Hello and welcome to Avlea! I'm Krista West, founder and designer. My work as a specialty tailor to Greek Orthodox churches first took me to Greece, where I discovered Greek folk embroidery. For over a decade, I have been dazzled and delighted by the vast array of traditional folk embroidery, much of which is inspired by ancient Byzantine and Roman art and is seen virtually everywhere, from grand museums to tiny chapels to the humblest of homes.
Having been enchanted by its vibrant, authentic beauty, I wanted to bring the wonder of the Mediterranean textile tradition into my home and then share it with others. To do this, I've spent thousands of hours researching, stitching, and designing and I love that I get to share this old-world craft with a new generation of stitchers!
The word "avlea" in Greek means "courtyard" and the courtyard was the place where women worked their embroideries while they took a break from their daily labors, finding refreshment in creating heirlooms for future generations. My hope is that you, too, will be refreshed by these beautiful textiles.
PS It's pronounced "Av-lee-ah"