Written by Kheloni
Kheloni is more than just a boutique brand. We span several generations and continents, but despite vast time and distance, we share something priceless… our roots. We knew Greece offered more than gorgeous scenery, incredible history and amazing food. We knew that Greece is where fashionable footwear all began. In fact, there were many elaborate designs worn by the wealthy and the famous in Ancient Greek times. At Kheloni, we bring back this rich history by creating modern casual-luxury footwear with centuries old craftsmanship that still exists today.
Everyone is talking about sustainability. We call it waste. To us, sustainability means you wear something until it wears out. That is why all of our designs are made with the highest quality materials and are not only eye-catching but versatile. They can be dressed up or down, but they always get noticed. Feminine lines and comfort are two things we focus on and all our products are handmade by local craftsmen in Athens, Greece so they are never massed produced.
Heeled Sandal Collection
Our heeled sandals add the perfect height for any outfit. At 1.5 inches, which is not easy to find, the sandals are dressy enough you can wear them to work or dinner, but they also look great when worn as a more casual look with jeans or shorts. Our boucle sandals are perfect for weddings whether you’re the bride or a guest because not only are they elegant, they are easy to dance in — made with Italian woven boucle and are all leather. The turtle charm on the Efi white sandals is double plated in 24K gold so it will never get dull or faded.
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Cowhide with Hair Animal Print
This collection is versatile and functional because you can wear these shoes two ways. The satin ties are removable, giving you the option of creating two different looks. They are made with beautiful printed cowhide with hair and the footbed is wrapped in Italian velvet. I love how these look with a flowy dresses or skirts or pair them with jeans and a white T-shirt.
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Our pool slides are not just for the pool. They are fun to pair with shorts, a sundress or with leggings on your way to yoga class. The upper is 100% cowhide leather that softens the more you wear them and they are adorned with our ancient Greek brass coin and brass accents.
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Our handbag is the perfect medium-sized tote. It has enough room to carry all your essentials without looking like a weekender bag. It is lightweight and has a magnetic closure so you don’t have to fuss with zippers or snaps. The inside is lined with 100% printed cowhide with hair, and it has two roomy pockets, one with a zipper. It is adorned with our brass ancient Greek coin front and back to add a little eye-catching detail.
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In the district of Psiri, where many of the capital's artisans used to congregate, Mr. Kostas’ shop belongs to a bygone era. He was 23 when he took over his father's business and he still maintains the tradition of handmade shoemaking. Each new design takes months to create and Mr. Kostas only produces 10 to 15 pairs of shoes per day. When he was asked to make all the performers’ shoes for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, even hand-painting some of them, he did not know how he could possibly do it. But because he is passionate about his work and loves a challenge, he agreed. Mr. Kostas continues to keep the tradition of his father’s legacy and hopes his sons will one day do the same.
Our Founder: A Note from Rebecca Gradler
"I fell in love with both shoes and Greece at an early age. My father was born there and one of the few in his large family who emigrated. He took my sister and me back at every opportunity he had. As the 'American cousins,' we would receive the warmest welcome from the moment we landed. Greeted by fragrant gardenias and a family expectantly waiting for us, we would step off the plane and enter a whole new world of beauty, love and simple pleasures. A ritual began where every visit included a day of shoe shopping. I was thrilled because I knew I would find amazing styles that no one else would have when I arrived back in America. I would bring back a little bit of Greece, but sadly I would leave a part of my heart behind. I knew one day I wanted to share the beautiful treasures Greece has to offer to the U.S. and beyond. Shoes have always been my favorite thing in my closet. I decided to reignite that family tradition, but this time with my own creation that combined my Greek heritage with my love for the entrepreneurial spirit so embedded in America. The other part of the story is one I hold dear to my heart, and that is my Greek family. Kheloni embodies all those things I cherish most in life. I live in Charleston, South Carolina with my two daughters, my husband, our dog, three cats and 11 chickens."