Yiasas everyone! My name is Ekaterina Botziou Pilalis and I am absolutely thrilled to have won the second ‘Women to Watch’ competition by Darling Magazine. My Greek heritage has always been a huge inspiration in the work I do.
Greek Expectations: The Last Moussaka Standing
After studying law at University, I dabbled in the film industry whilst working in London’s financial sector before marriage and motherhood came knocking. Writing has always been one of my passions and shortly after getting married, I started a blog ‘Ekaterina’s Greek Expectations’, inspired by my Greek heritage. This laid the foundation for my first book, ‘Greek Expectations: The Last Moussaka Standing’. It is a semi-autobiographical, humorous guide about the trials and tribulations of being a modern woman faced with the demands of age-old Greek traditions. At the same time, I founded ‘The Greek Wives Club’, a group that promotes Hellenism and female-driven Greek brands, helping women to connect using social media platforms.
Bringing Greek mythology to children
Becoming a mother really inspired me to write more children’s books. My most recent publication is the fifth instalment in a series of children’s mythological chapter books entitled ‘The Adventures of Omicron’, which I also illustrated. I’ve long been a fan of Greek mythology and wanted to write something for my own three children to enjoy. Aimed at youngsters aged from 7+ the story follows Omicron the mechanical owl as the god Zeus sends him down into ancient Greece to face giants, sea monsters and evil gods, before he can be deemed worthy enough to return to Mount Olympus.
I write regular posts on my blog about the process of writing and self-publishing and last year I created ‘The Ink Pot Planner‘. This writer’s guidebook, planner and journal is filled with exercises and prompts designed to help writers unleash their inner creativity.
I Spy my Evil eye
My writing has long been my main passion, but there was room for more in me. When this pandemic started, I was looking for something new and found a very different passion. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I launched my jewellery and gift business. I specialise in pieces adorned with the symbol of the ‘evil eye’. My Greek heritage has always been a huge source of inspiration for me and it was my Yiayia (grandmother) who first introduced me to the evil eye and its symbolism and power to deflect negative energy. In June 2020 I finally launched my little space of evil eye heaven ‘I Spy my Evil Eye’ online shop and haven’t looked back since!
I handpick every piece for my online boutique sourcing mainly from Greece and Turkey. I initially started with a few jewellery pieces and soon expanded into homeware and gifts. Many of the items are handmade with some also custom-made specifically for my shop.
My creative outlets bring me such fulfilment and I have had such wonderful support from family and friends, and my local community as well. I believe that there is absolutely no limit to how many plates a woman can spin (and smash!) but support is vital. Thanks to magazines such as Darling empowering small businesses and inspiring female-led initiatives, the possibilities really are endless!
You may also enjoy reading about Annabel Hill, a North Devon based designer and print maker.