The Athinaeum

Do you Pinterest? May 18 2015, 0 Comments

Hi all you Pinterest lovers! Just a quick note to let you know that we've made our site just a little more pin friendly and updated our beautiful Collection images so that they are all totally pinnable (no watermarks!) We've started off the fun by uploading the Collection to our latest Pinterest board which you can head to here.

Be sure to follow us to keep updated on our latest wild, colourful and inspiring visual adventures.

Or if you want to follow our other social media apps you can do so at these locations:


Instagram & Twitter: @athinaeum

Mum's The Word On Baby Bags March 13 2014, 0 Comments

Baby bags can be a drab and uninteresting affair, but this summer, we've had our ATHINAEUM Grande Maletta being lovingly toted around by some super hot mamas around Australia.

And boy, have they been loving them! Linda Tahija of Linda Tahija Jewellery says of her Grande Maletta "Oh I am in love with mine! Perfect for all the baby things I need to carry around!"

Saskia Burmeister (pictured below) raved about her unique Grande Maletta saying, "Love love love my Grande Maletta so much!"

Photo courtesy of @saskiaburmeister

So, looking for a unique, handcrafted, upcycled, ethically made mama's bag?

Just buckle bub in the pram, slip the extendable strap over the handles and you're good to go with an ATHINAEUM Grande Maletta!


Design Note: The inside of the Grande Maletta is not designed with the multiple pockets of a regular baby bag however it has two 15cm x 15cm internal pockets on either side of the lining. One is zippered and one is open. The rest of the space is totally fre to chuck in as much stuff in as possible. Please note that tasseled front pocket is a great place to hold your phone, wallet and keys. The best thing about this bag is that after the baby is all grown up you'll still be able to use it like a regular and cool handbag or getaway bag! 


HAPPY NEW YEAR! January 02 2014, 0 Comments

2013 has been a gorgeous and happy year for us here at ATHINAEUM. We've enjoyed putting together two Pop Up Shops, the second of which will be dismantled this Sunday. 

To celebrate and clear the decks for a fabulous 2014 we've got a MASSIVE unprecedented sale on with 40% off all previous collections and a special sneaky 20% off all new collection items using the code word TWENTYOFF at the check out. Code valid until 14.1.2014.

Lastly - As we sadly close our doors on Sunday Night - we're having a special weekend special:

Buy any two ATHINAEUM items to get an extra 10%** off the total or if you buy 3 things get an extra 20% off** including already reduced prices! 

Offer valid Friday 3rd of January until COB Sunday 5th of January 2014.


Free Xmas Shipping December 19 2013, 1 Comment

We've got free shipping for your last minute Xmas Shopping. 

Simply select items for purchase, pop them in your cart and you'll be pleasantly surprised with no charge for Australia wide express post and standard (3-10 days air frieght) International shipping.

Valid from 18th till the 20th Dec 2013.

Merry Xmas from the team at ATHINAEUM! 


Xmas VIP Shopping Night December 02 2013, 0 Comments

ATHINAEUM and SOLLIS will be hosting a VIP Xmas shopping night at our Pop Up Shop. 
For one night only you're invited to receive exclusive discountsgiveaways and refreshments.
WHEN: Thursday 12th December, 6pm-9pm

NEW Pop Up Shop November 20 2013, 0 Comments

ATHINAEUM has ventured out once again and opened a brand new pop up shop in collaboration with SOLLIS jewellery at:


We were very happy to celebrate our opening night 2 weeks ago with an intimate group of friends to showcase our new space and preview the new Elysium collection from ATHINAEUM.

