Meet Vukovar 365, Full of Life: Vanja Maksimović of Lima Baby

Katarina Anđelković

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Meet Vanja Maksimović, a young laboratory technician, soon-to-be mother of two, and business owner. Vanja says that she has always been the energetic, creative type with a constant bug to decorate and redecorate, to change things up, doing it all on her own. If you follow her on Instagram, you will know exactly what I mean – she has salvaged so many old pieces of furniture and turned them into not only perfectly usable but visually outstanding pieces of décor and practicality for her house. There is nothing this lady cannot do, from chairs and cabinets to building her own bed frame. On one occasion, she even took her skills to the silver screens as a contestant in the TV show INdizajn with Mirjana Mikulec, but says that she prefers designing in the relaxed atmosphere of her home. You can have a sneak peek here

Her house is also the home of Lima Baby, Vanja’s pride and joy. The idea that handmade products for the little ones should be widely available at reasonable prices propelled Vanja to try and start designing and sewing these pieces together. When the people of Vukovar showed interest, the cutest shop around was born. Alongside the interesting designs, Vanja makes sure that all the materials she uses are hypoallergenic and safe to use from the youngest ages.

Tell us about your business, what do you do exactly?

Lima is a shop with various products for babies and little children. More precisely, I design and sew bedding, mats, crib rail covers, blankets, and pillows.

Where did you get the idea and what makes your offer unique?

At the time when I started production, such products weren’t widely available in our area, so people would usually order them internationally. When my friend ordered something similar, I did some maths and realised that I could produce the same thing for a lot less money. Before that, I had only tried using a sewing machine a few times, but I quickly learned the basics which allowed me to start my business. 

A baby playing with toys

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What was it like starting a business in Vukovar? What were the main challenges?

As I was already employed with the Department of Microbiology in the Public Health Institute of the Vukovar-Srijem County, I did not have any major issues registering an additional job or trade.

My accountant, Melita Marić, helped me a lot in the very beginning, as well as later, as I did not have any knowledge in that area. She explained everything, step by step.

Are you satisfied with how your business is developing? What is your perspective for the future?

I’m satisfied. I think that people in Croatia love handmade products and try to support small businesses. For now, I don’t have any big plans for the future of my business, but I hope that it will one day become my primary job.

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Do you think that the fact that you are in eastern Croatia influenced your success?

Possibly, people do love Vukovar, and will therefore love anything that was made here.

What opportunities are there in our city and region?

Starting a business is fairly easy. The incentives for self-employment are great and you will receive a lot of support.

Personally, I haven’t used any incentives so far since my business is not my primary employment, but it’s good to know that such support exists. I might want to try and take advantage of that in the future.

What is your view on other small businesses in Vukovar?

Since I have two jobs, a small child and another on the way, in the past year I haven’t had that many opportunities to collaborate with other entrepreneurs in our city. We do, however, always stay in touch, supporting each other and helping as much as we can.

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If we were to implement the Vukovar Card, would you participate and offer our guests discounts or special packages?

Of course, we would love that.

Finally, tell us something about life in Vukovar. What do you like most, what would you say to all potential visitors?

I can’t name a single thing I don’t like about Vukovar. Every aspect of life here suits me and I would not change a thing. My husband and I are two different nationalities (Croatian and Serbian), which is certainly not the norm in Vukovar, but we haven’t had any obstacles.

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Success in all areas of life requires a good idea, passion, and willpower. And when it comes to starting a business, the city of Vukovar will indeed be very helpful.

I always say that our city should be given a chance and should be viewed through a lens of positivity. I recommend a visit to Vukovar with all my heart. This is a place where you can see a lot, enjoy some beautiful nature, taste excellent food, take different kinds of tours, and yet enjoy a break from crowds and busy life.

Where can we find you?

On our Facebook page – Lima baby, and our Instagram lima_baby.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.


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