“The market was missing a shoe brand focused on traditionally made sandals that are feminine and reasonably priced. As a designer, it was difficult to realize my dream alone,” she recalled.
Her breakthrough moment? “When I met Nikolas Minoglou through a friend. He had a background in business (which I lacked) and in shoe retail — and our vision for sandals aligned. He became a co-founder of Ancient Greek Sandals, and we launched the business together in 2011.”
Here, Martini reflects on life lessons and overcoming challenges.
On living abroad:
“The only thing that I wish I had done was to go to New York City for an internship after college. It is such an amazing city with so many things to see and learn, especially for someone right out of school. Otherwise, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
On whether women do enough to support other women:
“It really depends on the person, and not necessarily if you are a woman or a man. Personally, I have been really lucky and all the women that I have worked with and for have been incredibly supportive. I really never faced any problems, and when I was going through a difficult pregnancy, I had the full understanding of my female boss at the time. And now as an employer, I have a mostly female team, and I enjoy working with them and respect their views, ideas and needs. I think you get support, regardless of gender, if you are hardworking, creative, nice and fun to work with.”
On overcoming challenges:
“In personal life, my son going through first grade is pretty challenging. The Greek educational system is outdated and not geared toward making learning fun for kids, and I am trying to find ways to make homework more enjoyable and creative for him.”
On advice she would give to her younger self:
“Be your true self, say what you really believe, be less timid and have fun.”