When in the distant 1916 Viktor Križek moved from Trieste to Zagreb and began working as an apprentice with Zagreb's famous jewelry maker Kolenko, he could never dream that this would be the beginning of a family jewelry making tradition which continues even today.
His dedication to detail and refinement in making wedding rings and other pieces of jewelry made Viktor an eligible partner and opened him the doors of many gold shops in Zagreb at the time. In 1935 he established his own jewelry making business, situated in Mesnička Street, where wedding rings and other jewelry were made.
Among his fellow Zagreb jewelry makers who owned gold and jewelry shops Viktor had a reputation for being a reliable partner, meticulous and dedicated to every detail in the making of every single piece of jewelry made in his shop.
In the years following the Second World War the establishment did not take kindly to private businesses, Viktor Križek's included; the period was marked by difficult moments and various pressures, but Viktor persevered in what was his greatest passion and his life – jewelry making.
Although his son Bruno, born in 1920, initially showed not much of an interest in jewelry making, his grandsons – Vlado and Viktor – spent a lot of time with their grandfather and were thus initiated into the jewelry making craft, starting with the then popular pendants and eventually mastering the secrets of the trade.
After Viktor passed away in 1974, Bruno continued the family business, although in a smaller scope and with no ambition of raising the renowned jewelry shop to a higher level. At the same time, Bruno's sons, Vlado and Viktor, who had learned the jewelry making craft from their grandfather, got their university degrees and found jobs, helping out with the jewelry making business as much as they could spare the time.
The jewelry making business was given a new lease on life in 1985, when Vlado Križek decided to dedicate himself exclusively to jewelry making. As with grandfather Viktor, Vlado's dedication to detail, reliability and a client-oriented approach enabled Križek Jewelers to grow and develop. As the business was growing, Vlado was soon joined by his brother Viktor, and they jointly embarked on developing the family business. The business marked a new milestone when Križek retail outlets in Velika Gorica and Zagreb were opened.
The jewelry business which was established in the now distant 1935 was taken over in 2013 by the new, fourth generation of the Križek family. Business was divided into the retail part, Križek Jewelers, managed by Viktor Križek's successors, and the wholesale and production part, Križek Jewelry Makers, taken over by Vlado's son Željko.
Željko Križek (CEO), Koraljka Križek (Head stone setter), Goran Smoljanović (Production manager), Vlado Križek (Owner)
Križek Jewelry Makers currently employs 45 people. It uses state of the art technology and efficent management, and exports over 66% of its production - main export markets are (in alphabetical order): Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland, USA. At the same time, it continues to remain true to the foundations of the tradition established by Viktor Križek, namely meticulousness in the rendering of every detail, as well as non-negotiable reliability and flexibility in meeting the clients' requirements. These qualities remain the proven key to success and the recipe for further development and growth.
Among numerous awards we have received as a result of hard work in the course of many years we single out just a few:
- The highest award by the Chamber of Economy, Hands of Gold, in 2003.
- The Ministry of Enterprise award, The Golden Ant, awarded to the best small export business in 2009.
- The Golden Statue by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in 2011.
- Awarded the status of Artistic craft and Traditional craft
- The Croatian Creation certificate for 3 different jewelry collections
- The only craft business in Croatia in 2008 to be granted funds from the PHARE 2006 Program.
Please feel free to visit us in Donja Lomnica and personally witness the production process, starting from the melting of gold and ending with final polishing. Our production and exhibition facility is merely 5 km away from Zagreb Airport and 5 km away from Zagreb’s southern ring-road, and is easily accessible from all directions (Contact Us)
Copyright © 2018 Zlatarska radiona Križek
All rights reserved. Any use of photographs is strictly prohibited without prior written consent of the author.