Come visit us at 125 KING STREET, NEWTOWN, NSW

Opening hours:

Monday: 12pm - 6pm

Tuesday + Wednesday: 11am - 6pm

Thursday: 11am - 8pm

Friday + Saturday: 11am - 7pm

Sunday: 11am - 4pm


Check out more wonderful in store photos from the talented Carsten Burmeister 




FLASH SALE ENDS 30.10.2012 October 30 2013, 0 Comments

Just use FLASHSALE as the code at the checkout to get 20% off everything online! Enjoy! xox

The Next Women: Startup Diaries June 12 2013, 0 Comments

I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to Spain with a ‘6 month’ stopover in South America in September 2010. I never made it to Spain. Instead, 8 months later, I ended up in the highland jungles of Guatemala. It’s a country in Central America that I wouldn’t have found on a map prior to leaving Australia. 

Mother's Day Sale May 09 2013, 0 Comments

POP UP SHOP! April 17 2013, 0 Comments



If you had't noticed.... we're having a pop up shop in Sydney and due to popular demand we're staying open for one more week. 

This is what you may find if you come on down over the next 2 weeks!

Escape with a Weekender at 30% off! March 26 2013, 0 Comments


Happy Hump Day! March 20 2013, 0 Comments

A shot pinched from our ever treasured Pantless Assistant Steph. 

We're halfway through the week. Life in Sydney is sunny. We hope you're having a great day!  

Happy Hump Day! March 20 2013, 0 Comments

Just a pic from our ever treasured Pantless Assistant Steph. 

We're halfway through the week. 

Life in Sydney is sunny. 

We hope you're having a great day!  

Be My Valentine? February 11 2013, 0 Comments


Type "Valentine" into the promotional box at checkout to receive 20% off all items online until Valentine's Day.

To celebrate Valentine's Day this year Athinaeum is holding our first exclusive online sale. And of course, because we love you!

Between Monday 11.2.13 and Thursday 14.2.13 we'll have 20% off all products on our online store* when you use the promotional word "Valentine" at the checkout. 

If you'd like to receive your gifts by C.O.B. 13.2.13, please purchase before 3.30pm Tuesday 12.2.13 and we will ship using express post at no extra charge.

Don't forget to share this exclusive offer with family and friends!

***** A quick note*******

You must enter your card/paypal details first and then proceed until the second last checkout window before the screen with the discount code pops up. Thank you for those who have raised this concern! Your feedback is always welcomed and very much appreciated!

*Excludes $7 Australia wide shipping per purchase.

Genesis 20.13 November 09 2012, 0 Comments

Athinaeum is proud to unveil to the masses this Summer with the Genesis 20.13 photoshoot starring sublime Australian actor Gemma Pranita as a "futuristic-indigenous, warrior-princess".

The shoot was beautifully photographed and filmed by the talented Kate Reeves and Graeme Robertson of The Story of Us in Sydney Australia. 

The results are a divine culmination of our wildest exotic dreams. And Gemma is just plain hot. Feast your eyes and be seduced. 

Special thanks to Chloe Langford (Makeup), Patrick Casey (Hair) and my brother Nonda who assisted through the day. 

Check out the shoot here

The New Athinaeum Collection from The Story of Us on Vimeo.

POP UP SHOP OPENING IN SYDNEY October 17 2012, 0 Comments

Athinaeum Pop Up Shop Opening Night Party

JOIN US: From 5.30pm Thursday 18 October, 2012
Crescent Lane Newtown, Newtown, Sydney, Australia

Following the launch Athinaeum Pop Up Shop will be open at the following times or via appointment at

19.10.12  Friday: 1pm - 6pm

20.10.12  Saturday: 11am - 6pm

25.10.12  Thursday: 4pm - 7pm

26.10.12  Friday: 3pm - 6pm

27.10.12  Saturday: 2pm - 6pm

We'd love to see your faces so please feel free to come have a browse and play amongst the treasure.

Unique bags. We're stitching now. Get on the VIP list! July 05 2012, 0 Comments

You may have noticed us splashed through Cosmopolitan Australia June issue, or adorning the windows of ESTATE of MIND Surry Hills. 

We make one-off, limited edition artisan handbags which are carefully constructed from reclaimed vintage Mayan textiles and 100% Guatemalan leathers. 

