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This Guy Completely Changed His Life Around: From Electronics Engineer In Romania To Jewellery Designer In Croatia
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Other4 years ago

This Guy Completely Changed His Life Around: From Electronics Engineer In Romania To Jewellery Designer In Croatia

His parents wanted him to have a good job, so – as a good son does – Ionut Leonard Copoiu followed their advice and graduated Electronics in Bucharest, Romania. That was 15 years ago. In the meantime, Leonard tried several jobs, but decided he is not made to work for other people, so – with no prior knowledge, but with a burning desire to learn and to succeed – he started his own real estate developing business, and – in the span of a few years – built quite a few villas and apartment buildings (some of which even won architectural prizes). But his life partner, Mirela, was dreaming of living by the sea, so in 2015 they packed everything, took their cat and moved together on the Adriatic Coast, in Split.

The initial plan was to continue the real estate development business, but things do not always go according to plan, do they? Even before they left Romania, Leonard had a hobby, that was helping him destress after a long day at the construction site. He liked to use his hands to make bracelets using yachting rope and metal parts he was buying from the hardware store.

After their move to Split, they started to think that his bracelets could actually be attractive to locals and tourists. So, long story short, in December 2015 they opened their first shop, in a small space they found available in the Old Town of Split. What happened next caught them by surprise and totally unprepared. When summer came, although Leonard worked all through the winter and made bracelets that he thought would be enough to cover the whole season, the unexpected success of the shop was so huge, that they started to run out of products. Basically, whatever he was working one day, they were selling the next and so on. It was exhausting and exhilarating, all at the same time.

And if initially he thought he will be doing this still as a hobby, for a year or so, before going back to building houses, Leonard started to enjoy this new adventure more and more. In 2017, him and Mirela opened a shop in Dubrovnik, and in 2018 they expanded with two shops into Istria (Rovinj and Porec).

Leonard is still making each and every Break Time nautical bracelet himself, even if that means sacrificing a lot of other things – such as not hanging out with friends that much or not being able to go to the beach too often (it is the end of July, and the two Romanian expats have only managed to relax under the sun once this summer). But the satisfaction of seeing his creations and his handiwork on the wrists of so many happy customers in Croatia and all over the world (they post photos received from their customers on the @breaktimecroatia Instagram account) is priceless.

And the biggest satisfaction of all is the success of his latest collection – Sailor by Break Time wrap bracelets – which features a boat that he designed himself last winter, and it is something special to see how something you drew on a piece of paper becomes a reality, and one that is received with such enthusiasm by the Break Time fans of all ages.

What is next? Stay tuned…

More info:

Nautical Jewellery. Handmade in Croatia. For sea lovers.

Each member of this family from Germany got their own Break Time nautical bracelet as souvenir from their holiday in Croatia (Video shot at the Split shop in summer 2017)

The Sailor by Break Time Collection (launched in 2018) features an exclusive stainless steel boat designed by Leonard Copoiu

Leonard Copoiu, the Break Time nautical jewellery designer

The mini anchor bracelets and the newly launched mini boat bracelets are best-sellers

Many choose to engrave their new Break Time bracelet, to make it even more special

The Dubrovnik by Break Time collection of nautical bracelets with decorative compass is also very popular.

Personalize your Break Time nautical bracelet by custom engraving up to 10 characters on the shackle

The custom engraving option is available online and in stores

The new Sailor by Break Time boat wraps can be engraved, too.

The romantic Rovinj, in the background, home of the fourth Break Time shop in Croatia

The absolute best-seller: Split by Break Time navy blue anchor bracelet

Mix & match to fit your personal style

The magical Dubrovnik, from the best panoramic viewpoint (Srdj mountain)

Best souvenir you could get from Split – a custom engraved Break Time bracelet

The Adriatica by Break Time nautical bracelet (with Dubrovnik Old Town as background)

The mini anchor bracelets can also be worn as anklets

There are over 250 models and colour combinations to choose the perfect nautical bracelets from

The new Sailor by Break Time Croatia boat bracelets and the beautiful Split Old Town as backdrop

The all black anchor bracelet is an all-time favourite for the Break Time fans

How about this for a personal motto?

Whatever your favourite colours are, it is sure to find something to love

Nothing like a bright neon pink anchor bracelet to spice up your summer outfit. Ready for the beach?

Two of the most wanted Break Time nautical bracelets for men

Take your Break Time nautical bracelets with you. Here they are in Monaco.

Feeling electric?

Mirela & Leonard, the power couple behind the Break Time brand, on Stradun (the main street in Dubrovnik Old Town)


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