Unique Zagreb Crafts Shop Already Considering Expansion

Lauren Simmonds

This is a unique and cleverly thought up opportunity for Croatia’s craftsmen, who don’t have their own business space or are located outside of the capital city, to exhibit in the very centre of the capital. Meet the Zagreb crafts shop.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes on the 16th of July, 2019, at the Croatian Chamber of Crafts in Zagreb, the Zagreb Crafts Shop has been officially opened, it is the first and only one in Croatia to offer handicrafts from craftsmen from both the City of Zagreb and the wider Zagreb County.

More than 100,000 kuna has been invested in this praiseworthy project to promote and popularise traditional arts and crafts, and Mirza Šabić spoke to Poslovni Dnevnik about how that idea came to be in the first place.

What prompted you to open a crafts shop and what do you have on offer? How many craftsmen have you drawn together until now?

We wanted to give craftsmen from Zagreb and Zagreb County the opportunity to further promote their unique products and at the same time promote craftsmanship in its entirety.

This is a unique opportunity for our craftsmen, who don’t have their own business premises, or have them in Zaprešić, Sesvete or Velika Gorica, to exhibit their products in Zagreb city centre. The aim of the Zagreb Chamber of Crafts is to give the members help in selling and placing their products.

We’re planning to expand the concept of the crafts shop because of the huge amount of interest from our craftsmen, and we will have to think about it in the future. There will be unique jewellry, handbags, wallets, souvenirs with Zagreb motifs, floral decorations, hand-stitched notebooks, ornaments and many other handicrafts, all of which share aesthetic and creative features. The shop can now boast of thirty craftsmen, whose products will be exhibited across a 34 square metre sales space.

When did the idea come about and how much has been invested in this project?

The idea itself came about two years ago. First, we launched the Zagreb Crafts digital platform, through which more than 100 craftsmen were offered online shopping opportunities. Opening the shop in the centre of Zagreb was a logical sequence. About 100,000 kuna was invested in the project. The space is owned by the Zagreb Chamber of Commerce, but we had to completely renovate it. All of the work was done by our members – craftsmen. Therefore we’re encouraging those craftsmen. Great support has always been given to us by the City of Zagreb which has followed us for all these years, as well as Zagreb County.

So, other craftsmen have shown interest, as well?

The interest is enormous from both tradesmen and from the general public from the moment we publicly announced our intention to open it for the first time nine months ago. This really is a unique project and it will take a while for it to fully come to life, but we believe it will be a total hit and that it will further enrich the tourist offer of Zagreb, given the fact that it’s entirely focused on Croatian products, namely traditional and artistic crafts.

The answer to the question of how much interest there is, is perhaps best evidenced by the fact that we’re already considering a larger sales space. Nearly 22,000 crafts have been registered in Zagreb, but this number is growing. In the area of ​​the City of Zagreb, eighteen percent of the total number of craftsmen in all of Croatia are active, with the largest number being in professional, technical and scientific activities. There were 380,660 employees in the City of Zagreb last year, of which 29,620 were tradesmen and freelancers.

What is your point of view when looking at today’s situation when we talk about traditional art crafts and craft trades?

In the past two years, more than 2,000 new trades have been opened, and we expect that by the end of this year, the number of craftsmen will be over 22,000. Four years ago, we had 18,000 trades registered, therefore we recorded an increase of 2000 trades each year.

What, then, is the potential of the Zagreb craft shop?

This is a specialty shop and will be one of a kind in Zagreb, which will give craftsmen an excellent opportunity to present their work to a wider group of potential customers.

Having your own exhibition centre in the centre of the Croatian capital city for every craftsman individually, especially for those who work outside of Zagreb, would [otherwise] be an impossible mission. In this way, things will be much more visible and much closer to customers. Our goal is popularisation and promotion. Given the quality and uniqueness of the products, the interest of the government and the number of craftsmen who want to exhibit and sell their products, we estimate that the Zagreb crafts shop will be expanding rapidly.

Given the fact that the City of Zagreb is following this project, we’ve been given a lot of great help, so we’ve got hope for the future as well as for expansion.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia and lifestyle pages for much more. If it’s just Zagreb you’re interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow or check out Zagreb in a Page.


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