Jadranka is launching her own business: Mostar Project motivated her

The street bazaar, organized by the Women’s Association “Univerzum” and the Association “Sunce” during the summer at the Tepa market, as part of the Project Mostar – Spaces to Activate and Rejuvenate, was the motivation for Jadranka to take the first steps towards starting her own business.

Jadranka’s handmade jewerly

This event brought together numerous non-governmental organizations in the Mostar area and provided an opportunity for their beneficiaries to showcase their products. One of them is Jadranka, who had previously sold products at charity fairs or bazaars, where she met members of the Women’s Association “Univerzum”. With the support of this organization she recently successfully completed free training on starting her own business.

“After the workshops, I began to think more intensively about starting my own craft, which would allow me to place my products in stores, many of which have already expressed interest in showcasing my products. I made the final decision after participating in the Bazaar, where I had the opportunity to present my products,” says Jadranka.

Jadranka’s handmade products

The United Kingdom government, through the Project Mostar – Spaces to Activate and Rejuvenate, recognized the importance of enhancing the entrepreneurial skills of women and people with disabilities. They financially enabled the Women’s Association ”Univerzum”, in partnership with the Association “Sunce”, to implement the activities of the “Strong and Creative” project.

“Lately, I mostly work on jewelry. In my work, I focus on quality materials, so I make jewelry exclusively from wood and semi-precious stones, sometimes from glass beads, leather, or alpaca. I especially like wood because I can paint it and customize it,” claims Jadranka.

The techniques were a means, and the objects were a tool she used to take a break from everyday life.

“I have been involved in handicrafts my whole life, and after my parents passed away, and my sister moved in with me, I started creating more frequently because the process itself represented a break from everyday life,” says Jadranka.

In addition to her regular job and even during travels, Jadranka attended handicraft workshops to learn new techniques. Later, the internet connected her with creators from Turkey, Russia, and Poland, from whose video clips she learned new, more complex techniques.

Jadranka’s handmade products

“I don’t copy their ideas; I simply don’t have the will to make something that someone else has already done. I strive to make every handmade product a unique piece. Color, technique may be repeated, but the design is always different,” says Jadranka.

The love for handicrafts is the main driving force behind Jadranka’s creativity. She believes it is extremely important to make handmade products affordable for everyone. It is especially important to her that women and girls do not see handmade jewelry as a product intended exclusively for a certain social class.

“I try to adjust the prices of the products to the standard of living in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mostly, I focus on the quantity sold to make a profit,” says Jadranka.

Jadranka’s handmade products

More important to her than making a profit are the conversations that take place while potential customers look at her products. She tells us that she often recalls encounters and conversations with citizens and tourists that she led this summer.

“Several women would come to the booth every day to sit, talk, socialize; a lot of new encounters and acquaintances. The booth also helped me reconnect with colleagues I worked with in the hospital who now live abroad,” Jadranka says with a big smile on her face.

Tourists were most drawn to the crocheted curtains and rugs that Jadranka brought to create an authentic atmosphere and showcase the tradition and culture of Mostar.

“Most come with the belief that if they are of a certain nationality or religion, they can only walk or eat in a certain part of the city. Through my example, I showed them best that such divisions do not exist in this city. After a short conversation, people immediately relax a bit and feel safer staying in this city,” concludes Jadranka.

You can view some of Jadranka’s products on her Facebook page – Handmade by Jadranka Dostic and/or on her Instagram profile.


Project Mostar- Spaces to Activate and Rejuvenate is a three-year project, which seeks to improve public space and its use in Mostar through activating citizens and supporting citizen-led initiatives that contribute to shared civic, cultural and economic life in Mostar. The project lead is People in Need (PIN), a Czech non-profit, non-governmental organization that provides humanitarian and development aid in more than 30 countries around the world. Four other organizations are equal partners in the consortium: Everyday Peace Indicators (EPI)Youth Cultural Center Abrašević (OKC Abrašević)Local Democracy Agency Mostar (LDA Mostar) and NEŠTO VIŠE (NV). The Project is funded by the Government of the United Kingdom. 

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