Inspirational women interview with Marija Tadić

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Marija Tadić is a Croatian stage and film actress by day and a business woman… well, also by day. She is one of those people that manages to juggle two (or more) careers at once and succeeds at it, like a boss.

However, Marija is also a personal friend of mine with whom I love discussing life and business, with all it’s ups and downs, especially over a glass of red wine. That’s why I also understand the personal, most of the time hidden, cost of this success.

The price of leading this hectic lifestyle we both share is never having enough time for yourself and your friends. So, after several attempts to meet up and discuss this interview in person, we ended up doing it online. Marija is currently traveling back and forth between Zagreb, where she works as an actress, and the Croatian coast, where she draws inspiration and finds ingredients for her luxurious cosmetics line called L’aventure En Primitivance.

Primitivance, as she likes to call it, is a brand inspired by the pristine wilderness of the Mediterranean nature, and the need to reintroduce simple, pure elements back into our contemporary beauty routines. She managed to establish the production locally, which allows her to build a global brand based on honesty and quality.



1. Marija, you’re one of those restless creatives that’s always two steps ahead of everybody else. You’ve established a successful career as an actress, played many film, TV and stage roles, and now you’re sailing through business waters. Can you tell us about yourself? What drives you in your creativity and where do you draw inspiration from?

Creativity is something that has described and defined me from an early age. As an actress, I often experience being used as a tool for someone else’s creativity and in those moments I really become, as you precisely noted, restless. A couple of years ago I even started doing video production and through that process, I discovered that I have really strong organizational skills. Most of the time, however, I was still just preparing the perfect conditions for someone else to express their creativity. That’s why I kept searching for a form through which I can express mine.

I found it with L’ aventure en Primitivance, which really came to me in a clear vision, and all I am doing now is jumping through obstacles, so I could show the world what I already see in my mind. As I am getting older I am starting to realize that a lot of people get really stuck when needing to identify themselves with their profession. I think our profession is not there to define us, but rather to help us discover who we are. While we are, on some level, still a work-in-progress, it’s natural to change your career or to have several of them. Sometimes it's not easy though.

I got my inspiration, mostly, from my artistic background but also from my experience of the time I spent in Dalmatia, where I am originally from: warm mornings scented with herbs, long walks through fields of immortelle, and evenings spent under the fig and almond treetops. The brand’s identity was developed, and is still growing, through collaboration with other female artists. Photographer Mare Milin and her distinctive visual approach to the Dalmatian region became the backbone around which the brand’s visual identity was created. You will find her photographs if you check out the brand’s website and social media networks, and also on the packaging of the products. The poetic language created specifically for the brand is the work of dramatist and screenwriter Rona Žulj, inspired by the French New Wave and Dalmatian chansons.

2. A couple of years ago you founded your own luxury cosmetics brand called L’Aventure En Primitivance. As the name describes, it’s all about the primeval, the basic, the natural. Can you tell us why you started the brand and what it’s all about?

Things that are right are almost always primitive, instincts for example; the gut feeling, those immediate reactions like the blushing of the skin on your cheeks; pounding of your heart; emotions emerging from smelling certain scents.

I let those primitive instincts take me on an adventure en Primitivance, where natural luxury skincare begins to change the way we see the Dalmatian region and heritage. Primitivance is all about the return of the elementary; natural, simple and elegant elements without giving up the benefits of the contemporary way of life. It is the adventure of enriching the luxury skincare with honest, simple power of traditionally used botanicals, native to the Dalmatian climate. The word game, Primitivance, redefines primitive as luxury and encourages the return to the simplicity and honesty of nature, without compromising on effectiveness or quality.

Believing that there must be an efficient, yet natural solution for our extremely sensitive skin, stressed by daily challenges, we were determined to discover the perfect blend of natural oils. We wanted to simplify and supercharge our own daily skincare routine, replacing stacks of other products. In search of the product and by respecting both the strength and sensitivity of real women and their skin, we created the first product in the line of our skincare products, bottled for happy, healthy skin. Naturally, we made no compromises regarding product ingredients, efficacy and scent.

3. You’ve established a local production and ingredients supply chain. This allows you to manage and control the origin and quality of your products. Why is that so important for you?

