Empress Avenue had the pleasure of interviewing Toronto based “flâneur” Eleni Kyri, the beauty behind the blog Bijuleni. Over email, “Leni” tells us she enjoys the occasional travels around the world, is a lover of fine art, quaint cafés and is an advocate for the social inclusion of students with disabilities. Bijuleni is her creative platform for style, beauty and decor, which is quite apparent at a first glance at her beautiful photos!
Name: Eleni Kyri
Education: Master of Education
Social Media Links: @bijuleni
Apart from blogging I also work full time in the media industry. Since I started blogging, there is no distinction for me between weekdays and weekends. Everyday is a work day. As soon as I get home from my day job, I spend my evenings creating content for my blog, engaging with my social media followers and answering emails. My break is going to grab dinner with either friends or my boyfriend. On weekends I shoot my outfits and then edit the pictures. There is a lot of multi-tasking that needs to happen in order to get things done.
What inspired you to start your own blog? What made you decide to take the leap?
My first creative platform was Polyvore. I would create outfits and then post them to my profile. I have always been interested in style and I love writing, so I really wanted to marry the two. Unfortunately, for many years the timing was never right. I am a very creative person and last year I felt that aspect was lacking in life. I think that is what forced me to finally take a leap of faith and dive into the world of blogging.
I view success as a concept that is interchangeable and subjective depending on which stage of my life I am in. Regardless, my number one rule is to never define my success with money. I hate to admit, but we live in a society that measures success by how much money we make and how many material things we can attain.
What is your favourite travel hot spot?
I try to avoid going to the same place twice because I always want to explore something new and experience different cultures, but I would love to visit Munich again. I find this is a city that has something to offer to any type of tourist. It is an oasis for history lovers like myself, delicious cuisine and biergartens for the foodies, and endless activities for the outdoorsy traveler.
How would you describe your own personal style? Is there a person who is a fashion inspiration to you?
I am very girly, but I usually opt for comfort and boyfriend jeans. So I would define my style as casual chic with a feminine twist. Olivia Palermo and Miroslava Duma are definitely two ladies whose outfits I always fall in love with, so inspiration from them comes to me naturally.
What is one item every blogger should have in their purse?
Business cards! I got mine as soon as I created my blog and I make sure to have some with me at all times. Even if you go to the grocery store, take them with you. You never know who you are going to meet.
Is owning your own blog as glamorous as it sounds?
I will admit that blogging definitely added some glamorous aspects in my life that I did not necessarily have before, but overall blogging is anything but glamorous. Most people do not realize how much hard work it takes to create content, and how many late nights are needed to get things done in terms of editing.
What types of readers are in your ‘pink book’ and who are you looking to connect with?
I call my readers “flâneurs” because that is the philosophy I want to emerge from my blog. The flâneur I am referring to is an individual that is curious about style, creative, eager to explore the world, looks to others for inspiration, but is confident to be her own style icon. Those are also the people I want to connect with.
What are your tips for setting yourself apart in the fashion blog industry?
What I disliked before I started blogging was that most bloggers would post items that I could simply not afford. I didn’t want to be just another blog that features clothing that the everyday girl cannot afford, or for my readers to think that in order to be stylish you need to be rich. I do splurge here and there, but overall I want my readers to feel that my style is attainable.
Can you offer any advice for new bloggers or female entrepreneurs looking to promote their business?
There is no recipe to success. My professor at Grad school once said to me “every beginning is fragile”. It has become my mantra ever since. Beginnings are always difficult, but through perseverance and confidence sooner or later you will achieve your goals. Reach out to other bloggers, connect with brands, and always remember that success does not happen overnight and it definitely does not maintain itself. Yes, there are a few blogs that skyrocketed to success overnight, but understand that these are the exception and not the rule. Don’t be discouraged.