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These wonderful three Bulgarian peas in a pot came into our life through one of those moments when we yet again got lost on instagram looking through endless pics of people on holiday - their brekkie, lunches and dinners, still lives, nature shots and so on 😊. While dreamily drifting off here and there, slightly overloaded with images pouring into our mind... we were suddenly caught by a pic of three gorgeous "almost" identical girls exploring some cool and original spot somewhere Upstate New York. We quickly went to explore what "Triplet Approved" is about and were happy to find that it is right up our alley! Following their hunger for travel they brought into life their website as a collection of their experiences - a space where to reflect on past adventures, "slow life" places, conversations, visual impressions, and ideas that inspire them. Find out more below!
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Girls, when we met in New York you told me about your home town Stara Zagora. What was growing up there like?
Stara Zagora is one of the bigger cities in Bulgaria. Most of the city lived in tall ex-Soviet buildings housing dozens of families, which meant that we were always surrounded by hordes of neighborhood kids who were ready to explore and play. Children weren’t overscheduled back then, and there was always a sense of safety and trust in our neighborhoods, which meant that we were free to roam and stir up trouble – as long as we were back home in time for dinner. Growing up we also spent every summer living with our grandparents in their beautiful villa in the mountains. Those were truly the happiest times! We’d spend three months breathing in the fresh air, eating delicious organic produce hand-picked from our grandparents’ garden, and exploring the village and the surrounding woods. We can’t think of a more idyllic way to spend one’s childhood…
What brought you to the States?
The pursuit of opportunities and culture mingling is what brought us to the States. We love our country, but young Bulgarians have long struggled to find career opportunities back home. So, we packed up and came to the States to study, eventually finding jobs and settling in New York. The push to move out west really came from our parents, who had themselves entertained the dream of coming to the States, but had never had the chance to given the limitations of communist Bulgaria.
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How was it to leave each other's sides when you started university?
Going to college separately was a conscious decision we all took together. We had been inseparable throughout our entire lives – going to school together, studying the same languages, playing the same sport – and felt that it was time for us to get out of our comfort zone and give each other space to grow as individuals rather than a “wolf pack.” It was definitely a challenge! We all had dramatically different college experiences, and we went through tough moments that we had to find a way to navigate on our own. Ultimately, we were always a phone call away, though, and we never ceased to rely on each other for support.
Would you say it helped you to build your own identities separate from each other?
We’d say that spending four years apart definitely helped us develop our own voices and a stronger sense of our unique identities. As much as we share a lot on an intellectual and emotional level, any close friend of ours will tell you that our personalities are quite different!
How did the idea for "Triplet Approved" come about?
We had long thought about having our own little creative outlet together. Several friends dared us to do it, so one day we finally cracked and went for it! The name “triplet approved” was born out of an inside joke. We have a bit of a reputation for having a strong idea of what we like (and what we don’t 😊)… Our friends would joke that we can’t go to a given restaurant because it’s not triplet approved.
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When we discovered you on instagram, we fell in love with your artistic photo aesthetic, the surroundings you pick and of course your styling. Do you plan this together or does each one of you take care of something different?
Desi is the hand behind the camera and the editing, but we all contribute equally to the creative process. We brainstorm locations, props and angles together and keep a running list of ideas we want to execute one day. The whole process is quite spontaneous, though. We’ll get up a little earlier on a Saturday, grab bikes and roam around until inspiration strikes. We also don’t overthink or over-arrange. You’ll be surprised to hear that we rarely take more than 2-3 takes of a given setup!
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You seem to be travelling to many beautiful places. What has been your absolute highlight?
It’s tough to pick one… Different trips and experiences stand out for different reasons. We loved the end-of-the-world, hippy and carefree vibe of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. We’ve had crazy adventures meeting locals and camping in Puerto Rico. Last summer, we spent a fantastic weekend in a house in Arezzo, Italy (in Tuscany), eating homemade pasta and sampling bottle after bottle of amazing wine.
Sunset in Santa Teresa
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From your stories, we can tell you like it off the beaten track. Can you tell us some of your favourite New York hangouts for our readers that like to stay far away from tourist crowds?
When a solid new spot pops up in New York, it’s hard for it to stay a secret too long – especially with the Internet and Instagram. We’d say that Bushwick is still a bit off the beaten path. You’ll find some restaurants and cool bars that are not overrun with crowds the way many places in Manhattan and Williamsburg are. We recently tried Ops Pizza and The Sampler (cool bar with a skater vibe) and loved them both. There’s also a restaurant called Carthage Must Be Destroyed (dead serious) that serves the freshest and most delicious produce we’ve ever had in New York. Reminded us of our grandparents’ garden...
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Where do you go to calm down from this busy city and get inspired?
We love doing quick getaways to Upstate New York. You’d be surprised how beautiful those parts of New York State are and how easily one can escape. We’ll rent a beautiful house in the woods, gather a group of friends and spend a relaxing weekend cooking, sitting by the fire and playing board games.
Catskills weekend getaway
We love live music. Is there a cool bar in Brooklyn that you can recommend for good concerts?
One place we love is the bar FourFiveSix in Brooklyn. They have amazing live jazz every Thursday. Their veggie lasagna is solid and their drinks are stiff!
You mentioned that you spent your childhood summers at your grandparents’ house in a Bulgarian mountain village. We have always wanted to go explore the nature of Bulgaria, do you have some tips on where to go?
When it comes to nature in Bulgaria, you really can’t go wrong. Bulgaria has stunning, diverse nature and a really long history, so there’s a lot to see there. Pirin is known as our most beautiful mountain, so we think it’s worth a visit. We’re also partial to Rhodope mountain and Kovachevica – the breath-taking village where our grandmother was born. We strongly recommend Melnik as well – a beautiful town in Pirin that’s peppered with cultural monuments.
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We are very happy that you have joined our flock and to see you beautifully flying around with our HIITU goodies. What is each of yours favourite HIITU piece?
It’s hard to choose, really… This has been one of our favorite collaborations! If we must pick, though, we’d all go for the pearl ring with stick. It’s gorgeous! And we get so many compliments 😊.
Thank you girls for sharing so much of your life and experiences with us!
© All Photos: Triplet Approved