In October 1922, shortly after the tragic events of the Greco-Turkish War , he fled to Mersina on foot, and from there he sailed to Larnaca, Cyprus, where, due to lack of coal, he was forced to stay for a long time with other refugees in the ship under poor conditions. His odyssey continued with the next stop in the port of Piraeus, where, arriving with thousands of other refugees, he began to look for his family, whose traces had been lost during their persecution from Anatolia. Having heard the information that some refugees by boat from Antalya had taken refuge in Hydra, he went to the island and found the other members of his family. The family initially settled in Hydra and Dimitros, being an experienced craftsman in rug weaving, started working in a rug production factory on the island. Coming to Athens, a short time later, they settled in N. Ionia, in a room given to them by the Greek state, and began to work in Kaminia, Piraeus. From that moment, and after periods of hard work, the professional development of the family had started.
Promptly they proceeded to the purchase of a parcel of land, on Attaleias Street in N. Ionia, where they created their first shop. The human resources of the company consisted mainly of experienced weavers from Sparta of Anatolia – the crossroads of rug weaving – who, always based on ancient weaving techniques, transferred their experience and skill in the manufacture of Efremoglou rugs. It is worth noting that 80% of the rug factories of Sparta Pisidia in Anatolia operated under the supervision of Greek rug weavers. The designs of the Sparta rugs, which according to the experts are considered Greek, strongly exude the Greek element, as they reflect the Greek culture and religion and have been created with the asymmetrical or Persian knot.
Dimitros married Eleni Michailidou, from Usak who knew the craft of rug weaving, with whom they had four children, Symeon, Maritsa, Theodosia and Georgia. Unity, hard work and love between the members of the family overcame the difficult years of the occupation years of Greece by the Axis Powers and the many hardships along their way. Focused on the survival of the family and his business, as the protector of the family, he did not develop a robust political activity.
His son Symeon was born in 1934 in Athens. After graduating from the Leontio School, he entered the family business, achieving in a short time period the expansion of their activities. The rug weaving, which continued to operate even during the years of the war and the Occupation, had four hundred looms throughout Greece, pretty impressive for the time. Apart from the factory in Antalya in N. Ionia, the production was strengthened all over Greece with the form of a cottage industry. They found capable and experienced weavers, who set up the looms, gave the design of the rugs, supplied the raw materials and then supervised and monitored the progress of weaving. The gradual growth and expansion of the business at a time when imports were minimal, is mainly due to the diligence and business consistency of all family members, as well as its impeccable structure.
With the accession of Greece to the EEC, the company expanded its activities in the field of imports. By importing from countries such as Persia and Turkey, it has managed to reduce production costs and maintain competitive prices.
Symeon married Eleni Argyropoulou of Georgios Argyropoulos and Vassilia Galanaki, originally from Smyrna in Anatolia, who after all these years besides being a faithful companion is also a valuable contributor. Together they had three children, Dimitris, Elena and Maria, who successfully run the company’s branches. A brilliant and professional man served as the president of the company he still remains today by the side of his children and the company, supporting as a valuable consultant into every business action.
Dimitris Efraimoglou was born in 1966 in Athens. After completing his studies, he attended a private college in Athens and then went off to study in London, where he obtained a degree in Business Administration & Marketing. Fulfilling his military duties, he served in the Navy and then, at the age of twenty-five, joined the family business, taking on a significant part of its activities.
Dimitris especially loves his work which, in addition to creative work, allows him to get in touch with the East’s culture of mysticism. His zeal and love for business have astonished his family, professional and social environment. He believes that the successful course of the business so far is due to the consistent quality, reliability and respect for the customer, which he considers fundamental components of the company’s success. The company tries and differentiates itself with special product collections it produces in places like Persia, Afghanistan, Turkey etc.
His main concern is the saving, dissemination and preservation of the art of authentic handmade rugs, as well as the creation of a museum of Greek handmade rugs. His immediate professional goals as CEO include the expansion of the company, with the creation of multiple branches, both in Greece and in the Balkan market.
Today the “D. EFREMOGLOU SA” is active in the import and retail sale industry of rugs, maintaining two branches in the prefecture of Attica, which are run by his sisters Elena and Maria as well as the provision of services.
The Efremoglou Company, in its long history, has inseparably linked its name with the traditional, high-quality rugs of the East. With the “blood” of the rug weaver being inherited from generation to generation, the Efremoglou family continues its business activities to this day. This great tradition, transforming its “mystical” bond with the rug into passion and knowledge, is fulfilling the specific needs of its customers. The “eastern” character found in every rug, with hundred years of practising, is the rigid point that transforms every rug into a superb acquisition.
The Efremoglou Company represented by Dimitros Efremoglou has been distinguished by EOMMEX in 1977 for its contribution to the development of Greek rug industry and also by Sparta Union in 1993 in recognition of the company’s services. In 1998 the company received another distinction for the development of rug art and establishment of their homeland as a rug-production centre name called “SPARTA CHALISI”. Another prize was from the SPARTA UNION to Dimitros Efremoglou in May 1998. And finally some distinctions to Symeon Efremoglou from the carpet cleaners’ association on January 28, 2004, and from the Center of Anatolia Studies in the Municipality of N Ionia on April 23 and May 18, 2005, respectively.
Also, the company Efremoglou SA was included in the list of 350 most sustainable and prosperous companies of every industry in Greece for the year 2010.
The preservation and maintenance of the name Efremoglou, as a reference point in the field of rug weaving, is also a personal goal for Dimitris Efremoglou.
In his personal life, he is married to Vivian Tsikiti, from Chaeronia Livadia, who is also involved in the business.
In his free time, which is limited due to his professional obligations, he spends his time mainly with his family, visiting countries with a vibrant history in the art of producing handmade rugs, where traditions and crafts remain unaffected by the modern industrialization.
Today, the company continues to offer high-quality services and information based on reliability and responsibility that is so much needed in these days and times.