Welcome to our family-run business, based in Croatia since 2015!
We are Mirela & Leonard, two Romanian expats who fell in love with the Adriatic Sea and have decided to leave our old big-city lives behind and make Dalmatia our home.
If someone would have told us 8 years ago that we would have a jewellery shop in Split, we would have thought they are insane. In 2014 I was a former BBC radio journalist, working as Chief-of-Staff and Communications Manager for a fierce Romanian member of the European Parliament. My partner, Leonard, was a real estate developer, building stunning minimalist villas in Bucharest.
But something was missing from our lives and we knew exactly what that was: we really, REALLY wanted to live by the sea. More specifically, we loved the Dalmatian coast of the Adriatic Sea, where we would spend each summer holiday.
So, in October 2015, we took a leap of faith and moved to Split.
This is basically how the Break Time handmade jewellery was born...from our love for the Adriatic, sailing and endless sunny summers.
Leonard was making nautical bracelets as a hobby long before we moved here, when he was too stressed from running his Bucharest construction company (not exactly the lightest of jobs).
After our move, although we were planning to use his real estate development experience and continue building villas...we hit Croatian bureaucracy and had to put those plans on hold.
So we thought we should give his hobby a chance. After all, we were in a seaside tourist destination.
We had quite the journey in the (almost) eight years since we opened our very first Break Time shop in Trogirska 8, Split, in December 2015 - literally two months after we moved to Croatia, without speaking the language and with knowing less than 10 people altogether here.
The 2015 summer season success took us by surprise. We were literally selling out one day all the bracelets that Leonard was producing the day before. We regrouped the next winter and we opened our second shop in spring 2016, in Dubrovnik (photo below - the two of us when we were preparing our Dubrovnik shop for opening).
Long story short, from 2017 to 2019 we opened four more shops - two in Istria, first one in Porec, then one in Rovinj...
then a second one in Split...
and one in the center of Zagreb...
All selling exclusively our own brand of nautical bracelets, all handmade by Leonard (yes, each and every one of them!). Happy times!
Then the world as we knew it was transformed by the covid19 pandemic, so in 2020 we closed everything but our initial Trogirska 8 store, where our atelier is as well - Store Location.
The fact that we managed to save this one shop and survive 2020 and 2021 as a small tourist-oriented business, was only possible because our amazing fans from Croatia and from all over the globe continued to support us by purchasing our handmade nautical bracelets, online and in-store. We are so very grateful.
You can read some more about us and our journey on Total Croatia News here or here.
OUR SPLIT FLAGSHIP STORE & ATELIER
If you stop by our shop when visiting Split, and you want to say hello to us, we would be happy to meet you!