Credit: Vilia Soap Company