About Us

I was born and raised in Croatia, where I got my Bachelor's degree in Business in 2007. For the first time in my life I found myself feeling confused and uncertain of what to do next. I just couldn't picture myself caged in an office for the rest of my life, but then again - I didn't want to be a starving artist either. Because that's what artists do, right? They starve. At least that's what we've been taught.

So, I prayed and prayed some more and slowly, but surely, the road started unfolding in front of me. One thing led to another and I ended up marrying a guy who lived across the World and moving to the United States in 2010. It was both scary and exacting at the same time.


In 2011 I found myself unemployed with a new baby. We struggled to make ends meet and I was trying so hard to get a job, but with no luck. While scrolling thorough my Facebook news feed I came across a link that led me straight to Etsy. Within minutes, I was hooked.

I remembered how much I enjoyed altering and making my own journals when I was younger, making keepsake boxes with my dad. I remembered my lost collection of antique Holy cards and all the old tattered post cards and love letters from my grandma's attic. All of a sudden, it all made sense. My heart skipped a beat and I decided to give it a try.


Four years later, Istria Design is my full time job and it significantly contributes to our family's budget. I am on a mission to provide my customers with high quality vintage style paper goods and gifts for all those special moments in their lives - from journals and recipe cards to gift tags, favor bags, home decor and apparel. Having my own business has been a huge learning experience, one I am thankful for every single day.

I am very passionate about learning and improving my skills as a designer, crafts person and a business owner. While growing my business I also try to support other small women/family owned businesses, that's why I source most of my supplies directly from other small businesses.

All of my products are handmade and/or designed in my home studio. In the last four years Istria Design has sold to over 5000 satisfied customers all over the World.


In my spare time I do some painting, hand lettering, doodling... I love mixed media art and I hope to find more time for it soon. I also collect antique post cards (Halloween and Christmas themed ones are my favorite).

In the future, I am hoping to still be here, designing and crafting pretty things and hopefully I can inspire other women that may find themselves in my situation to take the road less traveled because it is the most rewarding road of all.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story,

Ivana
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Magazine features:
- Curve Magazine
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For a glimpse into my creative process follow me on Instagram:
instagram.com/istriadesign
or Facebook
facebook.com/istriadesign