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Young Entrepreneurs Find Funky Niche In Products ‘Made In Ukraine’

Designer Anastasiya Rudnik is a co-owner of a Ukrainian Street Wear emporium in executive Kiev.

Lucian Kim/NPR


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Designer Anastasiya Rudnik is a co-owner of a Ukrainian Street Wear emporium in executive Kiev.

Lucian Kim/NPR

A integrate of years ago, Kiev business publisher Yuliya Savostina motionless to try an experiment: to spend a year vital off food and other products constructed exclusively in Ukraine.

Inspired by a internal food transformation in a United States, Savostina started a blog to request her experience. She didn’t design it to final really long.

“I was certain that there weren’t any cosmetics or toothpaste or normal boots that we could wear,” Savostina says. “But, literally, by a finish of a initial month we satisfied that Ukraine creates most all — we usually have to demeanour for it.”

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To her good surprise, Savostina detected that her country, once a breadbasket of a Soviet Union, produces oppulance dishes such as caviar, snails and Spanish-style jamon. When she suspicion shabby competence be environment in after a prolonged winter, Savostina even found domestically cultivated kiwis and oranges.

Savostina’s examination came to an finish in early 2014 as Ukraine was rocked by aroused anti-government protests and a Russian troops intervention. Many of her readers incited to her for recommendation on where they could buy domestic substitutes for Russian-made goods. That summer, Savostina helped classify one of a initial pop-up markets to underline Ukrainian producers.

Vsi.Svoi, or All.Ours, is a multilevel store in executive Kiev offered usually Ukrainian-made clothes, boots and accessories.

Lucian Kim/NPR


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Lucian Kim/NPR

Vsi.Svoi, or All.Ours, is a multilevel store in executive Kiev offered usually Ukrainian-made clothes, boots and accessories.

Lucian Kim/NPR

The swell in nationalistic feelings coincided with a pile-up of a Ukrainian currency, a hryvna, pushing adult direct for locally done products even more.

It was around that time that Anastasiya Rudnik non-stop a groundwork emporium in downtown Kiev featuring Ukrainian streetwear, including garments she designs herself.

Three subterraneous bedrooms are lined with racks of hoodies, sweatshirts and jackets in camouflage, black and gray. They’re a kind of garments any self-respecting skateboarder would wear in Los Angeles or Portland — usually they’re all done in Ukraine.

“We try to buy Ukrainian fabrics as most as possible,” Rudnik, 24, says. “We do all with love. We emanate any square individually, not by mass production.”

Growing their businesses is one of a categorical hurdles for Ukrainian entrepreneurs, says publisher Savostina. Other hurdles embody a country’s scandalous bureaucracy, complicated taxation weight and a high cost of borrowing.

For small- and medium-sized Ukrainian businesses, it’s not so most a doubt of improving peculiarity as a selling behind it, says Veronika Movchan, an economist with a Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting in Kiev.

Socks are among a products sole during Kiev’s Vsi.Svoi.

Lucian Kim/NPR


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Socks are among a products sole during Kiev’s Vsi.Svoi.

Lucian Kim/NPR

“What Ukrainians should substantially learn from Americans is how to sell their products, how to container them, how to tag them, how to publicize them and how foster them on a domestic and outmost markets,” Movchan says.

Although startups and boutique designers still make adult a tiny partial of a altogether economy, Movchan says a entrepreneurial skills immature Ukrainians are training are essential for a country’s destiny development.

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One of a best black of that new entrepreneurship is Vsi.Svoi, or All.Ours, a multilevel store on Kiev’s categorical selling travel featuring dozens of brands of Ukrainian-made clothes, boots and accessories.

The store non-stop in September, with prices for a cloak trimming from $90 to $250 and a dress from $20 to $150.

“I wish to make it normal to buy Ukrainian, like from any other general retailer,” says owner Anna Lukovkina, 32.

A lot of a Ukrainian brands have generic-sounding English names like Truman, Brooklyn or Zen Wear. But there are also clearly Ukrainian labels like Zerno, Kozzyr, Etnodim, Kozzachka and Cabanchi.

Once those designers have determined themselves during home, Lukovkina says, they’ll be prepared to conquer a world.