Vera Skaramuca has been working with souvenirs that have a quite wonderful message – they all signify Christmas. Her Christmas Shop, which she opened in Dubrovnik, is open throughout the year. It only takes a break in January because that is the time when Vera needs to create new souvenirs!
‘I work with my friend Silva Kuselj and we usually do everything by hand, so we never rest. We’ve been working together for several years, creating ideas and decorations together from the early beginning. How I came to the idea to open the shop? I started ten years ago. First I opened the Gift Shop called Nostalgia. During the summer I used to sell Croatian souvenirs, and create things we needed for the Christmas season as well; such as Advent wreaths, Christmas ornaments etc. But every tourist who had seen me making Christmas decorations stopped and wanted to buy them. My souvenirs remained covered with dust but holiday decorations have been sold within few seconds. They did not want souvenirs they wanted something different. So I figured, every summer I will sell leftovers – souvenirs from last Christmas. After a few years my Christmas business had grown and I was encouraged to open my Christmas Shop. It was a great decision’, Vera said.
‘In Salzburg there are four Christmas Shops, Napoli has a whole street of Christmas shops, Milan, Amsterdam also have it, and I don’t even want to talk about America… Let’s just say this – with this shop Dubrovnik joined the company of many world centers.’
‘Tourists are ‘crazy’ for Christmas souvenirs, believe it or not. Every second tourist tells me that they had been traveling over the world gathering handmade Christmas memorabilia. If you ask them, ordinary souvenirs may as well remain on the shelf, collecting dust. What has been bought for Christmas is being seen around their house every year – on the Christmas tree, on the table … Those souvenirs recall where you’ve been and where you’ve bought it.’ explains Ms. Skaramuca. We asked her what kind of Christmas trends she will provide for this year.
‘In my shop there is just one Christmas fashion – tradition. Christmas should look exactly like it did in the homes of our grandmothers – colorful, charming, shiny and special. Christmas must have one dose of ‘beautiful kitsch’, because if your house does not glitter, something’s wrong!’ says Vera Skaramuca who is, we must admit, a very interesting lady whose Christmas shop is something you must see if you ever visit Dubrovnik.