Made By Birds| Valentine’s series

If you’re a fan of Valentine’s day you know exactly how many days are left to the big day. But if you’re like those who always forget, be glad I just remind you that it’s coming!

I took this opportunity to introduce you to a very unique brand that will probably help you find the perfect gift for your Valentine this year.

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I had the chance to chat with Iva Atanasova, the designer and founder of accessories company Made By Birds, a unique and contemporary brand inspired by ethnic cultures and fabrics combined with quality craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Made with love, this is a bohemian fashion accessories collection that inspires creativity and individuality. All items are imaginatively matched in a way so they become unique.

– How would you describe the people who buy your collection?

I think Made By Birds purses are great add to all generation boudoir. The velvet back of the purses gives feeling of luxury and magnificence. You can use it for going out as accessories, or make –up bag or anything else. They are so colorful, girly and happy. I simply enjoy creating them and every time I make something new. Most of my accessories are unique as I think every person is.

Also the purses and the drawstring backpacks are perfect festival gear. Funky and useful.

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– When did you start Made By Birds and what made you do it?

I have been sewing since, as a young girl, my Grandma thought that if I was going to interfere with her sewing machine I might as well be taught to do so properly.
What started as a pastime creating items for myself and gifts for friends and family two years ago has now expanded into Etsy!

The name ‘Made By Birds’ being taken from a set of bird and egg toys made for my niece. Every time when I was going to visit her I was bringing her a new toy. First I made her a cloud with rain drops and a little bird. After that the toy was a big chicken followed on next visit by a happy egg.

I met an old lady, a grandma of a fiend and she gave me her old Singer machine. So I fix it and start sewing stuff as I wrote above presents for my nice, pillows for friends.

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After that I decided to buy a proper our day’s sewing machine as I already suddenly end up buying one more vintage machine pre ware 1926yr. (The bobbin inside that machine is like a bullet. In second word ware they were using them when the bullets finish.)

So sign up for sewing lessons and there I learn how to sew purses. They also have a very beautiful shop with different fabrics and trims. How can you imagine I bought lots of stuff and start sewing purses for everyone. One of my friends told me about Etsy and last November I decided to open the shop. I also have a day job, but I am trying to build Made By Birds and make it running and establish on the market. ( At the moment with baby steps).

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You can visit her Etsy shop here – Made By Birds. And get the perfect gift for this Valentine’s day!

vOLUME oNE

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Clean Out your Closet| Minimalism Series

A few weeks ago I shared my fifteen day minimalism challenge and every single point on the list was tested by me, and it not only works, but it also makes you feel really good after finishing it. Now it’s the time to let you know a bit more of my experience with each one of these challenge points.

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Starting with cleaning out your closet. This might be one of the most difficult points for a lot of people, but there’s a way of making it easier.

First of all it’s important that you reserve a full day to go through your wardrobe piece-by-piece and get rid of anything that you haven’t worn in years or even months.

One of the benefits of getting rid of all the clothes that I didn’t need is that now it’s so much easier to find an outfit in the morning before going to work! I know exactly what I have in my wardrobe so, for example, when I get invited somewhere, I immediately know which dress to wear and it made my life so much easier.

One of my biggest issues when deciding to give away my clothes was thinking that I spent money on it and now I was giving it away for free. But I quickly realise that keeping something just because I spent money on it, but I actually never wear it, it’s just a waste of my time and space at home.

I adopted a few options that you might consider adopting too.

Give it to charity.

The fact that your clothes will go to someone who needs them way more than you do is enough to make you want give them away. There are great charities with amazing causes everywhere in the world. I chose Cancer Research UK and Fundação do Gil to give away more than 12 bags of clothing that I haven’t worn in years, but has always been there in the back of my closet waiting for the perfect occasion.

Give it to a friend or family.

You know how your friends always compliment your outfits or your stylish choices? You might think they’re just being nice, but most of them really like what you wear and would love to have it. I put together a few bags of clothes that I offered to people closer to me and if they didn’t like it, then I would put it into charity bags. A lot of people were looking at buying something similar and I just made their life easier. And mine, of course!

Recycle it.

Pinterest is the best place to find creative ideas of recycling your clothes. You can turn t-shirts into bags to go grocery shopping, dresses into pillow cases, etc. This summer my mom was able to turn old jeans into a beach umbrella bag. Pretty clever!

Sell it.

There are websites such as Depop where you can sell old items. But you also have Facebook groups where you can sell second-handed clothing for a good price.

Think before buying more.

If you’re going to get rid of clothes to go and buy more, please don’t even go through the trouble. It’s important to buy with a purpose. Don’t just buy something because you have the money or the time. Buy something because you need it and you don’t have something similar at home.

Once someone told me that we spent a lot of money on clothes for special occasions, but we only wear it once or twice. Then when it comes to daily clothing we tend to buy the cheapest. And it should be the other way around. We should invest more in clothes that we are going to wear more often, so they last and we feel good every day when we wear them.

If you’ve tried this challenge before I would love to read your experience on the comments’ section.

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Shopping is not making you happy

And you can hate me for saying this but deep down, you know I’m right.

Just think about it. Do your clothes make you happy when you buy them? Of course! All that shopping spree, new stuff on the wardrobe, you can’t wait for an excuse to wear it. But what about when the excitement fades away and your new stuff tends to lose its in-store magic?

A new survey of international buying habits has found that we buy far more than we need and use. But the mindless overconsumption of fashion has become our cultural norm.

If you’ve been following my blog you know that I recently started following the minimalism lifestyle, so I’ve been reading a lot of articles and this week I came across one from Greenpeace that talked about “Stuffocation”. It describes a state where people’s lives are trapped in a vicious cycle of working and accumulating products in order to keep up with the pace of consumerism.

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I was trapped in that cycle and if you’re still reading this post chances are you are also trapped. So how did I stop?

The same survey showed that ads, promotions and 1-click buying functions are all designed to trigger impulse buying. The rate of buying increases the more companies speed up delivery. Therefore, the slower the buying process, the lower the desire to shop. so break free from the cycle of consumerism, you need to slow down.

Now every time I find myself about to buy something new online, I give myself a few minutes to think. Do I need that? When am I going to wear that? Don’t I have something similar in my wardrobe?

Following this rule helped me have a better organised wardrobe constantly and I can say I wear every single piece of clothing! I don’t spend hours trying to figure out what to wear each morning and that saves me so much stress.

It’s not only Fashion. The same goes for everything that you buy. But I’m still learning from this new concept, so I’ll keep you updated once I become more experienced.

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