Iliana Stoilova: I want to live and work in Bulgaria

Photo: courtesy of Iliana Stoilova

Radiant and full of optimism, Iliana Stoilova is a young lady capable of capturing beauty and showing it to others. She recently graduated engineering design at the University of Forestry in Sofia and started out her career at the Urban Art Factory in the capital city, where she works with two other girls. Instead of eye shadow and lipstick, her bag is frequently full of all kinds of tools.


“You don’t see girls working with drills or saws very often, but we have been endeavouring to improve our skills every day,” says Iliana. “I am very happy to be doing design and creating beautiful things. We designed the furniture for the information centre at the Roman Wall market in Sofia. The people who gave us this commission also organize what are known as the “farmers’ markets”. This is a campaign that is very close to my own way of thinking and way of life. The idea for this kind of market is to bring together farmers and to offer customers all kinds of home-made food and home-grown farming produce.”


Unlike many young people, who see no future in Bulgaria, Iliana wants to make her dreams come true, here, where she was born. What is her motivation?

“I love to travel because that is the best way to see all kinds of different cultures and people. Still, Bulgaria is the place I was born and raised and it is here we should Снимкаdevelop. It is no use complaining all the time, what we should try and do is change the things we do not like. What I want to do is furniture design, because the things I create can change our surroundings and bring joy to their owners. It is very important what kind of furniture surrounds us because it has an energy of its own. That is why I endeavour to put my own positive energy into it so it can bring joy to others.”

The young designer loves nature and has been windsurfing since childhood. That is why she spends her summers by the sea, where she trains children and adults – how to hold the sail and other techniques of windsurfing.

“Direct communion with nature gives one power and self-confidence. People tend to take nature for granted without a thought to the fact that we are all part of it. I myself try to keep to a healthy diet and to recycle. That is a principle I apply when I am making furniture – I breathe new life into something old. One of the interesting things I made was a sleigh on wheels – “a summer sleigh” using the back of an old chair. Together with a colleague we also made a TV set we called “positron” – only for good news. I myself always try to see the good things and to show people that anything is possible if you put you mind to it. I see a great deal of negativism around me. What I have been trying to do is see a different angle. I would somehow like to show people that things can be different if you have the eyes to see them. If we really try to probe more deeply, we shall see that even the world around us if very different from what our eyes see.”

English version: Milena Daynova

Photos courtesy of  Iliana Stoilova

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Снимка: EPA / BGNES

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