The founder of George’s Material Shop, George Didonian was born in Nicosia in 1934. As a young man, during his free time after school and on school holiday he found a job at a local textile shop, where he first learned the trade. After a brief spell in the UK, he moved, with his wife and one year old daughter, to Limassol in 1962, to start his own business. “George’s Material Shop” first opened its doors in October of 1962, at its first location, near the NAAFI, on Leondiou A Street. It was a small shop specializing in mostly dress fabrics and men’s suiting. The NAAFI moved to its new location in Kapsalos in 1967 and so did George’s growing business. The new shop on Kallikrati Street was larger and allowed him to expand his stock to start carrying a larger variety of fabrics, such as furnishings and curtaining. As the stock grew, so did the shop and in 1975 he moved the business to the current location of 9 Robert Kennedy in Kapsalos.
The success of the business can be attributed to a few things. First and foremost, George’s personality. The smile that greeted you as you walked through the door and his ability to listen to every customer’s needs and make sure they walk out of the shop with a smile on their face and satisfied with their purchase. Every client was special to him.
George’s son Richard, joined the business in 1985. Being raised around the business, Richard found his passion for sewing, especially patchwork quilting. They started importing American patchwork fabrics in the late 80’s and by 1994 he opened the patchwork section on the 1st floor of the shop. The selection of fabrics kept growing, so all the soft furnishing material, curtaining fabric and velvets moved to the first floor, giving them the opportunity to bring a larger variety of dress fabrics, men’s suiting and specialty fabrics for dance and theater schools.
Richard’s sons, Armen and Shant, have been working at George’s from a young age and they now are bringing their ideas and influences to the business. They are working hard to organize the store to make it easier for our customers to brows. A larger variety of specialty fabrics, fabrics for leotards and bathing suits also Vogue and Butterick patterns are now also available. As are soft furnishing such as pillows cushions and custom cut foam.
Today George’s Material Shop has a large variety of customers from all corners of the Island. Dress makers, fashion designers, interior designers, schools, theater and dance groups, and crafters of all nationalities and abilities, rely on George’s for most of their fabrics.
There are still many changes to come. The shop is being re-organized, there are plans to organize sewing and patchwork classes and a new section for vintage buttons, patterns and notions. As it shows through the shop history, George’s Material Shop is always changing and growing to be able to meet the needs of our clients.
We look forward to another 55 years.