So what?... So don't miss out on these limited pieces. Sign up for our mailing list and be first to know when the next batch lands this August 2012. 

What to be excited about? New backpack and ladies convertible wallet/clutch bags. So bright they'll never get lost in the bottom of your bag!

Once you've joined the mailing list, don't forget to like our facebook page so you can keep posted on our adventures getting these beautiful bags to you! 

ATHINAEUM now at +ESTATE of MIND May 03 2012, 0 Comments

Where's the coolest place in Sydney to find the newest, underground and local Aussie labels?


Shop 34, 277 Crown Street   Surry Hills   NSW   AUSTRALIA

(02) 8021 9417

So go say hi to Sylvie and her fabulous team next time you're in the Surry Hills neighbourhood and check out Athinaeum up close and personal!

Be in the know and see the styles you love! April 03 2012, 0 Comments

The secret's out about Australia's most coveted handbag label 

See exclusive Athinaeum featured in the June 2012 issue of Cosmopolitan Australia along with a fantastic review in Prevention magazine - the heat is on to get your hands on your favourite one-off style, before anyone else gets in! 

We're currently working on the next gorgeous range tipped to feature some cute new details which we'll divulge closer to release.

Be first know when the collection hits the online store in around 3 months time. It'll be sure to perk up any mid winter doldrums. 

Just email with your full name, city and your dream bag (get hints by trawling through the ARCHIVE) to get onto this exclusive guest list.

By sharing the styles on your wish list, we'll be able to create more bags that you'll love. Plus, you'll be in the running for some exclusive offers and giveaways! 

And if you haven't seen it yet, find out why each and every Athinaeum Handbag is so special. 

The Story of Athinaeum from The Story of Us on Vimeo.

The Story of Athinaeum January 23 2012, 0 Comments

 Here's The Story of Athinaeum beautifully made by The Story of Us 

The Story of Athinaeum from The Story of Us on Vimeo.

The Perfect Getaway! January 09 2012, 1 Comment



The boat owner's son helping with my Getaway about to set sail for Livingston on the Caribbean! 

Last September, on a whim, I set out for what I thought would be a couple of nights at a trade fair (with some partying thrown in) in the charming colonial town of Antigua, Guatemala a few hours from where I lived. After the 2 days of attendance, on a whim, a beautiful free spirit decided to accompany me to the ancient ruins of Tikal to celebrate the equinox and the anniversary of my departure from Australia in, the Caribbean party town, Livingston.

It was an amazing and fun-filled trip that was the instigator of a wonderful friendship with Alicia and highlighted, not only the beautiful ruins and natural landscape, but also the generous hospitality and warmth of Guatemalans. We were welcomed by Alicia's family, friends and many fresh acquaintances who were all too happy to spare a couple of seats for us on the packed public transport, pick us up from obscure locations, cook traditional meals taking hours of preparation and put us up for free! 

Now the thing was, I had only planned to be away for just a couple of nights.... yet all of a sudden, it had turned into a week and a half long adventure! All I had with me was my trusty Chi Chi Getaway Maletta packed with a few dresses, a couple of tees, shorts, bathers, sneakers, sandals and a sarong. And it turned out to be all that I really needed. (This excludes a sneaky thrift store purchase for a Livingston party dress!)

These trusty carryall bags are a fabulous size for a good week or so of travel and are easily transported with the extendable over body strap so they are perfect whether you're 3rd-world roughing it or just throwing it into the trunk of your luxury sedan.

So when you're busy impressing your latest holiday fling you'll be able to let them know it's been ethically made, with antique handwoven Guatemalan textiles AND it's one of a kind!


2 SYDNEY SHOPPING EVENTS December 14 2011, 0 Comments


It’s the week before the Christmas break, the weather is :( ,  so I’m inviting my dearest Sydneysiders to join me for some bubbly and nibbles to celebrate being on home soil and allow you the opportunity to shop exclusively without being showered upon! 

