61st klm Athens-Lamia (position Crespo)
32 009 * PO BOX Schimatari 197
Just outside of Athens, Greece, a city as rich in history as any other, is a label converter with a deep history of its own. During a visit to Forlabels, one wouldn't think that Greece had any economic strife. Here, is a sparkling label manufacturing facility that is quickly forging its own path in becoming one of the region's labeling leaders.
Forlabels' roots go back to 1965. Avgerinos Chatzichryssos is Forlabels' general manager, and his mother's first husband was one of Greece's first label printers, who sadly passed away. "After her husband died, my mother decided to keep this small label company. And she worked very hard at it. She was the salesperson, and she did the printing along with my older brother, who hail recently lost his father," he says.
The fledgling company was just that - a small room containing a flatbed, 3-color label press. Today, Avgerinos affectionately refers to the machine (which they still have) as the "grandmother" of the company.
After about two or three years, this hard-working woman met Avgerinos' father, a man that happened to have some printing experience. "My father was a bookmaker, so he had an understanding of paper and inks, and putting ink on paper. By trade, he was a printer of books, magazines and newspapers. He married my mother and they had my younger brother and me.
"My father helped my mother a lot in keeping the company in business. And after several years, my older brother ran the company. There was not a lot of money going around back then, as we were building a house close to our little label factory," Avgerinos recalls.
In 1986, at 18 years old, Avgerinos was preparing to go to the university. But with the house so close to the factory, he had an idea."! saw this machine - this 3-color label press. 1 was a student, but I told myself it was possible to run a small company at the same time. I figured I could work in the afternoons and evenings, and this way I wouldn't have to ask my parents for any money," he says.
So here he was, a teenager, printing as well as designing labels, plus making deliveries. Avgerinos immersed himself in the business. "I made this decision, and right away I just loved the job," he says. From the start, he was passionate about the industry, and he saw in it a certain diversity that drew him in. "In this business, you meet a lot of different people and you...