How did it all start, what inspired you and what was the initial idea?
It’s been a decade since Aromatični kutak began, and it’s hard to believe how quickly time has passed. Technically, it started a year or two before its official legal establishment in July 2013. Nonetheless, I recently celebrated its ten-year anniversary, marking a decade of dedicated work and existence.
Establishing a trading company was a result of unfortunate circumstances. I experienced five years of unemployment, followed by a period of temporary and occasional jobs with no potential or promising outlook. The story of how I began was not romantic, but rather born out of existential necessity. I believe that nothing in life happens by accident, whether it’s good or bad. After completing my studies in phytomedicine at the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Agronomy, I decided to further my knowledge in aromatherapy by taking a one-year course. During my training, I learned how to prepare various aromatic and medicinal herb-based products that were highly effective in treating skin problems. Positive feedback and gratitude from my clients inspired me to consider self-employment and the creation of my own line of cosmetic products. As a free-spirited and open-minded person, I find inspiration in every challenge that arises when dealing with skin issues, and I look forward to creating new products to meet those challenges.
What was needed from idea to realisation?
Starting my career as a cosmetic preparation manufacturer was a challenging journey. When I began, Croatia was joining the European Union, which meant strict legal provisions and a slow bureaucratic system.
However, after a decade of being a part of the regulatory process, I can say that we have overcome the initial obstacles of legalising and placing cosmetic products on the EU market. Despite this progress, becoming a cosmetics manufacturer in Croatia remains difficult due to the high financial investments required. Whether entrepreneurs have their own production or outsource it, most financial resources are invested in production and advertising.
In the past as well as present times, organising the production of 12 different products requires a preparation period of 18 months while following all legal requirements. This process demands a huge investment in renting and adapting a production facility with special conditions for production and the placement of objects for general use. The procurement of raw materials, packaging materials, laboratory testing, health correctness, stability products safety assessment, individual product, and other costs are also important factors. Furthermore, investing in intangible assets such as attention, dedication, patience, and perseverance is crucial. Without this “cocktail” of attributes, the realisation of the idea is difficult to achieve, feasible, and sustainable.
How satisfied are you with what you have achieved?
Since I finished producing cosmetic products after four years on the market many would think that I was not satisfied with what I achieved. Clients often ask me why I stopped being a manufacturer expecting an answer about unsuccessful sales. Actually, I am extremely satisfied because through the experience of production, I gained valuable knowledge that I now share with my clients, cosmetics manufacturers. Production showed me and paved the way for the business path I need to take, and that is the job of a cosmetic product safety assessor.
What services do you offer today and where and how do you market them?
As I have gained interdisciplinary knowledge through a decade of continuous education and training, both in Croatia and abroad, I am narrowly specialised in assessing the safety of cosmetic products on the EU market.
In addition to the website, the main way of marketing my service is through recommendations from existing clients, a classic example of “word of mouth” marketing, at the same time the best and most honest form of marketing. Also, for many years I was the head of an adult education program at Galbanum School, and today I act as a guest lecturer at Profokus School. Through lectures, I educate and inform participants about regulatory requirements for establishing production and placing cosmetic products on the EU market. I also act as an external associate on the tasks of assessing the safety of cosmetic products and regulatory tasks for one foreign company.
Are you satisfied with what you have achieved?
The past decade is full of content, fortunately, mostly of a positive nature. Those of a negative nature had an educational and pedagogical purpose, so I am extremely satisfied. At the beginning, it was only important to survive the first year of existence and work, then the second, third, etc. To experience the tenth year was a dream, a vision. From my experience, dreams come true.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my own self-development and maturation of personality to which all previous experiences have contributed. I am blessed with my clients whose development I follow from their beginnings, I develop with them and try to enrich their entrepreneurial experience with my actions and contribute to positive business and life changes. We are each other’s best teachers if we are willing to be taught.
Aromatični kutak Ltd.
Brune Bušića 21
- + 385 98 1750 934