Meet your artisans - Tarangela
Aussies in Athens!
Angela Ielasi’s involvement with the Athens Farmers Market has nothing to do with growing crops or selling food. Instead, the Australian native has made her niche by designing one of a kind jewelry and handbags.
Angela and her husband Steve only moved from their Australian home about four years ago, when they settled in Athens. A former flower shop owner, Angela was burned out from long working hours, and picked up the hobby of making earrings.
This leisure pursuit began to build, and Angela decided to find an outlet to sell her many pairs of unique, handmade earrings. She applied for a booth at AFM, and decided to add tote bags and purses to her inventory.
Angela had all the aspects of a little business going for her—except a name! Reflecting on an old nickname of hers from high school, she went with “Tarangela Studios.” Tarangela stemmed from her fascination with spiders. A tarantula is still on the top of Angela’s list of desired pets (they don’t have them in Australia), but Steve is not yet on-board with the idea.
Tarangela Studios has been able to expand beyond AFM since her bags have been so popular. Now sold in a few stores around Athens, the bags are made from what Angela calls “rescued” upholstery fabrics. The reversible totes and purses are all slightly different because of the odds and ends she uses.
“I try to give fabric that would normally be discarded a new purpose,” Angela says. She finds her material from clearance bins, goodwill stores and factory off cuts. Like the bags, Angela seeks out unique beads from all over the world for her earrings.
Both Steve and Angela are grateful for the experience they have had at AFM. Angela explains, “When we came to here—to America— we didn’t know many people. In the last two years that we’ve been selling at the market, we’ve made new friends and enjoy meeting new people each week.”
With all her beautiful items, there are plenty of gift options for the holiday season—especially with the market extension into December! Angela is so welcoming to all visitors at the Saturday market, and encourages the community to bundle up and come check out her distinctive crafts, as well as all the other tasty goods offered!
by Carly Nash - AFM Public Relations