“Cypriot Empresses of Trade”
#InspirationalFriday – Being in charge of a business is a tough call. Especially if you are a woman during the late 1800s. During a time where women were overpowered, being in charge of a business was a tough call.
Especially if you were a woman in the late 1880s. Marika and Panagiota, whose house still stands on Eleftherias Str., were in charge of Cypriot trade back in 1890. The two sisters came originally from Pedoulas Village, daughters of Chadzigiannis Petsas, decided to leave their village and establish their lives in Limassol.
They weren’t looking for love or marriage but for jobs and accomplishments. They opened a butchery in the centre of Limassol and started establishing themselves as butcheresses and animal traders. They were slaughtering the cattle that their brother was sending from their village and were selling them. Gradually they became rich and powerful and gained fame. They were at the forefronts of festivals and eventually were running businesses all over Cyprus and abroad, beyond their butchery.
Always accompanied by herdsmen and their livestock, the two women were powerfully representing themselves at markets around the island, where they were setting down the prices. The butcheresses were eventually introduced to the trading world, travelling abroad to Greece, Egypt and Turkey. They even met King George of Greece and King Farouk of Egypt, who were both impressed by their appearance.
Their residence in Limassol, known as ‘To Trigono tis Marikas’, is the only building that was left behind, reminding us of the two powerful businesswomen and their “empire”. The historical house was until recently the location for the Cypriot alcoholic beverage producer, LOEL. Always admired for their courage and control over situations, the two women remained in history,proving that strength of character is all it takes to become powerful. #HouseOfLontos