Meet the People of Split: Dina, Fashion Blogger, Handbag Designer, Doctor of Medicine

By , 16 Mar 2017, 16:57 PM
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We continue our "Meet the People of Split" series this week with Dina, a proud member of the Split community who was introduced to us by Gytha, the Game of Thrones enthusiast we kicked the series off with a few weeks ago. Here is Dina’s story.

1. Why don’t we begin with you telling us a little about yourself?

First and most importantly – thank you for the opportunity to be a part of “Meet the people of Split”. I am a 32-year-old bookworm from the craziest town in the world; lover of life, colors, fashion, music and everything geek related. In my free time, I’m a doctor of medicine, specializing in the public health department. But above all, I am proud to be the mother of a one and a half-year-old baby girl Ena, and wife of my equally geeky and always supporting husband Marko. I was born and raised in Split along with my younger sister Marija – our father is originally from the Ravni Kotari region near Zadar, and our mother, born and raised in Kastel Sućurac, is from the most famous village in Zagora – Ogorje!

2. Total Split was introduced to you through Gytha who we interviewed a few weeks ago for the series. She mentioned that you are a fashion blogger here in Split - tell us more!

In November 2013, I started a fashion blog titled Miss Dee ST-yle (you can view it here: www.missdeestyle.com). My good friend Stela convinced me that it’s a shame to have so many quirky clothes, shoes and accessories and not properly photograph them and show them to the world. We also wanted to use all the possible locations in Split and nearby areas to present our local designers. I would rather buy something handmade than anything from mass production shops. We meticulously plan every blog post from the outfit to the location that compliments it, and of course the story behind it. For example, if I’m wearing a pencil skirt, I will do my research and write something about its history and role in today’s fashion. Our blog posts are written in English, Stela takes the pictures, and to this day we have created over one hundred posts! It was, and still is, an extremely positive experience which brought me some great new friendships in the blogging and fashion community, but also taught me a lot about fashion and its history.

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3. With that being said, what are your favorite places to shop in Split, and where would you suggest tourists shop?

During the spring and summer months Zadarska street and the nearby alleys in city center are great places for some original and handcrafted outfits made by Croatian designers. I also love ID and KRUG concept stores for clothing or Art Market on Prokurative Square and Kamena Duga stores for bags and jewelry.

4. Are you involved in any other projects outside of fashion blogging? If so, what are they?

My great love and passion is sewing, especially sewing handbags. I learned the basics of sewing in 2013 from my teacher Mia, owner of the brand “TOrBA”. Like most women, I’m a handbag fanatic, but I was always frustrated with the lack of original handbags with the specific themes I wanted on them. I mostly make my handbags from printed fabrics and fake leather. I have a basic sewing machine so there are always some imperfections on them, but they are made with a lot of thought and love. In the beginning, I just made them for myself, but later I began making them for my girlfriends and after some time I started to receive orders from people who saw them on my blog – some of them even went to New York, Madrid, Abu Dhabi and Alaska! You can find a great number of models I have made on the “Handbags” section of my blog.

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5. What are some of your favorite hobbies and things to do in Split?

At this moment my favorite hobby is discovering all the possible Split playgrounds with my daughter Ena – she doesn’t leave me too much time for anything else. But one thing I just love are Pub Quizzes – they are a great opportunity to have fun with your friends, test your knowledge and even earn some money. I can’t get over the fact that one of my favorite places, “To je To” bar is now closed – it was my favorite Pub Quiz place. I was a part of an only all girl team, Curry Bitches (named after our favorite actor Tim Curry from “Rocky Horror Picture Show”), and we won just about everything that could be won there, and had a great time while doing it! Kisses to my geeky girls!

6. What are some of your favorite places to eat and drink in the city? Is there a place in Split you could not live without?

My favorite places to eat are most definitely the restaurants Matoni, Articok and Bota Šare for sushi. Procaffe with their amazing cakes and Bajadera pancakes are my places to go when I’m in the desperate need for some sugar. In the last year, my place to go and have some fun while drinking amazing cocktails (you must try their Espresso Martini!) is most definitely Sanctuary bar. I couldn’t live without the sun, the sea view and coffee, so Žbirac bar at Bačvice beach is the perfect place for me.

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7. What are some of your favorite attractions in Split - any secret hangouts you think more people should know about?

I spent 25 years living in a strict center of Split, but for the last seven years I have lived in Split 3 and Mertojak, and every day I appreciate them more and more. I adore “Retro café” and  “Superfood Juice and Smoothie Bar” at Prima 3 – definitely worth a visit and a bus ticket. Also, for same healthy cakes and meals “Up Café” near Joker shopping center is a must.

8. Split has obviously changed a lot in the last few years - do you think the city is changing for the better or do you think there is still a lot of work that needs to be done? If so, what do you think needs to change in Split?

Split is definitely changing for the better. Only ten years ago, during the summer months, the city center was practically empty, and today I enjoy seeing the commotion and tourists around it. You couldn’t find two decent restaurants in Split and today you don’t know where to go first.

But on the other side, in a huge desire to make some quick money, there are a lot of overpriced restaurants and clubs with rather questionable quality, a bunch of “original” Croatian souvenirs made in China, and total disrespect for a lot of cultural monuments. I like initiatives which try to make Split an interesting place to visit during the winter months when it totally lacks in content.

Also, the complicated paperwork and drastic fines push back people with a lot of interesting ideas.

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9. What would you tell tourists (or even locals) in Split to do? What is something they absolutely should not miss while they are here?

Besides trying out local food in restaurants I would recommend they give a chance to our biggest local marketplace, Pazar, and buy and prepare their own fresh groceries. Split is a central Dalmatian port, so why not to use ferry and visit the islands for a couple days - such as the beautiful, but bit far Lastovo and Vis? In Dalmatian Zagora, especially in Ogorje and Sinj, there are great horse riding clubs where you can take horseback riding tours and enjoy the quiet and idyllic nature far away from the city rush.

But in the end, Dalmatia and Split are places where people love to enjoy themselves and do everything slowly…so just find yourself a nice sea view and enjoy your morning coffee.