We had a chat with Chris Tourgelis from Sydney gift and lifestyle stores Opus Design; much like a visit to one of the family-run Opus stores, taking time to dig a little deeper unearths unexpected delights.
Opus Design is celebrating 50 years in 2018, having started its humble beginnings as a local corner gift store. 50 years on Opus now boasts two stores and has grown to include a luxe offering of furniture, lifestyle products, and fashion as well as the core quirky, designer gifts it has always been known for. With a family owned & run store, retail is in the blood of the Tourgelis family. Chris took the leap from banking some 21 years ago to join his parents and learn the business of fun. Chris has played an instrumental role in shaping the Opus Design stores we see today. Chris, a father of four children, balances running the Opus Design business with family life, so we were keen to find out how he manages it all?
Chris’s enthusiasm for his team is evident, he draws from their enthusiasm in maintaining his focus and drive.
I love my team! I am constantly inspired by my staff. They are all much younger than me and some of them have such a great hunger for life. They are vibrant, happy and creative. When you look at life in this way and tackle it with zest it can become a joyous thing.
Even with a vibrant team and positive attitude, Chris openly admits it’s difficult achieving balance in a busy life split between family and work.
I struggle with this balance. I have four kids, and I try my best to spend a great deal of time with them but work is demanding, and I’m not sure there are any short-cuts to success… it seems to be a common issue.
As a self-confessed lousy cook, Chris mostly doesn’t bring lunch from home preferring to grab a quick cafe lunch or takeaway. That said Chris is inspired by his wife, Diana, who is passionate about sustainability and who brings her lunch daily.
I eat at work for energy and performance rather than enjoyment. I don’t have time to sit and savour my food at work. Eating at home or out is, by comparison, pure enjoyment. I come from a Greek family, so food is a big deal for us. We always catch up over lunch or dinner and when Mum cooks it is an absolute feast. The Greek tradition is to sit at the table and chat for hours whilst enjoying a great variety of food and great wine. It is a time of celebration.
Jogging and eating well are two ways that Chris maintains a healthy balance. Perhaps surprisingly, Chris’s number one tool in preserving his wellbeing is through meditation.
Meditating is a big deal. In my opinion, it is more powerful than diet and exercise in what it can do for the mind and the body.
Chris meditates daily, generally spending at least 10–15 minutes practicing mindfulness. Chris usually listens to a guided meditation audio clip, or he simply focuses on his breathing in complete silence. Chris finds that meditation helps him reach a higher level of awareness, letting him see over the fog of a hectic work-life schedule. It also helps Chris sharpen his intuition because he is more in tune with what is happening around him.
Chris recommends meditation to everyone as a way of settling nerves and finding a sense of wellbeing. It doesn’t require a huge investment of time once you are comfortable meditating and guided meditation audio clips are a great place to start.
You can visit Chris and his team at his two Sydney stores or check out the Opus Design range online at opusdesign.com.au