Where: level 3, 59 Parraween Street, Cremorne, NSW

When: this Saturday 17th, December from 2pm – 5.30pm

Bring: friends, family and who ever loves rich, one-off pieces with a great story and a social conscience!

There will be some other treasures not yet seen online such as hand woven table runners, fun key chains & charmed purses.

If you’re thinking of shopping cash is preferred, but you may use credit card or paypal through the online store on the day.

Questions? email:


Head in the clouds October 10 2011, 1 Comment


The soaring cliffs behind Panajachel that often go unnoticed because they are in the opposite direction of the captivating lake with it's triplet of volcanoes. Just below those volcanoes is a town called Santiago Atitlan where the women and men wear garments embroidered with images of the local birds. This particular outfit is one of my favourites in Guatemala and is featured on this bag.

From my courtyard bathroom, I sometimes watch the eagles that fly above the cliffs and they remind me that having the ability to fly starts with an initial idea or possibility.

Yet, in order to fly, we must first rid ourselves of the unnecessary weights we have in every day life that keep us tied to the ground. I call them fears.

Next, fill with faith. Then leap!

Once upon a time ago, humans would ridicule  each other with the supposition of being able to fly... So, just because someone else may not get it, it does not mean that the possibility doesn't exist, you just need to allow it to blossom.

I dedicate this bag to Mum and my fellow dreamers who support and encourage me to wonder, keep my head in the clouds and reach for the skies. Love you.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." Nelson Mandela

Imagine the possibility... then make it happen!

Who is ATHINAEUM? October 06 2011, 0 Comments

Whoever's game.

Whoever wears it and makes it their own. You are the personality behind the outfit. You wear it with elegance, funk or attitude. You all have your own unique flavour, a different story and little things that make you smile. I believe Athinaeum women and men make the world a better place, but I'm going to let you be the judge of that.

So here are the first three ladies of Athinaeum. We met in Panajachel, Guatemala where they had a small preview of the collection and shortly thereafter, snapped up a few of my pieces. In the throng of life's chaotic perfection, we crossed paths once, missed each other another time, then 3 weeks later, after a whirlwind of travel, our worlds unexpectedly collided once again in Antigua.

Meet Emilie, Harriet and Sophia. They are ATHINAEUM.


Name: Emilie Sheehan   -  Hometown: London 

How do you spend your days:  Studying design.

What makes you happy?  Pristine beaches, chocolate brownies and a good book.

What’s your style?  A well fitted dress, heels and a great bag. Keep it simple.

What inspires you?  Art, fashion, design, exhibitions, colours, people, places etc.

Where in the world, must you see before you die?  Too many places to name...

What makes you excited about your new handbag?  Can’t wait to wear it in England and know that no one else will have it yet! One of a kind.

What do you think ATHINAEUM stands for?  Unique accessories inspired by the beautiful fabrics of Guatemala from an independent designer.

What are your perceptions of Guatemala so far?  Varied, surprising and a rich culture.

What do you love about travelling?  I love having new experiences that you could never have in England and meeting great people.

What are you dreaming about right now?  Working with Bruce Mau.


Name: Harriet Roberts  -  Hometown: Southampton, England

How do you spend your days:  Studying Medicine at Birmingham University - just finished my third year and currently taking a year out of study, planning on returning to finish my course next year.

What makes you happy?  Being with friends and family.

Describe your style or what you feel fabulous wearing?  I am a bit of an all-rounder, but love finding the odd bargain in charity shops and 'the birmingham rag market'. Also have to say that an amazing pair of heels finish an outfit for me (as I'm quite short!)

Who/what inspires you?  I am inspired by other people who achieve what they want and are happy in themselves.

Where in the world, must you see before you die?  This question is too hard -  a million places scream to me! I want to tour Italy at some point though.

What makes you excited about your new handbag?  How AMAZING it is! And how fabulous I will look on my weekend trips this year!

