Between art and business
She is the only of three children that decided to pursue the family business. Being a silversmith is both a wish and a challenge for the 30 years old Krenare Rakovica. After leaving aside her profession as an architect Krenare decided to start her own company “Silversmith Krenare Rakovica” and continue in the footsteps of her mother and late father.
A curious bystander might not clearly understand what she does for a living. Surrounded by thin silver wires in her small silversmith workshop situated in the basement of a building nearby the center of Pristina- Krenare Rakovica recounts how she continued the family business. Six years after she started this kind of business Krenare is one of the rarest silversmiths in Pristina and maybe the only female that does this kind of now rare artistic craft.
“Around 5-6 years ago I decided to pursue a career as a silversmith, in the beginning I worked in my mother’s workshop and now since 6 months I am on my own”, says Krenare Rakovica adding that her family since 1983 owned a silversmith’s workshop in the capital of Kosova.
A mix of modern and classical shapes
Krenare started her business by working on old design of silver filigran and after a while she began doing her own design – a mix of modern and classical shapes. Most of the time she works alone although often she is assisted by her younger sister.
“I am a graduated architect and this has helped me a lot when I decided to start to work with silversmith design and craft”, says Krenare. Krenare admits that she does not have specific knowledge about doing business and writing business plans even though she took part at a few workshops on how to prepare business plans.
Most of Krenare’s clients are internationals while local buy less at her silversmith shop.
“A large part of my clients are internationals between 30-50 years old and sometimes I make combinations in my work to attract other clients”, says Krenare while mentioning that her working hours start at 10 AM and end at 8 PM.
This kind of business doesn’t have a huge profit since for one small piece of artwork almost a whole working day is required. “But I don’t care I do this work for pleasure”, says Krenare adding that she likes to do unique art works. But time by time she needs to reproduce her work since clients ask this from her. “Mostly people that have to do with art appreciate what I do”, says Krenare while working on two wedding rings ordered by a German couple. The most sold jewelry at her shop are earrings that cost around 1 euro while the most expensive is a piece of jewelry that cost around 250 euros.
She says that she could have found a solid job with a contract instead of working as a silversmith with approximately 7 to 10 clients per week although sometimes she can have 4-5 clients during an hour.
“I decided to quit architecture and I want to focus on the work as silversmith and I am ready also to cooperate with someone outside Kosovo if there is something concrete”, says Krenare while working on two silver wedding rings that she needs to finish by the end of the day. Sometimes a small piece of jewelry needs quite some time and efforts to be completed and what it most important Krenare needs to be in the right mood to give shape to the thin silver wires
Krenare Rakovica’s 3 advices to young entrepreneurs
1) Be brave
2) Do not surrender
3) Love your work