A positive entrepreneurship story coming from Slavonia.
Fashion brand Sugar Ants was founded in Vinkovci in Slavonia last year. It is described as a “fashion brand with purpose” and it has already reached some European capitals. It was started by 26-year-old graduate of administrative studies Zvonimir Šarić, who has been joined by Melani Grabar. The two of them were motivated by the idea that Croatian fashion scene needed something new, reports Poslovni.hr on February 25, 2017.
They have decided to offer a simple, but quite effective line of clothing with interesting messages. Their trademark are prints with animals that convey messages about social issues and animal rights, with quality and comfort being the priority. According to Šarić, their products are made only from materials with environment-friendly certificates, and buyers say that their clothes are so light “that it almost feels like you are not wearing anything”.
They have launched their business thanks to incentives from the Croatian Employment Service in the amount of about 17,000 kuna, and their products are available to customers through web sales. They do not have plans to expand to physical stores, because they believe that the future are virtual stores to which the vast majority of people have already turned. So far they have launched a summer collection of bags and T-shirts, as well as an additional winter collection for men and women. In order to be socially responsible, they have included in the production process other local businesses, and soon they might launch a line of sneakers which they want to produce in a cooperation with yet another Croatian company.
“Every detail is carefully chosen, so shirts are being delivered to our customers in specifically designed boxes that contain a few small surprises. We try to be as original as possible. He have received inquiries about our products from all over the world, from Germany to Australia. In the future, we plan a work more on our international marketing. It would be a pity not to offer to the world these sweet animal characters that we have created in Croatia”, said Šarić. “We do follow what the competition is doing, but we do not worried about people copying our designs. All our drawings are copyrighted work, so anyone who would dare to copy them should know that they could be in legal jeopardy”, he added.
Prices are adjusted to their market position, given that they are a smaller brand that has yet to establish itself in the fashion market. Also, in these early days it is necessary for them to be less expensive than their competitors. Sometimes it is difficult to explain to people that they are a small business and that they do not have a large-scale production process.
“Our long-sleeve shirts, without a hood, made of high-quality 300-gram cotton, which come in original packaging with a few surprises, can be bought for 180 kuna. We have help from our friends and parents, and a positive factor is that we are surrounded by young, talented and creative people who have recognized the potential of the brand and donated us their free time in order to make this story come to life”, concluded Šarić.