They are a young married couple from Vukovar who decided to invest their time, money, and a lot of work into what used to be a hobby yet fulfilled them on multiple levels. After years of careful consideration, saving, planning, and worrying, they finally decided to take the plunge and try and make a living producing wooden household and decorative items, as well as embroidery, both traditional and modern. Their business is still very young, but they are happy with how it’s taken off and feel motivated and inspired to keep going, doing what they do best. You can find them on Facebook, and here are some of their thoughts and opinions.
Tell us about your business, what do you do?
T&M opened a few months ago, headed by Tomislav and Mara Ozdanovac, a young married couple and parents of two girls. We make wooden products such as serving trays, boards, toys, shelves, etc. as well as chiffon and cotton embroidery.
Where did you get the idea and what makes your offer unique?
We decided to turn our previous hobbies into a business and thus bring our products closer to everyone at affordable prices. After a while, we decided to turn our thoughts and conversations into action, and one evening we sat down and created T&M.
What is unique is that we craft everything by hand, though a lot of things have been modernised and it’s possible to have it done by machines. You may have to wait longer for some products, but you can rest assured knowing that you are investing in handicrafts.
What was it like starting such a business in Vukovar? What were the main challenges?
We didn’t have any major obstacles because we made sure to save up and acquire our own space and materials before we even started the business.
Do you think that the fact that you are in eastern Croatia influenced your success?
Yes, in a good way. Most of our products are bought outside our city and our county. This was greatly influenced by social networks and the purchasing power of the rest of our beautiful country. Other people tend to think that we are a poor, underdeveloped region, yet our people continue to prove them wrong with their effort and ideas, and we like to believe that so do we.
Are you happy with how your business is developing? What is your perspective for the future?
Seeing as we have only been open for a few months, we are very satisfied with the customer feedback and the number of orders we’ve received. You never know what the future holds. We are still a small business, but we hope that time will do its thing and that we will become recognized more widely, which gives us a lot of motivation for the future.
What opportunities are there in our city and region?
There are many small businesses and craftsmen in our area who work and strive to improve our living standards and the offer in this part of Croatia. The opportunities are many, it’s just a matter of how many customers will recognize the work and the ideas behind it.
What is your view of other small businesses in Vukovar?
In principle, everyone works for themselves, but we support each other and encourage the growth and development of “the small ones”.
Finally, tell us about life in Vukovar. What do you like most, what would you say to all potential visitors?
Vukovar is a city tailored to every person who appreciates peace, does not like crowds and the hustle and bustle of large urban areas. You will love the generosity and hospitality of our fellow citizens, nature, rivers, promenades, museums… We tell future visitors to enjoy our city and the benefits it provides because now they are numerous.
For more, check out our lifestyle section.