Expat Extra: One of BA’s cool hunters

A go-getter determined not to let studying at the renowned Universidad de Buenos Aires faze her, Maria MacDonald always knew somehow that working in Argentina would be part of her future, and she certainly didn’t wait for opportunities to fall into her lap.

Talking about how she planned her return to Buenos Aires, she says: “During my senior year, I was looking to work for women entrepreneurs who run businesses here, and I worked for a woman who had a leather goods company. But after a year, I was out of a job.

“However, I still felt that my time in Argentina wasn’t quite done. I went on a family trip and talked about moving to New York, where I’ve always wanted to live, or trying and get a job with a big company. Then I had this existential quarter-life crisis. I was always telling people about cool little events, shoe stores, wine bars or galleries, and started thinking about relating it to the Daily Candy, which is the model of my website and newsletter YoQueVos.

“There was no place to find about things taking place in the insider’s, underground guide to BA. So I thought, ‘why don’t I just do it, it wouldn’t take a lot of money and I could probably get some investors’. That was in 2008, and here I am still, in 2012. Exhausted but happy!”

Although other people might want to keep all the quirky events and launches that are so typical of Buenos Aires to themselves, MacDonald explains why she wanted to share such information.

“It was one of the reasons I loved Buenos Aires so much — all these mom ‘n pop stores which I have an eye for. Then people started telling me about them, and I’d go to them with other people so as not to spend so much time alone.
“The first YoQueVos newsletter came out on October 14, 2008 and it was about Diana Schufer bed sheets, as she stamps love letters on them. Now we have cool hunters looking for content, and readers sending us information about cool things to do and see.”

Discussing the nitty-gritty of running a business, MacDonald adds: “It’s easy to get women within the demographic excited, as it’s a free email newsletter but it’s hard to get advertisers as there’s no pay for play. It definitely takes a long time and people are still wary of investing in new media, despite us having a high reach in a hard-to-reach segment.

“However, I’ve always loved gallery openings, especially contemporary art ones, and I love closed-door restaurants. And that’s what I like to share via YoQueVos.”

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