The clothes are worn by dentists, masseurs, hairdressers and similar professions.
Next time you sit in a dental or a hairdressing chair, pay attention to the clothing worn by people you take care of your teeth or hair. There is good chance that the clothes were made by Ljerka Zmaić, the founder of the Pretafinir craft workshop, reports Poslovni.hr on September 23, 2018.
“I began to sew as a child. I always had to do something with my hands, I just have it in myself, although I have no formal education for it. It did take some time for me to decide to do this for a living, almost at retirement age. Although my first love was architecture, I did not study it because of the circumstances. Thanks to a great chemistry professor in high school, I first became a chemist.
Since the love for sewing was stronger, I became allergic to certain chemical substances. I, therefore, changed a few jobs at the faculty and the National University Library as an associate in chemical research papers. But, for the last ten years, I have been in a job I love the most,” says Zmaić.
Pretafinir is unique in Croatia because, unlike other suppliers of workwear, it creates personalized and unique clothes that can be adapted to various body types. Because of this, she has chosen a name which means “ready-to-be-finished” clothes, unlike pret-a-porter, which is an expression indicating “ready-to-wear” clothes. She takes great care to ensure the quality of the materials and the fabrics.
“Our clients are mostly from the medical profession; we have a lot of dentists, then people working in the wellness industry, hairdressers, beauticians, but also pharmacists. These are people who spend a lot of time in the workwear but want to feel comfortable and look good.
The first clients were the hairdressers from the Cookie salon in Zagreb. Although the clothing is personalized, the designs are our own. Since we have a webshop, clothes are sent to Croatia as well as to other European Union countries,” explains Zmaić, who has one employee, but is now looking for another to help her expand the business.
“It is difficult to find workers, much harder than five or six years ago, and that is our current priority. Although we are not involved in mass production, sometimes we have orders for 700 uniforms, and the strengthening of the web store could also boost traffic,” she explains.
Although they do not have a problem finding buyers because they usually find them, due to higher prices compared to the competition, her business never takes part in public tenders, which mostly opt for the cheapest bids. This limits them in co-operation with companies which are bound by public procurement procedures, although they could also like to wear Pretafinir’s workwear.
“That is a shame because, if you take into consideration the quality, Pretafinir has no competition. We have found that a quality product will always find a buyer who will pay more for it,” concludes the owner, although adding there is not much profit in the business, and all earnings are usually invested in production and quality.
Translated from Poslovni.hr (reported by Marija Crnjak).