If you've opened Instagram and entered #dubrovnik in the last couple of days the absolute leader in the top posts is clubfashionista. The name behind it is charming Amra Beganovich, one of two sisters who lead the blog Amra&Elma. As it's written on their blog, they've left their unexciting jobs as an economist and attorney and set out on an adventure to build Club Fashionista (at first) and now their own brand Amra and Elma. Beautiful Amra shared her Dubrovnik and blogging experience with The Dubrovnik Times.
How did you decide to become a full time blogger?
It was not a career move that I had planned - I was working as an economist on World Bank projects before I started my blog. One day it donned on me that all the tips my girlfriends and I were sharing might be interesting to other people.
I started a blog to share stories and advice. At first, it was mostly read by my family and friends, but three months into it, we had reached 150,000 unique monthly views and others soon took notice; one of our first clients was Paris Hilton and her brand of leather goods/purses. Once I understood that I could monetize what we had created, I decided to leave my job as an economist a pursue a full time career in blogging. Fast forward three years later, we have around 2.4 million social media followers and have officially reached a status of top 3 most influential digital influencers in New York City. Along with our team of 12, we also run a marketing company that specializes in social media management, content production, PR, influencer oureach, and brand development.
Did you expect to get so famous?
I definitely did not expect to become famous; I was writing mainly to inspire myself, and in turn I ended up inspiring others. I still feel the same as when I initially started – I am equally humbeled and open to new experiences/knowledge; I am always looking to improve and to grow.
Bloggers, or digital influencers as they are called in United States, have become a powerful force in the lifestyle industry, and this dispersion of creativity, ideas, and opinions/advice is what draws many to tune in. I find it liberating and inspiring when I see so many oridinary men and women using their talent, creativity, and passion to realize their dreams. I also love the freedom that social media has given us – we are no longer bound by certain authority to determine our careers. We are free to shape our own future.
Is this your dream job?
I love my job - it has given me an incredible opportunity to utilize my creativity and make a living doing something that I would otherwise have done for free. I always loved using photos to tell a story, and now my work takes me to some of the most beautiful places in the world. Unlike the trips I took before, now I use my time to explore hidden corners of the cities and ofte go beyond even what the locals know. For example, I hiked up from the Old Town Dubrovnik to Bosanka village via tiny alleys and mountain steps. I recorded this experience on my Snapchat and Instagram.
On the other hand, my job does come with a certain downside – I am virtually working all the time. Digital influencers don't really have time off – we are expected to continously produce content, and therefore, we are constantly on the lookout for photo opportunities. We hardly ever put our cameras, phones, and laptops down.
How do you choose which locations to visit?
I usually choose the location based on my mood or the occassion. This time around I chose Dubrovnik as I use to spend many summers here as a child. My parents flew in as well, so it was a family reunion in Croatia. As my job involves taking photos, I also consider the aesthetic aspect of the location; I like to travel to places that I know will generate intrest my from my audience. I love to photograph inspirational settings such as Plaza Banje Beach in Dubrovnik; these photos always tend to get a postive reaction. They make people dream.
Do you adapt your clothing to the destination?
I plan the attire for my trips at least a week in advance. I work with many wonderful designers and brands and they often provide me with perfect ensabmbles for each trip. For Dubrovnik, I worked with the amazing Nicole Miller. She is a great friends, and her clothes carry a free-spirited-bohemian vibe that is perfectly fitting for a summer destination such as Croatia.
Why did you pick Dubrovnik?
My family and I are very fond of this place, and I also wanted to bring along my boyfriend who is here for the first time. As Dubrovnik carries many great memories for me, I thought this would be a perfect place to share with my audience.
Did you like it? What was your favorite thing?
I have been enjoying every minute in this beautiful city. My day consists of getting up pretty early -5:30AM, getting ready, and shooting between 6AM-7AM, before all the tourists arrive to the city. You will notice that in many of my photos, the city is entirely empty; this is because I was one of the few determined ones (or crazy ones haha) to get up this early in hopes of getting the perfect shot.
Afterwards, I grab breakfast at our hotel, and start working on my laptop. I usually have to edit and post all the images after I take them, so I often bring my laptop to the pool/beach.
Later, I usually will exercise (hike, jog, or swim). One of my favorite things about Dubrovnik was a wonderful path we discovered that led us all the way to the Bosanka village. We were so thrilled with this experience, that we hiked this trail almost daily.
Our evenings consist of family time with a quiet dinner in our hotel or other great restaurants in the city.
What kind of style suits Dubrovnik?
I like to wear bohemian-chic clothing in summer – loose maxis, pants, skirts, etc. I also like simple denim shorts and tees. I brought many hats with me to Dubrovnik as I don't like to expose my skin to too much sun. Flat sandals are also great as are flat slip ons.
What did you think about the style of the ladies that you've seen around?
Croatian women are effortessly beautiful. They carry themselves so well, and they all seem to have great skin – must be the Adriatic diet (or air). I also love how they put in the effort to dress up in the evening when they go out for dinner/drinks - they look strinkingly beautiful.
What's your next destination?
After Croatia, I am heading to Mostar and Sarajevo, and then back home to New York City for New York Fashion Week (NYFW). Once NYFW is over, I will take a short trip to Lake Como to catch the last of summer days in Italy. NYFW is very intense for me, and I love to go somewhere quiet afterwards to refuel.