Last updated on November 1st, 2022 at 08:02 pm
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 over the past two years, and now is our chance to come together to 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.
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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. This store is so special because 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 specializing 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.
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 precious 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 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 handle size, which guarantees its uniqueness.
You can be sure that no one else in the world will have your exact Chia Cup!
Marinski Heartmades are beautiful handmade ceramics created by the artist Marina 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. Every one of her pieces is 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 Croatian brand was started just a few years ago and quickly became popular due to their products’ high quality and effectiveness.
Skintegra belongs to the category of cosmeceuticals, products that have both cosmetic and therapeutic effects. They offer 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 and 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!
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 a fantastic 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 fell head over heels 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 genuine 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.
Croker is a pottery manufacturer from Sveta Nedjelja, Croatia.
Master potter, and owner of the studio, Igor Romich, makes every single plate, bowl and mug by hand on a pottery wheel. Because each piece is handcrafted, small imperfections or slight deviations in size are possible, giving each dish entirely unique.
To get your hands on these gorgeous ceramics, you can visit their studio in Sveta Nedjelja or order your own set of stoneware on their website. Croker ships both domestically and internationally!
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 (shown below).
Any ornament you choose will be sure to add a little extra sparkle to your Christmas tree each year.
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