XB: Georgia, could you please introduce yourself? First of all, your name is definitely of Greek origin. How did you find yourself in Denmark? Do you travel to Greece?
Georgia: You are definitely right about that! I am born in Denmark, with my mother being Danish and my father being Greek. My father currently lives in Athens and my mother lives in Denmark.
I was not only born in Denmark, I also grew up here in a small town called Trige just outside Denmark’s second biggest city Aarhus. The population of the town I grew up in currently numbers 2.800 citizens. During my whole childhood and teenage years I have lived together with my mother, father, little sister and big brother. My sister is only one year younger than me, so we were almost like twins.. And well we pretty much act like it! We share the same interests and humour and we have same taste in music and so on and so forth.
My brother is 7 years older than me and has always been a computer gamer by heart! During our childhood we did not have much in common. He always played computer games while I was busy with my own hobbies. Since then we have become closer and we have a lot more in common these days. Part of being grown-up I guess.
During my youth I loved horses (and still do), and spent as much time as I could around them. That was my biggest interest as a kid, and my first teenage years and it was not even close! I even had my own horse!
My second biggest wish was getting my own sewing machine but I never could afford one. Lucky for me I got one for Christmas one year and I began to sew all kind of stuff and slowly became better and better. Later, I began taking sewing courses in Aarhus at a tailoring school which I learned a lot from.
My most defining personal trait by far, is that I always have been creative-minded. There is not the artistry or hobby or craft that I haven’t done. Painting, knitting, drawing, sculpting and sewing to name just a few. I always have a lot going on like a new bikini to sew or a new project. My worst habit is not finishing my own hobby projects, because I always get new ideas for designs I want to make. So while I always finish products for my customers in time I tend to never get done with my own bikini hobby projects. I have a lot of unfinished bikinis lying around but hopefully they will all be completed one day.
Last but not least, I want to mention that my mother works as a pedagogue and more interestingly for you guys, my father has had his own Greek restaurant here in Denmark for many years until he retired not long ago and moved back to his beloved Greece. Kinda off-topic, but let me tell you that Danish people love Greek food.
ΧΒ: How did you get involved in the bikini and posing trunk tailoring business, and how long have you been into it?
Georgia: When i was in my last teenage years I moved to another city a bit North of Trige – my mom and my sister lived there already, and after a break up I decided to try something new. So I moved from my old apartment to start living with them.
In Randers I met new friends, and especially one of them was an inspiration to me. I have always been doing sports, and over the last couple of years I had gotten into cycling and weightlifting more and more, and she was into weightlifting and fitness too. She had even participated in a competition in bikini fitness contest once, so I was very happy to get to know her, and learn from her.
One evening we sat in her living room, and I asked if I could see the beautiful bikini she had been wearing at the competition. I saw it, and it was so nice with all the crystals. I asked her if I could borrow it because I wanted to find out if I could sew one. So I borrowed it home, and started to sew. At first, it didn’t even look like a bikini, actually it was a bit of a mess. These days my mother tells me every now and then, that she was laughing her ass off when I first came home and showed her the first thin, completely unusable bikini I had made. Back then she thought it was another one of my “never finish” projects, but today she is so proud of me.
I remember a day in particular, I met her and my sister for coffee, and I had brought one of my newer bikini’s along in the bag. When I pulled it up and showed it to them they couldn’t believe their eyes. It was a real bikini they were seeing this time. One you could use for contests, thick and robust in the fabric, and expensive crystals in straight fine lines all over it.
A couple of months later, I made an account on Instagram, and posted pictures of the bikinis I had made. One day in January 2015 a girl wrote me if i could do her bikini for the biggest competition show in Denmark – Newcomers. I could not believe it. Could I really do that?! Make real competition bikinis for actual shows.
After that day it all just snowballed. At newcomers, 9 months later, I had several bikini creations on stage on all these beautiful fit girls. To be honest I could barely understand that all that had happened in such a short time. At Newcomers competition had not even ended before I got messages from girls, asking me to sew their bikinis for their next competition. Last week I sent my first bikini to USA and in during the last two years I have been working with girls from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Germany, but never USA. Just unbelievable!
XB: Do you work also from distance? How does it work when a competitor wants to order a posing trunk from you? What are the usual steps? Can, for example, competitors from Greece work with you?
Georgia: I do make bikinis from a distance, yes. The first step for me is always to find out: What does the customer want, – what color(s), stones, connectors, patterns etc. And while I may give useful input or tips about design, at the end of the day it is all up to the customer. They are the actual designers. I am just the person helping them make their dream bikini come true. You can get so many different colors, stones and connectors these days, so everything is possible and every suit is unique in its own right.
