Digital creative Constantina Demos ties one on with a book read on a Sicilian balcony
At Summer Stories, we've asked our favourite changemakers for their best summer read.
Hands down, Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney. Although this is Rooney's incredible debut novel (I envy her for creating this masterpiece at just 26), I read Normal People first so I kind of knew what I was getting myself into with this one and especially put it on reserve for my five-week trip around Europe. Working in media and running an online store, both roles require me to be online every minute that I'm not sleeping. Every day, to and from work, I take full advantage of the 18 minutes on the train where my phone drops in and out of service to read, but apart from that I struggle to squeeze in dedicated time to a book. So for every summer dress I pack on holidays, there's a book. I carefully curate the selection of these books as being easy enough to consume when you're three Aperol spritz deep, but they still make you think. There's nothing worse than packing a book that is impactful, but goes over your head because you haven't dedicated the time to understanding it. But when you're on holiday this is the last thing you want to do, so I leave those ones at home.
I read Conversations with Friends from sunrise to sunset in Sicily. From when I started reading it while sitting on my holiday apartment's balcony overlooking the Ionian Sea for my morning coffee to soaking in the sun on Islo Bella, no natural beauty could tear me away from the words on the page. I was seduced by the story and lives of the characters, no matter how immoral they are. The story follows two college friends and this salacious attachment they form with a married couple. It's so juicy you can't put it down. The beauty of Rooney's writing is that it is simple. But that doesn't mean it lacks depth. She creates these sentences that make you feel the emotion the character is feeling. You fall in love with them (even if you don't like them). You care for them. You feel a part of their life. She can write how the heart feels – how you have once felt before, but never been able to articulate – in a digestible way that I have not come across in contemporary fiction before. Well not as convincingly as Rooney. I loved every single word in this book and started reading it again as soon as I finished it. Also, read Normal People.
Constantina, tell about us about Attacher. How did it come about it?
Attacher is my creative baby. Working in media, it requires you to be creative with your brain and words, which means I don't have a lot of time to create with my hands. When I first came up with the idea of monogrammed ribbons, they didn't exist in the style and form I wanted them to. So creating the prototype, even seeing if it was possible to do, was really just fun to begin with. Once I road-tested the idea with some friends, they thought I was on to something, that's when I started thinking big picture and began creating the brand I envisioned around the ribbons. I love seeing my hard work pay off. When I see someone wearing one of our ribbons, I feel really proud of the product I've created and that our customers are happy with their purchase. It's demanding work, especially when paired with a full-time role, but not many can say they've successfully launched their own business and I'm grateful that I can say that. I also love that my generation (millennials) sees opportunity in technology and social media. It's so inspiring to see so many young people paving a path that suits them, taking full advantage of the resources we have at our fingertips.
Totally agree. And thank you.