Vesna Jakić: A sheep wool ambassador on the Croatian island of Cres

Vesna Jakić is a Croatian entrepreneur who participates in the GRASS CEILING project’s Living Lab in Croatia. She works with local wool as a raw material in her company RUTA Wool & Design. In addition to creating original wool designs, Vesna recovers sheep wool that is often abandoned in the fields of the island of Cres (Croatia), thus providing a solution to a serious environmental problem and allowing her to produce island souvenirs by processing the original wool.

Vesna’s work is making a difference on the island of Cres and her products are certified as Croatian island products.

However, Vesna, a textile designer, never knows what her next wool inspiration will be. Before her current business, she led the Ruta association for 20 years, focusing on improving the quality of life on Cres. Already then, her projects were based on the use of wool as a raw material, she taught felting courses and organised numerous craft and art events.

It can be said that Vesna is an ambassador of sheep wool, a material that is no longer used on the island of Cres.

Her greatest passion is working with young people and children. That is why she teaches felting in schools and students come to her to practise. She has led many local and European projects where children have acquired felting and sewing skills. As part of these projects, children also explore the island of Cres and learn about local plants, nature, and the sea… All with the aim of helping them become more aware of the importance of nature, their local environment and sustainable development.

This innovative woman began drawing clothing models at the age of nine and received her first sewing machine at the age of fourteen. She later graduated in Textile Design and Fashion from the Faculty of Textile Technology in Zagreb. After completing her studies, she returned to the island of Cres, where she now lives and has made, in her words, a dream come true.

For Vesna, GRASS CEILING is “a great opportunity to network with innovative Croatian women” and she assures that the biggest benefit of the GRASS CEILING project is “the exchange of knowledge, especially of solutions to the many obstacles they face on a daily basis.”