After the customer has told me what she wants, I need some measurements to make the bikini fit her perfectly. I also need to know when the competition is going to take place, because her body will change drastically during the diet/cutting down transformation. I need to have that in notice to make sure the suit will be neither too big nor too small at the contest day. After that I make it, and send it back to her.
I always meet my Danish customers 3 times in the bikini creation procedure. The first time we meet includes a small conversation about who I am, who they are, and what they want. It is during this meeting we design the bikini on paper, draw, and write down what the athlete wants. It is always a pleasure to meet the girls and to get to know them, because we have to work together over the next 5-6 months. Not only is it nice for me to know them, but in my experience it is also extremely important for the athletes to know that they have a good and supporting base when they are to step onto the scene and perform to the best of their abilities.
A huge part of my work is to make sure the girls feels comfortable in their bikinis and I do my best to help them do that. I have been in the fitness business for a couple of years now and I know the rules, and the criteria’s from which the judges make their decisions and I am always willing to share info, tips and tricks. One of the best tips I can give you at this point is to make sure you don’t have any “loose ends” in your in your life or in your family relations in the days up to the contest. Have you fallen out with your mom or dad or one of your friends? Call them and talk things over. You need a clean table and you need to be the best version of “you” on the contest day.
At the second meeting about 8 weeks out from competition we meet, and the athlete tries her bikini on without any stones attached yet, so that I can make ongoing adjustments as they get more shredded as we are getting closer to the contest.
The bottom part of the bikini is the last thing I make and at this point it is just cut out, and sewed together. She puts it on, and together we design it on her so she will get the cut she likes, and she can explain to me how high or low she wants it to sit.
At our third meeting, 1-2 weeks out from competition, she tries the bikini on for the last time. Now with all the stones attached to the bikini and the cuts on it tailored out to fit her body. We also make any last call adjustments if we feel like there is anything we can do better.
The next time I see her is on the stage, wearing her perfectly fitting bikini and this is always a very rewarding and good experience for me.
My foreign customers measure themselves and send the numbers to me. From time to time I also Skype with them as that tends to make it a little easier from time to time.
Georgia: I have never worked with Greek athletes before, but it is something I would really love to do. I hope that I can one day become a part of the Greek fitness and Athlete community. I am not exaggerating when I say that working with Greek athletes would be a dream come true. Since my father moved to Athens I expect to make many more trips to Greece and hopefully I could at some point get a small office there to work from.
XB: You’ve recently had your “newcomers” contest in Denmark. What exactly is this contest and how is it working with competitors that walk on the stage for their first time? Could you show us some of your work in that contest?
Georgia: Yes. Newcomers is the biggest competition in Denmark. It is a competition for new athletes, to come and try it out. There are a lot of people competing, at newcomers and the last couple of years it has only become more and more popular. The athletes at Newcomers can even be allowed to compete in the Danish Nationals in October if they place in top 10 in their division. You can say its like a “stepping stone” for bigger contests. Competing in the Danish Nationals, also allows you to go outside Denmark and compete. So Newcomers is the starting point for all new athletes.
Georgia: I have never really thought about it to be honest. At Newcomers this year I made the first trunks for a male bodybuilder, and that was definitely fun and something I will be doing again. I never did trunks before and when one of my costumers asked me if I could make some for her boyfriend to compete in, I couldn’t resist. I managed to make them fit him perfectly on the first try so that was pretty nice.
I have made many special bikinis over the last two years and many which mean something special to me. The fullcover bikinis always make me proud as they are both challenging and very time consuming to make. I am sending you some pictures of some of my work along for the XBody.gr visitors to see.
XB: How can Greek competitors get in touch with you? Our contest season here in Greece starts at about mid-May and ends mid-June. I know you are very busy, but do you think that you’ll have time enough, if competitors from Greece would be interested in working with you?
Georgia: I have made a site on Facebook named By Sfetkou, where there is a contact at the bottom of the page. It works like a normal facebook message, so it is very easy to get in touch with me from there and I usually reply within a day.
I also have an Instagram account named BySfetkou, and there you can find a lot of pictures, and also contact me.
The biggest competition in Denmark is just over, and I just finished and sent out bikinis for the Sweden Grandprix, so now i have a little time off, where I hopefully will be able to go to Greece and meet with the girls and guys who are interested in my work.
So if there are any interested athletes interested in getting a perfectly fitted, bikini or a nice pair of competition trunks for the Greece competition season, I am able to meet up in Athens, or Thessaloniki before the season starts.
XB: Georgia, thank you very much for your time, best of success to you and your work.
Georgia: Thank you so much!