Tamara Jurković: In rewilding, I recognized a desire for the development of our region

21 February 2024

Through rewilding, we preserve nature but also promote nature-based entrepreneurship that adheres to rewilding principles. The fragrance Tiana by entrepreneur Tamara Jurković from Otočac is the first product from the future Lika rewilding basket.

Tiana – a blend of organic essential oils

We opened the rewilding basket

Rewilding Velebit is building a network of entrepreneurs in the Velebit region and beyond by helping strengthen nature-based businesses through education, consulting, and financial support. Following rewilding principles, local entrepreneurs will launch new projects or adapt existing ones. The first product from the future Lika basket is Tiana, a fragrance developed by Tamara Jurković.

An entrepreneur from Otočac, Tamara is a true lover of her region, the Gacka Valley, Velebit, and Lika. Through various activities, she promotes the beauty and potential of this beautiful part of Croatia, always mindful of nature conservation as a vast yet delicate tourism and economic potential. Alongside her family, she manages the well-known Paradiso book cafe, a cultural and tourist spot in the former „water city“ of Otočac, a café of good vibes, and a meeting place for book and drink enthusiasts. In addition to the book cafe, she dedicates time to her guests staying in tourist apartments, gradually justifying the title “experience manager,” as her friends call her, striving to provide each guest with unforgettable experiences and a unique sense of the environment.

Tamara Jurković – the experience manager

With the help of renowned aromatherapist Anamarija Pažin Morović, Tamara recently introduced the Tiana fragrance, a blend of organic essential oils named after the mysterious Japodian goddess of the forest. Through this scent, its creator encourages the renewal of our connections with the universal spirit of abundance, purity, and self-healing, connecting us to nature on both physical and emotional levels. The Velebit forest has preserved its vitality, serving as a source of peace and strength that Tamara has “packaged” into her Tiana fragrance. Through this product, the Lika entrepreneur found a source of income in Velebit, and she sees this resource as inexhaustible through such usage.

“In rewilding, I recognized a desire for the development of our region”

Tamara joined rewilding last winter at our entrepreneur workshop. “From the first meeting, it was clear that it was a different approach to entrepreneurship. I felt a genuine desire to help small entrepreneurs in the Gacka and Lika areas through partnership by offering a hand of collaboration through education and concrete projects. Sustainability and harmony with nature and the environment are my guidelines, so I felt a connection and happily entered into cooperation,” explains Tamara. Through our education for small producers, she gained “new insights and knowledge to improve my business.”

The scent of Japodia – inexhaustible and authentic

Despite having ideas and the will to work, Tamara believes she needs support. “In the Lika-Senj County, we almost always lack people from outside our area for any entrepreneurial idea: collaborators, partners, employees, customers, or guests. I believe that through rewilding and the channels available, we can easily reach all groups… In rewilding, I recognized a desire for the development of our region and the implementation of common-interest topics through concrete actions,” shares the entrepreneur.

The first rewilding product from Velebit

Tiana is the first official rewilding product from the future Lika basket, which will be “filled” with other local rewilding products. Let’s get to know the Tiana scent: “It is natural, organic, sustainable, and represents added value in apartment rentals, setting me apart from traditional renting, which was never my goal. The aromatic animation of the space where guests stay is a positive anchor that easily visualizes the nature the person experienced. I intended to ‘capture’ the freshness of the Velebit forest and the Gacka River through the scent of some well-known plants in a small bottle.” How did Tamara “package” Velebit, Gacka, and Lika into this bottle and what does it offer? “The scent notes inspired by the earth and water of Gacka are dominated by the well-known local plant, mint, while the freshness of the forest is hard to imagine without the familiar scent of pine.” The uniqueness of this blend of organic essential oils lies “in opening airways and promoting good sleep. The product is on the market under the label Bioeterica, and the domestic potpourri containing natural materials—pieces of wood bark, dry twigs, wood shavings, pine cones, and a ball of wool from the indigenous Lika sheep breed—completes the entire story. The contents of the bag are enough to pour into a glass container and sprinkle with a few drops of the essential oil mixture. This gives us a natural diffuser and a unique aromatic animation of space under the motto: Natural – Sustainable – Wild.”

Healthy living – Book Your Paradiso

The Otočac entrepreneur wants to provide her clients with a sense of relaxation and, complementary to that, fulfillment. “I am currently finishing the renovation of an apartment based on the principles of healthy living, with natural varnishes, oak, a small spa oasis in the bathroom, a Finnish sauna, and a beautiful ‘forest’ wallpaper in the bedroom. Everything is geared towards relaxation in a small relaxation zone in the city center, and I think the blend of organic essential oils, along with local wool and handwoven canvas, carefully selected literature, and wood as a natural diffuser, will fit perfectly into my new slogan: Book Your Paradiso.”

Experiences to be remembered

Nature conservation and restoration are crucial for the economy of Otočac, Velebit, and Lika because the natural beauty is a competitive advantage in this area: “Now we just need to tell our stories to the world and enable guests to experience memorable moments through smart destination management.” What makes Otočac even more special is “the Gacka River, from which, even today, in the time of global pollution, we can, in some places, scoop water by hand and drink it without fear. Sounds unreal, doesn’t it?”.

Possibilities for generating income from nature in Lika and on Velebit are countless

Significant income in this area can be made through tourism, agriculture, health, traditional item production, and many other ways, according to Tamara: “Tourism is a transformative platform that can improve people’s lives and health and initiate an investment cycle. A break from the busy daily life and business stress is essential for everyone, and the magical colors, flavors, sounds, and scents of nature from my environment can regenerate a person. Ecological agriculture and the production of healthy, tasty, local food accompanied by a smart hospitality offer, web shops that continue to supply guests with such products even after their return home, health and spa tourism through various types of resorts, gatherings, and education in the fields of spirituality and personal growth and development, the development of traditional crafts such as wood processing, making useful textile items such as kitchen towels, tablecloths, aprons, etc., inspired by the heritage and tradition of Gacka and Lika, presentation centers and museums, e.g., trouts, barrels, and the like, are just some ideas.”

Tamara proves with her example that in an area embraced by nature, one can live comfortably and create products that have “sprouted” in nature with pleasure. There is no shortage of ideas and possibilities for various other products and services based on nature, and until they are realized, be sure to visit Otočac, which has just taken its first step toward rewilding.