In October I met some bloggers from Macedonia. Despite the fact that it was the first time I ever saw them it felt like we were meeting again after many years.
I managed to get some information about blogging in Macedonia, specifically about fashion and beauty blogs. Don’t expect, however, an analysis or charts. My travels are about meeting people and those people are what I want to tell You about.
This is the proof that I really met macedonian bloggers:
It’s difficult to describe blogging in some country when staying in this country for a week. That I already know. Especially when I combine the meetings with the bloggers with the exploration of places, tastes and trips with Macedonians. One also has to make a lot of effort to make sure the date of the meeting suits everyone.
I crave for more because I didn’t manage to meet everyone I wanted to meet or talk with them as long as I wanted. Next year I’m going to extend the length of my trips.
Finding Macedonian bloggers was a little bit hard
Most of them write in Macedonian and though I had contact with Cyrillic for several years, I don’t know the Macedonian language.
Ania from The Family Without Borders blog recommended to visit Blogirame.mk It is a Macedonian blogs’ catalogue. Check it out.
Did you? Now imagine what I thought to myself: “Oh no… How am I going to find interesting blogs among those foreign words”.
But I’m lucky, I browsed, I dug and that’s how I found Aleksandra, then Azize, Ilina and how I then found myself at a fashion event and coffee with the bloggers.
Something about fashion bloggers
Just two years ago there were about 3-4 (!) fashion blogs in Macedonia, now there are more than 20. More and more people are choosing blogging as a way of expressing themselves although they still blog in their spare moments, treating it as a hobby.
There’s a thriving Facebook group called Macedonian Fashion Bloggers. The girls promote new blogs, each other, publish links to interesting notes, support each other in photo shoots, creating a growing community.
If the founders of this group are reading this I’d like them to remember that they promised to organize a meeting for fashion bloggers in a group broader than usually. I await the information when it’ll happen. It’s easier to attract attention as a group and say: “look how many interesting blogs we have in Macedonia”.
The girls say that the problem of most of the bloggers is the fact that they don’t own good cameras or don’t have people that could take pictures for the blog. It’s very important in the case of fashion or food blogs. How about photo workshops with some photographer during a larger meeting?
Blogging in Macedonia is still free from working with brands, conferences for bloggers. The potential of the bloggers was, however, noticed by young Macedonian designers. They provide clothes for photo sessions and invite bloggers to be their models for fashion shows (I even went to one such show. No, I wasn’t a model).
Let’s move on to people and meetings
If you read my previous texts about Macedonia, you know I mentioned those meetings. Talking about blogging during such a meeting is only a small piece. The conversation quickly moves to the subjects of culture, customs, male-female relations, cuisine, music etc.
A blog about fashion, vintage style, poetry, art (Aleksandra also writes poems, she is part of the artistic world of Skopje).
We met a few hours after I landed in Skopje. I was a bit scared as I slept only for an hour and I didn’t want to fall asleep during the meeting. How would it look like. And… I was really surprised cause there was an opposite effect. I had a lot of energy!
Aleksandra took me to the Centre for Culture, showed me exhibitions of young artists’ works, acquainted me with the artists and then a concert started in front of the Centre and I got so energetic by bopping to the music among happy Macedonians that we managed to walk through half the city before the evening.
I remember us sitting in an old pub in the Old Bazaar. I was talking about blogging in Poland and Aleksandra about the bloggers in Macedonia. About how she likes to support the artists and she sees cooperation with bloggers as means of promoting them. I love such an exchange of knowledge.
A blog about fashion and cosmetics.
Thanks to Azize I got to know almost all of the most beautiful nooks of the Struga city which lies near the Ohrid lake. Azize has lived in Macedonia all her life but she is of Albanian ancestry. People speak Macedonian and Albanian interchangeably near Ohrid.
Azize comes from a family of photographers. Duh! She even took me to her father’s photograph shop. That’s why the pictures on her blog are so nice.
“I often get comments like why am I not wearing a hijab (an Islamic veil that covers hair), you know. I have god in my heart, I don’t feel the need to show it on the outside. It’s my choice. Reading such comments, however, is sometimes unpleasant. Do Polish bloggers also have haters? Exactly”.
We talked about cultural differences, traditions, male-female relations, family relations. A marvellous, beautiful girl.
A blog about fashion, graphics, design, yoga, positive lifestyle.
Ilina’s story is an interesting one because she also comes from Struga. However, when I was in Struga she was at work in Ohrid (about 10 km away from Struga). When I went back to Ohrid, Ilina went back home to Struga. We exchanged a dozen or so messages on Facebook to finally meet several hundred km further, that is at the fashion event in Skopje.
Ilina is also active in the field of graphics, she is a co-creator of the Macedonian Fashion Bloggers page on Facebook (the one I mentioned previously). She is full of positive energy. She plans on visiting Poland next year so I’m already thinking about places in Warsaw that I’m going to take her to.
I was a “photographer” at the fashion event
The girls have invited me to the event in a big shopping mall in Skopje where a Macedonian designer Lili Kandinska has organized a fashion show with the bloggers as her models. I entered my role as a “photographer” sneaking between the Macedonian photographers and taking pictures. An interesting and funny experience.
I exchanged a few words with Lili and I learnt that there are no websites such as shwrm or pakamera where young designers can promote and sell their clothes. Lili said that (in contrary to many Macedonian companies) she sees the potential of the bloggers and that’s why she had invited them to the show. That’s great:)
Aleksandra – Aeksandravezilka.wordpress.com,
Ilina – Dragoslavska.com
Meri – makedonskimodelblog.com
Iva i Sandra – Skopjecasual.mk
Later we went for coffee
I told girls about blogging in Poland, conferences, workshops, interesting projects and I hope I inspired them a bit.
Meri Popovska – makedonskimodelblog.com
Simona Taseva – Sim’s Blog
Marija Stojkovska – fabulousfreedom.blogspot.com
Aleksandra i Simona
During the meeting I wrote down some useful words for the girls. Take a look. Macedonian word on the left, English meaning on the right.
- Karmin means lipstick (eng), szminka (pl)
- Szminka means make up (eng), makijaż (pl)
- Pudra means powder (eng), puder (pl)
- Usta means lips (eng), usta (pl)
What’s interesting is the fact that the Polish and Macedonian languages have a lot of words that are the same as well as words that mean something completely different.
To come back for more
It’s nice going back to the memories of the meetings. It’ll be nicer to go back to Macedonia. I still have to meet food bloggers, speak (finally) with Jovan, the founder of Blogirame, meet a male blogger and visit the familiar bloggers. I have several reasons.
Until the spring then?:)