Behind the Scenes: A Closer Look at Kantyli
Panos Fiorentinos, Creator of Kantyli, got his love for engraving early in life. As a child, he enjoyed building and creating things. He began his first endeavor at the young age of nine using toothpicks and glue to begin constructing the house and town where he lived. With his intentions on becoming an architect, a drawing class in college sidetracked him where he saw his instructor working on an architectural model. Says Panos, “I never completed that project — until that visit to the instructor’s studio. I’d thought that it was long forgotten, but fate had other plans.”
His talent led him into a career building architectural models alongside his instructor and later with architect Christ Kamages creating mostly Greek Orthodox churches. Eventually he went on to form his own company, PF Models, where he built models independently.
In 2004, Panos completed a book entitled ECCLESIA: Greek Orthodox Churches of the Chicago Metropolis. While marketing the book he came up with new and innovative ideas as well as the name Kantyli. “Looking inward to the subject matter, my wife Irene and I stumbled upon a most appropriate name: Kantyli– it’s the oil lamp used in the Greek Orthodox Church.”
As Kantyli has grown every year, Panos has developed new products. He uses his background in creating models to hone his custom style of engraving using a variety of materials. They all honor Greek heritage and culture and help others to celebrate Greek traditions as well. Says Panos, “I get to design and create Greek gifts that are original. Every year Kantyli gets busier and noticed more. People tell us they ‘love’ our products. We can customize and personalize anything that’s on our site and that’s what makes us special.”