Bearsden Festival runs on its volunteers, and we happily came across a wonderful woman who has helped us enormously already with our marketing. She is Ina Pabat-Stroe, and at the start of the year she launched a new local magazine, That Ilk, featuring some of the wonderful happenings in Bearsden and Milngavie. We caught up with her in Rose and Grants this week for a catch-up and she answered some questions.
How did the magazine come about?
Finding a career path post-children has been difficult for me. I struggled to find a balance between my career ambitions and my need to be with my family. I simply didn’t find enough flexible opportunities of a more senior level - if any; senior positions in the marketing field require many hours spent in the office and that was simply something I could not do - I tried but it ended up affecting my mental health. I felt guilty, depressed and demotivated for a long time thinking I have to make a compromise - either my family or my career. In the end I decided to just build it for myself.
The idea of a magazine had been in my head for some time, but I was struggling with putting it in practice. I thought I needed a lot of money to actually make it happen and it was someone from the community who encouraged me to go for it: execute my vision put the content I had in mind on paper and see what happens.
So That Ilk happened because of that short pep talk but also because I've wanted to tell stories all my life. Helping others discover the many wonderful people inhabiting this geographical space became a sort of mission.
I’ve only lived here for 5 years so my view is quite objective I guess: there is lots going on, projects, businesses and warm, friendly people and we should all take pride in that and have a conversation about it.
What was the community feedback to the launch?
I was surprised by how much wonderful support the magazine had. Firstly, people I invited to contribute to the first issue actually humoured me without having much idea of what the end result would be and sent me good quality material that made my work of putting it together much easier.
Then, I shared a link of the first issue with my heart beating rather fast on some local Facebook groups without knowing what to expect - if anything. A wave of love and support with a main message that this is “exactly what this community needs” followed. It is all this support that makes the second issue really possible.
The first issue of That Ilk was read more than 1,500 times simply by word of mouth, with people offering content and volunteering to help me make the second issue happen.
What is going on in the second issue?
I am not going to offer too much about the second issue of That Ilk, except that the overarching theme is Step Outside, inspiring local people to enjoy spring time, go out and discover what’s on their doorstep. It is my goal to feature local charities, artists, events and startups in every issue so you might expect some articles along these lines as well as a few exciting surprises :) I plan on launching second issue around the 10th of March, so keep an eye out for it!
Are you involved in volunteering yourself?
Hitting 40 was a wake up call for me personally I realised I needed to stop wasting time and focus on what is meaningful to me. So doing charity work is uplifting, empowering and helps me meet inspiring people and grow as a person.
I actively support two charities: MCR Pathways which offers mentoring support for Glasgow young people with difficult backgrounds, and a charity close to my heart and home country, Hospices of Hope, which offers vital support to sick children and their families in Eastern European countries like Romania, Serbia, Moldova and Albania.
Every week I go to a Glasgow school for an hour to mentor a young person; we chat about school and life and every week I leave with a smile on my face, as I have made a connection with a talented child with lots of potential who teaches me as much as I teach them.
What is the long term plan for That Ilk?
In the near future I hope more businesses will rally behind That Ilk and help the magazine grow from online to print.
It has been proven that businesses that engage with their community are able to build strong relationships with the people in their local area and a reputation for being a business that cares - and that is beneficial for all involved.
With more local business support, hopefully I will be able to bring more local parents and carers on board, people who perhaps look for flexible work opportunities in order to keep their career going while their family takes priority to write and contribute to the magazine or simply use it as a platform advance their personal projects.
So please ask for the magazine’s rate card if you’d like to advertise, I am only an email away: firstname.lastname@example.org.