This holiday season, it feels especially important to celebrate small businesses whose craftsmanship and unique designs bring joy and evoke a strong sense of community.
Many small businesses were hit hard this year and now is our chance to come together to really help those businesses shine. Whether you’re shopping in Croatia, or shopping in your hometown, your support will mean the world to them.
In this guide, I’ve compiled some of my favorite local brands that are worth checking out when shopping in Croatia this Christmas.
On this list, you’ll find gorgeous handmade ceramics, delicate jewelry, locally roasted coffee, and even hats with an 85-year-old tradition! All of the products below are 100% from Croatia and 100% worth supporting.
When you support small businesses, you’re supporting a dream.
Shopping in Croatia: 12 Incredible Small Businesses Worth Supporting
Jasmina i lutkice
Jasmina i lutkice (Jasmina and Dolls) is an enchanting shop located right in the heart of Zagreb. What makes this store so special is that it is home to a collection of original and handmade dolls, all designed and created in Croatia.
Stepping into Jasmina’s store is like stepping into a fairytale – you can just feel the magic in the air! Dolls hang from the ceiling, fairies twirl in the air, and whimsical forest creatures beckon you to explore.
If you’re lucky, you might even get to meet Jasmina and witness her passion at work. You can be sure that every single doll in her shop is made with an incredible amount of love and attention to detail.
You can find Jasmina i lutkice in Petrinjska Street or shop her collection online. If you can’t physically go shopping in Croatia, Jasmina also offers worldwide shipping!
GVG is a small studio that specializes in creating unique mugs, small plates, jewelry dishes, and earrings. These lovely ceramic products are all handcrafted by a young artist from Pula by the name of Karolina Bumbak.
The name GVG is actually an abbreviation for “Gala voli Gretu” (Gala loves Greta), the artist’s cat and dog, making the brand even more lovable. Simple and functional, these sweet pieces of pottery add a designer touch to every home.
You can order from GVG on Instagram or purchase select items from the specialty coffee shop, Kava, in Split or on Hvar Island.
These adorable spotted coffee mugs are made by a young woman, Filipa, and her partner in Tribalj, Croatia.
Each individual Chia Cup is crafted by hand from start to finish. During the creation process, every mug passes through Filipa’s hands at least six times. The coffee cups are made in small batches, with each mug varying slightly in shape, design, and size of the handle.
This just guarantees that every single Chia Cup is unique in its own way, and that no one else in the world has the exact same one!
Beautiful handmade ceramics created by artist Marina Marinksi in Kastav, Croatia. These darling ceramic products are all handmade and painted in beautiful pastel shades.
Marina makes simple espresso cups with no handles, bowls, vases, earrings, and the sweetest Christmas ornaments you’ve ever seen. Each of her pieces are made with love, and designed to make every home a little bit cozier.
You can find a list of Marinski Heartmades retailers on their website, or shop their products online. Shipping is available throughout the EU.
Skintegra Beauty is a skincare brand whose entire production takes place in Croatia. This awesome brand was started just a few years ago, and quickly became popular due to the high quality and effectiveness of their products.
Skintegra belongs to the category of cosmeceuticals, products that have both cosmetic and therapeutic effects. These types of products not only benefit the appearance of the skin but also promote healthy skin cell function.
Skintegra offers a variety of serums, cleansers, and creams that promote healthy and beautiful skin. All of their products are fragrance-free and contain no synthetic ingredients. Check out Skintegra’s Instagram to see before and after photos of real customers using their products!
You can find Skintegra on Lopasiceva 14 in Zagreb, or order their skincare products online.
Take Me Home Croatian Design Shop
The idea behind Take Me Home Croatian Design Shop was to gather original and handmade products by Croatian creatives in one place. This little shop is located right by one of Zagreb’s famous landmarks, the funicular.
Inside, you can find high quality and locally produced ceramics, jewelry, kitchenware, stationery, artwork, and more! The store features works by internationally awarded Croatian designers, as well as up and coming, young artists.
Unique products created with the perfect blend of contemporary design and traditional craftsmanship guarantee that everyone will find something truly special at the Take Me Home Croatian Design Shop.
Cahun is one of Zagreb’s oldest continuously operating specialty stores with a long history and tradition. Established in 1935, Cahun has been designing and producing beautiful and sophisticated hats by hand for the last 85 years.
The business has remained in the same family for three generations and is now run by Josipa Cahun, the granddaughter of the original shop owner. While Cahun specializes in winter hats typically made out of leather or fine fur, hats of all kinds can be found on the store’s shelves. Summer hats, turbans, and headscarves are all part of their gorgeous collection.
Each hat is handcrafted and takes approximately three days to make. No two hats are the same, and every single one is special and unique in its own way.
When shopping in Croatia at Cahun, be prepared to pay for true quality and craftsmanship. These hats run anywhere from $100 to $250.
Cogito is a specialty coffee roaster and brewery that originated in Zagreb in 2014. Since then, they’ve taken their delicious coffee all the way to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and even Dubai!
Cogito is hands-down one of the best places to get coffee in Zagreb. They have several locations in the city, each with its own unique vibe. Luckily, they also offer an amazing selection of blends and single-origin coffees for sale so that you can recreate their perfectly roasted elixir at home.
Check out their selection of coffees and teas online, or find a location near you.
Kava is a wonderful coffee brand with a unique story. This lovely coffee roaster was started by a young couple that simply fell head over heals for specialty coffee.
Their tale began on Hvar Island, where the couple rented out a tiny neglected space, tore it apart, and breathed new life into it. Now, you simply cannot pass by Kava without being beckoned in by its positive energy and perfume of freshly roasted coffee.
Their motto is simple:
Beautiful coffees from beautiful people for beautiful people.
You can find Kava in Split, on Hvar Island, or you can shop their coffees online.
Founded in 1940, Cipele Igrec is at the heart of Zagreb’s shoe-making history. This local business specializes in crafting some of the finest handmade leather footwear.
To this day, the salon is owned and operated by the founding family who believes that true quality and craftsmanship hold a special, timeless value. At Cipele Igrec, all shoes are handmade in small batches from the highest quality leather.
You can view their collection online or request your own custom made footwear.
Starting off with just a small toolbox and a makeshift studio, a brother and sister duo transformed their hobby into a full-time business. Dubrovnik Treasures is a small boutique where siblings Simona and Marko design and handmake jewelry that is treasured by customers around the world.
Inspired by the history of their city and the culture that they are submerged in, Simona and Marko are able to create truly extraordinary pieces. In their workshop, the brother and sister do everything from melting down and shaping precious metals to creating intricate filigree and inserting colorful stones into their designs.
You can visit either of their two locations in Dubrovnik.
Christmas Shop Dubrovnik
Open all year round, this darling Christmas Shop is the first and only boutique in Croatia that is exclusively dedicated to Christmas! Everything in the store is handmade and hand-painted, from glass bulbs to embroidered dolls, and even nativity scenes.
Walking into the shop is like walking into a winter wonderland. No matter what time of the year you visit, you’ll be welcomed with Christmas music, holiday cheer, and magic in the air. Some of the ornaments in the shop were even inspired by traditional Croatian jewelry, like these Konavle Earrings.
Any ornament you choose will be sure to add a little extra sparkle to your Christmas tree each year.