In collaboration with established professionals in pharmacology, we developed our first product, “Belle de jour”, a facial serum that is formulated in a way where all the ingredients are grown in the Dalmatian region. Our ultimate goal is to relocate the production of L’ Aventure en Primitivance to this area and provide a steady workplace for Dalmatian women. This would be our way of paying back to the women from remote parts of Dalmatia who kept the knowledge of how to use Dalmatian herbs in order to stay healthy and beautiful throughout generations.

By teaching these women to produce naturally sourced, environmentally and socially responsible handmade skincare products, with good market value, we would help each of them create their own futures; to revive the female tradition and recipes of the region, enriched with today's technological advancements. That way we would actively empower them and give them tools for emancipation.

I swear by leading a balanced life, which includes a healthy diet, sensible exercise, a moderate intake of red wine, and a regular dose of stimulating literature.

I swear by leading a balanced life, which includes a healthy diet, sensible exercise, a moderate intake of red wine, and a regular dose of stimulating literature.

4. When it comes to cosmetics, we often categorize them as beauty instead of health. What role do you think beauty plays in health? How are the two connected?

We think a lot about the food we put into our bodies and eagerly look for the finest ingredients, and yet we don’t think enough about our skin, which is the largest organ of our body, and that we shouldn’t put on our skin something we wouldn’t eat either. I think we should all think more about the holistic approach to our system.

The other day I heard one girl saying… why waste good oil on your skin. People are just not educated enough about this matter, which I hope will change in the future.

5. When it comes down to your personal wellness and beauty routines, what are the ones you absolutely swear by?

I swear by leading a balanced life, which includes a healthy diet, sensible exercise, a moderate intake of red wine, and a regular dose of stimulating literature.


6. Like all entrepreneurs, you’ve hit many obstacles when establishing your business. Some of them were health related. Can we discuss the hardest one you encountered when starting your own company, considering you were also working a full-time job? How do you deal with the pressure, stress and burnout?

For me, it still hasn’t finished. This burnout thing is ongoing. When I just started people would warn me that it is to much stress and I would always say: you have no idea, it’s the adrenaline…. but after a while, I felt burnt out… like my batteries ran out and I couldn’t charge them again. Meanwhile, I quit my full-time job and started to freelance again, in order to focus more on my business.

Now, I am more focused and learning how to, sometimes, switch off, restart and recharge. The positive aspect is that I see it as a challenge, which helps with my personal growth.

7. With a demanding, high-intensity job you’re required to stay in top shape and condition. How do you make sure you’re physically able to achieve all your goals?

First of all, I am actively working on spending more time in one place, in order to find a balance in my daily routine. I find training incredibly important so I feel that I could make more time for doing it. It's all so connected… my mind is always three steps ahead of my body and I am working on balancing that aspect right now.

8. Besides having a hectic schedule working at the theatre and running your own business, you’re also a public figure. Even though you are a very private person, your life is often under the scrutiny of the public eye. What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you make sure to have time and space just for yourself?

Here is an expression “Simplicity is complexity resolved”. I am trying to do that with my brand as a reminder of how I should live my life as well. I am not much of a consumer and I hate spending time in stores, so I am trying to develop products that would change a whole lot in the life we currently know. I started finding easier and simpler solutions for myself and honestly, I get incredibly happy when I hear someone loves using my solutions as well. It's incredibly rewarding.

9. Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing the most?

I enjoy spending quality time with people that have a great sense of humor. Or when I’m in need of me-time, I like taking long walks in the woods with my dog, experiencing the sounds of nature in silence, or treating myself to a good massage… I really appreciate a good massage.

10. Can you tell us about your future plans - what do you still want to achieve? How much do you think about your health and well-being when planning for the future?

In a way, the philosophy of my brand is like a constant reminder of the way of life I want to live. In the future, I really want to live more in the present moment than I did before. I am just now starting to realize the importance of that.

When you are a visionary by nature, you can easily and constantly rush to the future, not realizing that the present you are living is not flattering, at all. I have a lot of plans with the L’ aventure en Primitivance. I hope to empower nature through technology, heritage through progress, beauty through joie de vivre, and life through imagination.


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