What do you think ATHINAEUM stands for?  A stadium formed entirely from building blocks created by the hard work of a strong and independent woman - Athena!

Describe your perception of Guatemala so far:  I have loved Guatemala - I was amazed by how different the climate can be from one part to another and how beautiful the scenery was. There is so much to do there I would love to spend longer exploring the country.


Name: Sophia Harrop  -  Hometown: Surrey, England

Spends her days:  Studying Psychology at Durham University.

What makes you happy?  Almost everything... In particular I enjoy telling very cheesy jokes and making ridiculous puns with friends.

Describe your style or what you feel fabulous wearing:  I love brightly coloured dresses with quirky patterns on them - I have a blue dress with sailboats on it which has been my summer favourite!! In winter a pair of brightly coloured tights with a dark skirt or dress also looks cool.

Who inspires you?  My dad, because he's never given me bad advice. I'd like to be able to always give great advice to another person someday.

Where in the world, must you see before you die?  Machu Pichu in Peru, and the Northern Lights.

What is your dream?  To learn another language and to live in another country (outside Europe) for several years.

What makes you excited about your new handbag?  The colours and material its made from are fantastic!! I love that it's a one of a kind piece, great quality and is the perfect balance between Guatemalan and Western style.

What do you think ATHINAEUM stands for?  I don't know what it stands for, but an Athenaeum was a temple in Ancient Greece to the goddess Athena. ATHINAEUM makes me think of a temple dedicated to your bags because they're all just so heavenly and wonderful... And that makes you the handbag goddess!!

Describe your perception of Guatemala so far:  Its got everything - great people, great culture, great landscapes and just SO MUCH TO DO!!! Its also got a hustle and bustle about it that makes it feel very lively.

Why do you love travelling?  I love experiencing new cultures, meeting new people, eating great food, seeing amazing sights, hearing different languages and being in the sun. The feeling of escaping everything at home as well, even if just for a short time, is very liberating too.]]>

Pom Poms September 21 2011, 2 Comments

Pom Poms. Play. Prancing. Picnics. Party.

These are some of my favourite P words.  I think this bag applies to all aforementioned words.

I also hear that a Pom Pom Parrot is a Pirate's favoured accessory. Luckily I've captured a few on key chains and they're ready keep you company on your long sea voyages. Arrrrgh!]]>

Always remember... September 21 2011, 3 Comments

EVERYTHING is exactly as it should be

Mother nature and my treasured friends remind me of this constantly.

This photo was taken earlier this year at Foz de Iguacu (Brazilian side of Iguacu Falls), after some insane revelry at Carnivale in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. I was by myself for the first time in while and this moment of quiet solitude reminded me that I was experiencing yet another of life's perfect moments... oh, just like this one, RIGHT NOW!

This post goes out to all the people who are so busy that they forget to appreciate each moment, because they are either too busy planning the next moment, dwelling on the past, or just unhappy with what's currently in front of them.

So stop, clear your mind of clutter, take stock of all the wonderfulness that's in your life RIGHT NOW and have appreciation.]]>

The Get Away! September 05 2011, 1 Comment

It's Monday, so what better time to plan an escape?

Don't forget your perfect partners in crime!

Quickly pack all your essentials in this grande, sturdy, weekend hold-all, aptly named The Get Away!

It's nifty little side kick La Concha also wants to come for the adventure. She's a wonderful companion for days of sunny sightseeing and afternoon tipples that run late into the night (Huh? How is it 11pm?! Hick...). She has a long, cross-body strap so that when you're unexpectedly shimmying across the dancefloor, you're assured she won't be a hassle and you'll have hands-free dancing till your heart's content.

Back at work next Monday morning... you both sip on lattes and dwell on the thought of doing it all again next weekend. Together.]]>

Athinaeum; Like Double Rainbows September 05 2011, 0 Comments

So what the heck is she doing? Double Rainbows? What?!

