Croatian Dream Factory Creates Personalised Children’s Books

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, the Croatian Dream Factory is an unusual publisher that makes storytelling unforgettable through innovative technology. The business story of Andrijana Majstorovic and Goran Galetic began back in 2011, when no one in the market of Croatia or the immediate region was engaged in personalised children’s publishing.

The first title they came up with was “Planet of the Dwarves”, the first picture book in Croatia made with 3D illustrations. In addition to ten permanent employees, a number of external collaborators worked on the project, from designers to illustrators and programmers.

In 2020, they generated impressive revenue of 3.34 million kuna, which is growth of more than 25 percent when compared to the previous year, and their personalised picture book is “How did I come into the world?” became the first book of every fifth baby born in Croatia.

“Our plans are very ambitious, just like they have been ever since day one. In December this year, we’re going to be celebrating the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Croatian Dream Factory. When we moved, literally from the garage, we never dreamed that we’d manage to gather a team of 25 people to create stories that now empower children and connect families and that our books would be the best-selling children’s books in Croatia.

For the next ten years, we’ve set ourselves the goal of having a global presence by 2030. We don’t want to be just one of the players in this market of personalised children’s books that is in strong development, but as pioneers of that industry, people who have the know-how. By 2030, we see ourselves as global leaders in the sale and production of personalised children’s books,” says Goran Galetic, one of the initiators of the Croatian Dream Factory company.

As they point out, from the very beginning of the business they encountered numerous challenges, and for the first time they got stuck when they were looking for a partner in Croatia with equipment and machines who could print a book ”on demand”, which the personalised picture book required. They decided to start the project from their own workshop, bought bookbinding machines, prepared the first titles for sale, and then invested in a webshop.

A few years later, digital printing became much more accessible, and the development of the IT industry and new technologies created more new opportunities for the development of Dream Factory.

Back in 2015, Kristijan Vrbanic, an electrical engineer, joined the team, with whom they started the realisation of a new webshop with a software solution in the background. The idea was an interactive webshop, and thanks to this software solution, today a customer creates their own book in the ordering process.

“This year was marked by a complete redesign of the webshop, on which we’ve been working for the last year and in which we’ve invested over 350,000 kuna. We generate annual sales revenue of more than 3.3 million kuna, which we consider a very good result, given that we sell a very specific product. We have only nine items on offer and the majority of our income is related to sales concluded here on the Croatian market,” explains Galetic.

In addition to Croatian, Dream Factory markets its products on the German and Austrian markets through the Fabelfeder brand, in Poland through the Magiczne pioro brand, and in Serbia through the Dream Workshop brand. Their plan is to expand to all European markets, as well as those of the US and Canada over the next two years.

“We’re constantly investing in the development and improvement of the webshop and in the creation of new personalised books. There are currently three new books being made that will go on sale during 2022.

In the last two years alone, we’ve invested more than 750,000 kuna in the improvement of the webshop, the development of new personalisation functionalities, the development of new titles and redesign of existing ones, which represents strong capital for further business development and expansion into new markets,” concluded Galetic.

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