continnect July 2016 - Page 5

SAILING AHEAD IN SERBIA Sailing ahead in Serbia Designs for the sky, sea and everything else in between Ivana Domitrović sition, she started young. Her talents were recognised before she graduated; an American design firm based out of Herceg Novi, a coastal town of Montenegro, took her under their wings where she worked for few years. While working at the firm she won a prestigious scholarship for a yacht design masters course in Venice. “I was pretty sure about my decision to come back to Serbia and start my own business. During my course, I was in touch with shipyards and engineers back home. And there was a demand for my kind of work,” she says. Thus came Salt&Water. Her studio hasn’t restricted themselves to yachts; they do residential interiors as well. Svetlana Mojic Serbia’s Svetlana Mojic is a woman in a predominantly male bastion. She designs the interiors for yachts and aeroplanes. Her passion for yachts began years ago when she represented Serbia in sailing events across the world. From sailor to owning a sailing empire (of sorts) could well sum up her career. Not discriminated against yet, Svetlana has had a good run with the business barring the bureaucracy, which she does say, gives her a ‘lot of headache’. Svetlana Mojic was studying Architecture in the Serbian city of Novi Sad in 2007. Novi Sad, on the banks of the River Danube, is the second largest city in Serbia. She was an active sailor and represented her country in international sailing events. It was during her Architecture course that she realised what she wanted to do with her life. Svetlana wanted to design the interiors of yachts; she wanted to weld her passion for sailing and architecture. This was in 2007. Today, in 2016, she owns a four-member award-winning studio specialising in interior designing and external styling of yachts — ‘Salt&Water’. It might strike as odd for someone to dabble in sailing and yacht designing in a landlocked country like Serbia. But Serbia wasn’t landlocked, to begin with. Serbia was a part of Yugoslavia, which had its own long Adriatic coast. With the disintegration of Yugoslavia that began in 1990’s the coastal belt began to shrink. And with the independence of Montenegro in 2006, the last access to the coast was lost. This loss, however, wasn’t going to be a detriment to the resolute Svetlana. Strong willed and of a cheerful dispoJuly 2016 Edition from continnect.com m continnect.com B team@continnect.com Recognition The awards first came in from an unexpected quarter. Svetlana designed the interiors of Boeing 787 VIP; the client liked it so much that he entered her name for the ‘International Yacht & Aviation Awards 2014’. Her two-member team (later became a four-member team) pipped firms with several thousands of employees to walk away with the prize. This was just the beginning. Soon her projects began to get noticed and she was being recognised for innovative designs. Though yachting and sailing is a male stronghold, Svetlana has never faced discrimination. “ ‘Men are always surprised to see a Balkan woman so well acquainted with ’their world’. They do their best to help. The most important thing for clients is when you appreciate their time and understand their requirements,” Svetlana points out. The interiors of Boeing 787 VIP Page 5