I left the sunny shores of Sydney nearly a year ago, and the adventure thus far has been AMAZING to say the least. Right now it’s the rainy season, mudslides have closed the roads and political tension is simmering due to the looming election.

I’m in the heart of Guatemala, perched across from the three statuesque volcanoes of Lake Atitlan and I’ve been hard at work. For the last 3 months (with a brief respite in Costa Rica) I’ve been researching, designing and developing the handbag equivalent of the rainbow connection.

What? After falling in love with the vivid outfits of the indigenous women here, I collected a range of pre-owned traditional Maya textiles from around Guatemala. To best showcase each piece of fabric, I have developed a handful of styles which make optimum use of each textile and ensure minimal fabric wastage. My happy team of local leather craftsmen assemble each bag using local leather and suede trimmings. Each bag features hand woven, hand embellished, artistic regional textiles, framed in leather, featuring small details that will make you smile.

So?  This is Athinaeum's debut collection - a range of one-off, kaleidoscopic, indigenous, luxe arm candy with an awesome (his)story.

They are the perfect side-kick for your Southern Hemisphere summer fiesta. Or if you’re feeling a little grey during Northern Winter days, these little companions will keep you bright and chirpy.

In addition to the collection of women's handbags, I’m also developing some radical unisex laptop covers, charmed pouches for bits and pieces and a men's satchel (hello boys!). If you're in need of a spruce up, then check out the regional Guatemalan accessories I’ve collected which are perfect to decorate yourself or your home.

I'll be posting a few pics of the preliminary range in the next few weeks to whet the appetite... BUT... the bulk of the collection is still in production. Don't despair, this is perfect timing, because I've secured U.S. artist Keenan Hock to photograph the range here on the lake once he has completed a 40 day silence retreat later this month!

Become a follower of my blog and I promise that my photos, adventures, inspiration, fashion and random thoughts will be just as entertaining as seeing Double Rainbows!


Breakfast Bag August 21 2011, 5 Comments


My fave Athinaeum bag right now (and first to be blogged!) is this textured, jewel tone zig zag bag. I took it to breakfast with me today and it was the perfect companion, except for the fact that it kept insisting on sitting on the table next to my fruit salad! It gets away with these things because the colours keep me well entertained.

This magenta fruit is not fake, despite looks. It's called pitaya and the colour is so surreal it makes you feel like you're a eating mouthful of coloured crayons. The good news is that it tastes WAY better than crayons and it's healthier too. It tastes kinda like melon.

Bon appetit!




Happy Birthday: The Athinaeum August 20 2011, 1 Comment

Happy birthday Coco Chanel, my BFF and The Athinaeum.

What better day to birth a blog, than on the same date that bore two of the most inspiring people in my life?

In turn, I dream that you too will be inspired, entertained and perhaps educated whilst you enjoy The Athinaeum.

It's true, I have posted before today however, it was under another name and due to technical incompetence, it was abandoned for a while. BUT, I stick to the practice of "if it's broke, then fix it" so today I have revived and re-titled this blog The Athinaeum hence, Happy Birthday!

What to expect? Have no expectations and you will be delighted*.

To celebrate? I ask one simple wish: Stop and smell the roses.

Do it today, and at each and every chance you get throughout life. And don't just have a quick sniff! Please stop, deeply inhale and savour the sweetness. You will often hear me say that the greatest pleasures in life are not only free, but they are also the most simple and will make your insides smile.

Happy Day Everyone!


*Search for new treasures that I create, along with snippets of inspiration from my adventures!]]>

George Lois April 09 2011, 0 Comments

George Lois, Graphic Communicator

What does modern art need more of?
"Less CON - and more I CON"

What is the key to communicate visually?
"Imagery must communicate in a NANOSECOND - the idea must be immediate and forever memorable.
The idea must be understood - simple but certainly not simplistic...
Hopefully an idea that enters your head and instantly enters pop culture..."]]>