Paul Efmorfidis, the founder of COCO-MAT, loves all the ready-made products given to us by nature
I’m a nomad, I have no house. Recently, I’ve been sleeping in my hotel, Coco-Mat Athens BC where various friends visit me daily and stay.
My bicycle is my favourite object, freedom’s trademark.
I don’t want to look after any object, but objects look after me. For this reason, I’ve constructed my bicycle so that it never, but never, breaks. It’s made of wood, with green details and letters in all languages.
I became a cyclist four years ago when we began constructing the wooden bikes. Today, we make 1500 a year.
Another passion of mine are wooden pens and the hearts we make in Sparta.
My backpack hides many secrets and thousands of kilometers. It was made by a friend by recycling various waste products.
I love all the ready-made products given to us by nature.
I’ve always admired manual workers.
Those who know me, never bring me gifts.
I do not have a cell phone, because I don’t want my attention distracted when I’m with someone or doing something. I don’t want to miss the moment.
I never take any pictures because I want to enjoy every moment, particularly when travelling. In this way, I feel like the richest man in the world. For me, one is happy when he wants what he does and not when he does whatever he wants.
If I weren’t a mattress maker, I’d be a green grocer. I love seeing nature and its colours. At the Coco-Mat headquarters in Kifissia I feel close to nature, I bask in the green scenery and the company of 18 horses and ponies that we have.
Nature is my biggest mistress and my guiding force is the love I feel for everything.
COCO-MAT’s founding story is a funny one. One night, my mother, who is from Mani, didn’t allow me to sleep at home because I brought home a girl with whom I was not married.
So we went to the beach and slept on seaweed. The next day I realized that it was the most comfortable night’s sleep I’d ever had. So I made my first mattress out of seaweed and slowly began COCO-MAT. Later we began constructing beds and furniture and I later moved on to the hospitality industry, along with my brother.
My collaborators call me “Hey Paul”.
I love travelling. Recently, I went from Greece to New Delhi on my favourite wooden bicycle and without a mobile phone. For this reason I had to ask many people for various pieces of information, something I wholeheartedly enjoy.
On this trip, I joined forces with WWF, aiming to inform the public regarding forest fires and forest protection.
My hardest trip however took place 4 years ago. I travelled through all of Greece, from Kastanies all the way to Ierapetra, in three and a half months in 40°C heat.
I wanted to learn everything about Greece, so that I wouldn’t come across foreigners who have visited more places than I have in my own country.
Next September I plan on crossing the area of the Amazon on a bike. I’ll be throwing small balls with seeds inside them so that more trees can be sowed. Nature has her own mechanisms, but I want to help her recover faster.
Since my childhood years in Sparta I remember the orange trees around which we played football for so many hours that by the end, my feet would hurt.
I also remember the beaches, the troupe who played the “Karagiozis” and the roasted chickpeas sold in a small glass.
I do however feel the need to investigate the concepts of “memory” and “remembrance”. I am not sure I know the difference.
During the summer, I only eat watermelon, feta cheese and berries.
Every day of my life is different from the last. It is a life guidebook about what to eat, what to drink and who to meet.
I’m always living in a dream.
I spend my day as though I were a child, without engaging with norms. And I’m certainly quite gullible, just like a child.
At the end of the day, I realize that only your sweat gives you joy. When you are tired, you feel at peace and you appreciate everything you have even more.
Paul Evmorfidis is a talented entrepreneur. In 1989 he founded COCO-MAT, a highly successful Greek company committed to using Nature’s wisdom as a source of inspiration for the creation of innovative products and home furniture, made with natural materials. An inspiring speaker and restless traveler, Paul aims to raise awareness about climate change.